I recently commissioned a piece of artwork, and the file was too big to transmit normally, so I had to download a compressed version. This smaller file was essentially a set of instructions which my computer followed to recreate the file in its entirety. Using this method, it’s possible to transmit a lot of information efficiently and then unpack it to recreate something much bigger and grander than the file’s humble contents would imply.
I’ve also been looking at the Bible through that lens of compressed information. Think about it: a book that has the answers to all the questions in life, from the nature of God to all of morality to the fundamentals of existence to psychology to politics and philosophy, and far more. And yet it’s so brief that it can be copied by hand. It is so small that even a child could hold it and so easy to print that they could buy it with their allowance money. And all of that packed into 4 megabytes of text. By comparison, the picture I commissioned was 28.95 megabytes of information compressed down into a 28.79 megabyte file. Clearly, the Bible is an incredible feat of information compression and, in fact, a miraculous one.
The text of the Bible functions as the truth to be unpacked, but it is the Holy Spirit who gives us the instructions on how to take what it is and assemble it into a greater fullness of the potential made manifest. As we read Scripture, the first layer becomes clear. As we connect it to context, we unpack another. Connecting it to the rest of Scripture reveals a third layer. Living it out reveals even more truths that you never would have realized having just read it. Teaching it, preaching it, and creating art inspired by it all reveal even further levels of understanding, both to your audience and to yourself.
But even beyond that, no individual can ever hope to uncover the smallest percentage of the Truths that God has prepared for us, for no single brain can contain all that information, let alone discover all of it. This is one of the reasons I am convinced the community of believers is so important. Each of us has the opportunity to dig out sections of truth that are uniquely ours to discover, to share them with the body of believers as a whole, and together gain a deeper corporate understanding of the things God has for us than any of us could achieve on our own.
So what part do you play in this? How do you best connect with the Spirit and dive into the Word? What can you share with others that your experiences and personality have given you a unique opportunity to realize? And how are you learning from other believers the things God has given to them?
Prayer: Lord, thank you for the Bible, your Holy Word. Please guide me into your heavenly truths. Nothing I can ever conceive of compares to your infinite wisdom, so I want to know your mind and your truths. Please send your Spirit to teach me your Word and your ways.
~ Cameron Miller
Photo by Francesca Tirico on Unsplash