Why God gave us the Bible
God was sad.
He'd been like it for a long time - well over 10,000 years – and the angels began to wonder what the matter was. So one day Gabriel decided to find out.
'God' he said, 'we can't help noticing that you don't seem to be very happy. You've lost all your usual sparkle. Could you please tell us what is the matter?'
'Well, Gabriel,’ God replied, ‘it's like this. I'm sad because of all the people I made on the earth. I made them a beautiful world with everything they need. But they can only enjoy it if they learn to know and love me. At the moment they are having a terrible time. They are arguing, fighting and spoiling the world. What’s more, they never speak to me unless they want something. They don't know at all what I'm really like, and they don't seem to care very much.
‘Listen, Gabriel, I've decided what I'm going to do. I'm going to write to them. I'm going to write a book to show them what I'm really like and how to get to know me properly, so that they can really enjoy the world I've made and live in it the way I want them to.’
'You mean your going to give them a book of rules?' asked Gabriel
'No,' said God, 'that's not what I mean at all. What do you think they'd do if I gave them rules and nothing else?’
‘Obey them?' tried Gabriel
'Well you would,' answered God. 'That's because you're an angel. But they won't. If you give them a rule, they'll usually do the opposite.’
'How odd,' said Gabriel. 'Don't they know that'll make them sad?'
'Unfortunately not,' God replied. 'They're very frustrating, but I love them all the same.'
'So what are you going to do?' Gabriel asked again.
'I'm going to tell them stories,' said God. 'They like stories. Of course I'll mix up the rules with the stories and the stories will teach them why it's good to keep the rules.
‘And I'll put other things in as well. There'll be poetry, because some of them really love it. There'll be some difficult bits for the brain-boxes. There'll be lots of war stories because sometimes it's hard to get the boys to read. But there'll also be stories about homes and families, and all the stories will tell them about what I'm really like.
‘Not only that, but I'm going to make sure that most of the stories are true. I'm going to choose some special people and make things happen to them that will teach them about me. For example, they'll all be made slaves, and then I'll rescue them and give them a fantastic country to live in. When they do things wrong I will punish them, and when they say sorry I'll forgive them.
‘I'll teach them that I don't want people only to come to me when they want something, but to pray to me all the time and make me a part of their lives, to let me teach them how to live the best way
‘Then I'll send my Son Jesus so they can really see what I'm like. And his friends will write all about him, and their stories will get put in the book as well.
‘This book will be so popular that people all over the world will want to read it. Some of them will pick it up in lonely hotel rooms, and when they read it they’ll find out that I've been loving them all the time. They'll get together in groups to read it and talk about it.
‘Some wicked and powerful people will hate it so much they will try to have it banned, but even so It will become the world's No 1 best-seller.’
'Wow God, that sounds like a great idea,' said Gabriel. ‘How are you going to begin it?'
'It's going to start like this,' said God. 'In the beginning, God made everything there is ...'