In the movie Cast Away, Chuck Nolan is a FedEx executive who ends up stranded on an island with no one to talk to but Wilson (a volleyball). Though many argue the movie is a bit slow and dull, there is a lot of depth and meaning in this film.
Have you ever thought what it would be like to be trapped on an island? While it sounds like vacation bliss, it would eventually become routine and normal, similar to how Cast Away shows it.
What if you could bring along one book of the Bible with you? Which would you choose?
I’m a huge advocate for Saturation Bible Study. And I am a fan of focusing on one book of the Bible at a time. The reason is that it helps with context and keeps you in the flow of what an author is saying. While studying topics is important and beneficial, in order to understand the heart of a particular book, it is important to spend some time in a book study.
Book studies, however, often require significant time in that one book. So the question comes: “If I spend time in a book study, won’t I miss the truth in the rest of Scripture?”
You should be reading through the Word on a consistent basis, but for the sake of argument, lets say you only study one book. Will you miss truth?
Let’s go back to being stranded on an island.
If you only had access to one book of the Bible, would you be at a loss? Yes. The whole of Scripture is important in our lives and we should be reading and studying its entirety. And as we mentioned before, it is important to test and measure your understanding against the context of all of Scripture. If you think a passage says one thing but the rest of the Bible refutes it, it is not correct. It must line up to the standard of the Word.
But would you miss truth?
I would argue no. Here’s why:
A Little Bit of Truth
God does not take a little bit of His truth and put it in the book of Matthew and then take a little more and put it the book of Luke and so on. Instead, He takes all of His truth and puts it in the book of Matthew and then takes all of His truth and places it in the book of John and takes all of His truth and puts it in Philemon and so forth.
If you were trapped on an island and only had the Gospel of John, could the Spirit reveal God’s truth to you? Yes. Because truth is a Person (Jesus) and all of Scripture declares and reveals Him.
If the purpose of Bible study is to know Jesus, to do a book study, even if it takes a significant amount of time, doesn’t mean you lack truth or put you at a disadvantage. In fact, I would argue that surface-level reading of Scripture (if that is all you ever do) would give you less understanding and truth than an in-depth study of one book.
The difference would be like looking at a picture of a friend in a magazine verses spending time with them in conversation and shared life. You can get to know Jesus through merely reading Scripture, but it is as you dive deep into God’s Word that the Spirit reveals the depth of truth (Jesus) to you.
There is value to taking time to study God’s Word. There is no rush or hurry. We are not after facts, stories, or academics. We are after a Person.
Today, rather than rushing through your day and squeezing in some time to read a few lines from Proverbs, why don’t you pick a paragraph, write it on a notecard, and begin to saturate in it. Allow the Spirit of God to reveal Jesus to you as He takes you by the hand and leads you into all Truth. And even if you spend all week in that one passage, it’s okay. Though you are not trapped on an island and while it is important to be reading all of Scripture, there is tremendous value in slowing down and studying one particular book.
Question: If you were stranded on an island for five years, what ONE book of the Bible would you want with you? Leave your answer in the comment section below.