Introduction: Almost everything seems to change during our very short
lifetime. How many things do we use every day that are thousands of
years old? How many things that old have any relevance to life today?
I can only think of one: the Bible. Just the fact that the Bible
continues to be a relevant, popular guide to living teaches us
something about its Godly origins. Unfortunately, some disagree.
Right now, there are at least two books on a best-seller list which
attack belief in God. Hitchens’s book, “God is Not Great,” is # 3 and
Dawkins’s book, “The God Delusion,” is # 26 on the New York Times
list of best sellers. Let’s dive in and spend some time considering
why God’s word endures despite its detractors!

  1. God’s Word: A Proven Track Record

    1. Read Psalms 119:105. Have you ever used a map that was no
      longer accurate? What did you do with that map?

      1. The Psalmist tells us that God’s word is a roadmap
        for life. Do you agree?

        1. What would happen if most people found the Bible
          gave out bad advice for living? (They would
          reject it. The law has a term, “self-authenticating,” and that term applies here. The
          Bible is its own witness as to its reliability
          and dependability. This is an important reason
          why it continues to be popular.)

      2. Do you know people who reject the Bible as a reliable
        guide to living? If so, is there a common trait among
        them? (These are generally people who want to have a
        lifestyle which the Bible does not approve. Not too
        many people attack the general principles of the
        Bible as being false. Instead, it is a particular
        rule or two that they challenge because it does not
        fit with their desires.)

    2. Read Psalms 33:11. How does God stay relevant through the
      generations? (God has a master plan and a purpose for
      humans that does not change “through all generations.” It
      must be a fabulous plan to continue to be relevant!)

      1. What are these plans for us? (Read Jeremiah 29:11.
        God desires to give us hope, prosperity and a

        1. Is there evidence for this? (A better life is
          another reason why God’s word proves itself over
          and over again. Even today God’s plan works to
          make our lives better. More than that, God’s
          plan gives us a way out of eternal death – now
          that is something to give us hope!)

  2. God’s Word: A Revolutionary Approach to Leadership

    1. Read Numbers 21:4-5. What did God’s people think about His
      word at this time? (None of the charges were true – except
      maybe they did not like the food.)

      1. Knowing what you do about the Exodus, what do you
        think about the complaints of the people against
        God’s leadership?

    2. Read Numbers 21:6-7. God’s response to rebellion was to
      send punishment and hardship. What does this say about
      God’s leadership?

    3. Read Numbers 21:8-9. What is the logic of making an image
      of a snake and giving the people life if they looked? (I
      think the key is facing your sins. The snake is the
      historic symbol of sin. Acknowledging your sin is the
      first step to life.)

    4. Read John 3:14-15. Why would Jesus compare Himself to the
      snake in the desert? (Jesus took our sins. He became sin
      for us. If we “look” at our crucified Lord, that gives us

      1. How does the approach of our God differ from that of
        other gods and other rulers? (God’s approach is
        remarkably different. He gave up His life for us!
        Most leaders take from their followers. They use and
        abuse those below them. Not our God.)

      2. Is there a different leadership style in God’s
        approach in Numbers (sending the snakes) and in John
        (accepting our punishment for sin)? (No. This is a
        very important difference between our God and other
        gods and rulers: our God abides by the rule of law.
        He does not make up the rules to be whatever He wants
        at the moment. The people in the desert were punished
        for their sin of rebellion – until they turned from
        it. Jesus did not just wave a wand and forget about
        the rebellion of sin. Instead, Jesus fulfilled the
        law by paying the penalty on our behalf.)

      3. What does God’s leadership “style” have to do with
        the enduring relevance and popularity of His word?
        (It is like nothing else on earth.)

      4. We all know Godly men and women who are servant
        leaders who do not abuse those “below” them. In my
        experience, these are Christians. Imagine what the
        world would be like if there were no example of a God
        who led by giving up His life?

    5. Read Hebrews 2:14-15. How does Jesus destroy death by His
      death? (Satan is our death-dealing enemy. When Jesus died
      in our place, He took away the power of Satan to demand
      our death for our sins. What a concept! Jesus wins by
      giving up His life. He lets Satan torture and kill Him to
      give us life eternal.)

    6. Read Romans 4:18-25. How many times do you see others take
      credit for work they did not do? To whom did Jesus give
      credit for His perfect life? (He gave the credit to those
      who believe in Him.)

      1. What does the resurrection of Jesus do for us? (It
        justifies us. It takes away our sins when we ask for

      1. How common is it for leaders to give credit to others
        that is really due to them?

    1. Read Matthew 28:18-20. At some point we train people in
      business to be self-sufficient. That is how you make money
      from their work. Is that how Jesus’ leadership works? (He
      says that He is with us forever.)

    2. Read Micah 6:8. How does God want us to react to His
      leadership style? (This is a summary of God’s approach:
      justice (the rule of law), mercy (God’s love), and a
      humble walk (God’s sacrifice on our behalf and His servant

    3. Our lesson is about God’s word enduring. What has God’s
      leadership approach got to do with that topic? (This is a
      leader you want to follow! This is a leader you can follow
      your entire life and your children after you. This is a
      leader who will stay with you. This is a leader who loves
      and cares for you – while also loving the rule of law.)

  1. God’s Word: Hope for the Future

    1. Read Matthew 24:30-31. Who is coming to take us to heaven?
      (Jesus is coming. But, note that the angels “gather” the
      righteous to take them to heaven.)

      1. How important is this promise of reward to the
        enduring nature of the word of God?

    2. Read Matthew 24:36-39. Jesus talks about things we can
      know about and those we cannot know about. What can we
      know? (That Jesus is coming again to take us to heaven
      with Him.)

      1. What do we not know? (When this will happen.)

      2. Is there anything wrong with the things the people
        are described as doing in Matthew 24:38? (No. They
        are just caught up in the things of this world. God
        calls us to be aware of the things of God.)

    3. Read Matthew 24:42-44. Why does Jesus compare His Second
      Coming to a visit by a thief? Why would Jesus use the
      illustration of a visit by someone who comes to take our
      stuff? (There is the idea of the thief making an
      unexpected visit. But, more fundamentally, we have a lot
      to gain or lose in the Second Coming. We need to be on
      alert so that Satan does not “break into” our lives and
      steal our eternal life. We need to “endure” with God’s
      word for the rest of our life – so we will be ready for
      His Second Coming.)

      1. What does this comparison of the Christian’s reward
        to a thief coming have to do with the enduring nature
        of God’s word? (God’s word is not something that you
        just read once, and then move on to other things in
        life. God tells us that being in His word, and paying
        attention to our continuing relationship with Him, is
        an ongoing concern of the highest order. If you
        accept that, teaching it to your children becomes
        very important.)

    4. Friend, God’s word has survived over thousands of years.
      Will you make it an important part of your life?

  2. Next week: We begin a new series called “For Better or Worse:
    Lessons From Old Testament Couples.” We will explore the
    marriages of couples in the Old Testament to see what we can
    learn to improve our own marriages.