Do You Smell Bible Stories?

Published by: Sam Crabtree
March 26, 2012

From David Powlinson …

The Word of God contains hundreds of thousands of words—but no photographs, drawings, maps, or charts. God’s words are all words.

And yet, your Bible is a colorful picture book, a vivid storybook, and more. It’s as multisensory as life itself. You are meant to see—in your mind’s eye—the wildflowers tended by no one but God. You are meant to feel the apprehension as Esther steps into the Persian throne room uninvited. You are meant to feel the gladness of hosannas and the sting of mocking. You taste roasted grain, apples, raisin cakes, and honey—and become able to imagine how wisdom might be “sweeter than honey.” You smell incense and cedar; fresh bread and lamp oil, blood and fire and smoke—and learn something about the mercies and glories of the Lord. As Jesus’ life story unfolds, you sense the mounting hostility from religious leaders, and stunned disappointment in his disciples when he is killed, and then the dawning of indestructible joy as they realize he is alive and well.

God tells dramatic stories. He puts earthy metaphors to work. Reading and listening, you see moving pictures in your head. So the impact is visceral as well as conceptual. God speaks earthy, holy words in order to change you, not just to give you more information.

—In foreword to How People Change, by Timothy S. Lane and Paul David Tripp




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