Granddad lived downstairs. As a retired educator who accepted Christ in his 60s, he aimed to spend every spare moment of his life studying the Bible. He completed bible school, joined a local study group and began collecting hundreds, possibly thousands, of theological resources. Nearly every room in our home was filled with commentaries, bible dictionaries, rare sermons, lexicons, and dispensational panoramas. One year Thanksgiving was cancelled because the dining room table had disappeared beneath the stacks.
“Granddad, do you want some help clearing off the table?”
His quiet smile morphed into a hearty laugh.
“No, that won’t be necessary. I know it looks like junk, but this is good stuff. It reflects how I spend my day.”
I had only to mention a topic of interest, and before long, he would emerge from the stacks to hand me a book or tape. He had burned through many beat-boxes recording sermons on Christian radio, but cassettes, CDs, and VHS eventually made way for DVDs and the internet. He couldn’t keep up with it all.
Granddad's dedication was inspiring. I was a young Christian, but I still had questions. How did I really know the Bible was true? Having grown up in church, there was nothing to compare it to; I believed what I was taught, and had not considered any alternatives. Finally, driven by a mixture of fear and curiosity, I decided to investigate. Granddad owned the sacred texts of several major religions—not because he believed in them, but because ignorance is a terrible thing. So I sat down at the dining room table one day and thumbed through the titles: Rig Veda, Teachings of Confucius, the Koran, and others. What were they offering?
I searched, but there were no epiphanies. It was almost musical, the sound of covers opening, pages whirring as they flipped, and covers slamming shut.
The Bible it was.
“Granddad, what do you have on Daniel?”
I opened my bedroom windows and sprawled out across the floor. Surrounded by study bibles, maps and one ginormous book on world history, I prepared to dive in. The historical symbolism was difficult to understand at first. I wrote pages of notes, tracing the rise and fall of Gentile world empires through the reign of Messiah. So much had been foretold in advance, and the dates of these events were in exact accord with Daniel’s visions.
A great sense of conviction fell over me as I realized what I was reading. The only way for Daniel know about Alexander the Great and his four generals, about the rise of Rome and the revival of its empire in the last days…was for God Himself to have revealed it. The word of God was true! I had no choice. It was Christ or nothing. I lay on my face in prayer…
Later, I returned to Granddad, eager to share some of what I had learned.
“Isn’t it beautiful?” he asked. “There’s so much to learn in the Bible….but you’ve got to dig.”
Studying Daniel was one of the most spiritually enriching times I have ever spent with the Lord. It pushed me beyond skepticism and doubt as I proved the veracity of the scriptures. It strengthened the foundations of my faith, and because I knew that every promise of God would certainly come to pass—it was an absolute certainty.
The Lord knows what it takes to bring each person to a place of confident rest in His promises. For me, it was a revelation of His foreknowledge and omniscience. I was touched by the grace shown to Daniel, who saw God’s plan for the nations unfurled before His very eyes. The prophetic word allows us to live with certainty in an uncertain world, and while there will always be skeptics questioning whether this or that book of the Bible is authentic, those who know the Lord are assured of its living and powerful nature.
My daughter is a toddler. Granddad may not be around long enough to give her the tour of his dining room seminary. That’s why I’m building my own library—partly of his tools, partly of mine. I want to present her with a heritage of studious faith; the kind that is always ready with a defense of the gospel. As for Granddad, I trust that he will arise to stand in his inheritance, just as Daniel will stand in his.
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