When I was a young preacher student at International Bible College, now known as Heritage Christian University, I had the great privilege of sitting at the feet of a man by the name of Basil Overton. Brother Overton was in his mid-sixties and had been preaching since he was 14. He had a particular interest in stories about mules, but he was full of tales and illustrations of all kinds.
One day when he was sharing some of his anecdotes of collected wisdom, he said something like this to a classroom full of first semester preacher boys, “Young men, you will learn a lot about the Bible while you are in school, but know this: trying to learn everything there is to know about the Bible is like trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. Every time you dip it in, you will take something away, but you are never going to get it all.”
Nearly thirty years later, having spent no small amount of time in Bible study myself, I can confidently say that Brother Overton was right. The vast riches of God’s Holy Written Word are incomprehensible. A lifetime simply is not long enough to be able to reach the bottom of God’s wisdom.
Brother Overton also used the following to illustrate the differences common among Christians in their personal Bible study habits: “Some Christians are like minnows, they never leave the shallows. Some Christians are like whales, they dive deep.” He then said, “Young men…be whales!”
Now, just in case you haven’t noticed, most Christians seem content with being a minnow in the oceans of God’s Word, and believe it or not, this is perhaps the greatest threat the Lord’s church faces today. Brethren, as the New Testament writers implored on numerous occasions, we need to graduate from milk and get to the meat. We need to build something on the foundation of fundamental principles of God’s Word.
The water is deeper than most of us think, so grab your teaspoon little minnow and start diving with the whales! It is time to grow up in the Lord and in the wisdom of His Word.
Commerce church of Christ