A Story About Us
"Jesus did not say anything to them without using a parable." (Matt. 13:34)
The truth is that the Bible can be confusing, challenging and frustrating, at least when taken strictly on a literal level. Perhaps this is why a 2009 Neilsen survey showed that only 27% of Australians believe it is meant to be taken literally. We believe that the Bible was written by people who were inspired by God to do so because the stories they would write will carry meaning for all of humanity.
Think about the development of an average person...starting off in life we experience the wonderful world of childhood innocence. Children don't worry about retirement plans, politics, or even how the next meal is going to show up. They just enjoy playing. As time passes, children grow older and slowly become adapted to the realities of growing up. Almost without fail, there is some sort of emotional damage inflicted, to varying degrees, upon all children. So we learn coping mechanisms to deal with life. All this is normal, but sometimes the coping mechanism that was meant as short term solution becomes habit. Then over time we start identifying the habit as part of who we are and we struggle to break free of it.
This basic story is the same story that the Bible give us in the first two books, Genesis and Exodus. Genesis depicts two people living in paradise, much as we are as children. As we develop, we learn various things about life, including some things that work out, and some things that don't. However, when there is famine in the land we go to Egypt. Egypt is fine for a while, and Egypt offers some good things. The problem is when we fail to grow out of that state of life and become slaves in Egypt.
The story of the Children of Israel coming out of Egypt and walking through the desert depicts our process as we start changing to become better people. At first we don't really trust God's power, and we feel that we've given up everything good in our life and are now walking through a wilderness. But just as God guides the Israelites to Canaan, He does everything He can to guide us to heaven and eternal happiness.
So yes, the Bible is confusing, frustrating, and sometimes is inconsistent with itself...much like every one of us! And it is that way because it is a picture of you, your emotions and your spiritual growth process.