pastor friend once said to me. I agree. Like watching a good flick, reading the Bible a few times opens up a fascinating realm of things missed on a first or second pass. This exploration can continue for a life time if you just keep reading the Bible. It's a supernatural interconnected single story, woven together through the merciful revelation of God to his creation over the course of about 2,000 years through forty or so human authors. (More technically, the Bible is God's divinely authored revelation of himself to his people, written through his people. It's a complex dual authorship!) And it is the Holy Spirit who illuminates new things as you read, learn, and grow; therefore, as you keep reading you grow more and more convinced of the truth of God's Word, the Bible.
Evidence of the Bible's interconnectedness abounds. I've not done a formal study or count, but I'd venture a guess that there are thousands of passages that point to other passages in one way or another and they all point toward Christ. We'll use 1 Chronicles 28:9 as an example.
Chapter 28 of 1 Chronicles opens with David, the king of Israel, giving a speech to the officials assembled in Jerusalem. He tells them that he had a heart to build a temple for God but God had not allowed him to do so. He also expressed that Solomon, his son, was chosen by God to be his successor and it will be Solomon who will build the temple. At verse 9 David shifts his speech directory toward Solomon. He gives him a charge and some instruction. "And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever" (ESV).
I found well over 100 cross references for the various aspects of this passage, but for the sake of this post, I'll only deal with a couple parts of this very loaded verse, and even in that, I'll only provide a small sample of interconnected verses.
First, much of the Old Testament talks about God in terms of the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, or in other terms--the God of our fathers. Many times the God of one's father becomes one's own God, as if there's a transition from one to another or a personal acceptance or relationship as the son grows and begins to know the God of his father for himself. God is no longer the God of someone else, but personal. This talk of the God of our fathers as well as the transition can be seen in verses like Genesis 28:13, Exodus 3:16, and Exodus 15:2. In 2 Kings 21:22 Amon walks away from the God of his fathers, whereas Josiah does walk in the way of the God of David, that is, the God of his fathers (1 Kings 22:2). This language is found over and over again until Christ walks among his people and actually calls God his Father! No longer is the worship and service to the God of our fathers, but the Heavenly Father himself. Then, because of Jesus, we too are able to call God our Father because we are adopted into his family (Romans 8:15, 23; 9:4; Galatians 4:5; and Ephesians 1:5).
Next, as early as Genesis 6:5, the Bible indicates that God knows the thoughts and intentions of man. 1 Samuel 16:7, at the time when they boy David was being identified as Israel's king, it is said that God does not look at the outward appearance, but at man's heart. Psalm 7:9 identifies God as one who tests minds and hearts. Psalm 139:2 says that God can even discern these thoughts from a distance. The idea of testing thoughts and intentions is present again in Jeremiah 11:20 and again in Jeremiah 17:10. So it should help us see that Jesus is God when he has this very ability. In John 1:47 Jesus looks into the deep of Nathanael. Repeatidly, Jesus knew what the Pharases were thinking as well as his disciples (see: Matthew 9:4; Matthew 12:25; Luke 1:51; Luke 5:22; Luke 6:8; and Luke 11:17). And the disciples new and believed that God searches the heart as is evident in Acts 1:24. Paul also writes about it in Romans 8:27.
Jeremiah 29:13 says that seekers of God find him. Jesus, as the Messiah and God, repeats the same seek and you will find theme in Matthew 7:7-8, and in Revelation 3:20 he extends an invitation for a relationship. Throughout both the Old and New Testaments there are repeated invitations to enter into a relationship with God, no longer serving the God of our fathers but the Heavenly Father himself.
It is because of the interconnectedness that we use the Bible to interpret the Bible. The more plain passages help us understand the more complex ones. The connections between the books, the players, and various smaller stories help us understand the larger story of God's redemption. It's all interconnected. It's one story woven together like a beautiful basket.
*Photo of weaved basket by Damian Gadal is registered under a creative commons license and is used with permission.