How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Psalm 119:103
It’s fall- that time of year when Starbucks brings back their “Pumpkin Spice Latte.” It’s been out for a while now, but suddenly pumpkin spice is everywhere, and not just at Starbucks. If you want something that smells like or tastes like pumpkin spice, you can find it. Pumpkin spice has so saturated culture that @ChrchCurmudgeon recently tweeted, “Just picked up my new Pumpkin Spice Study Bible® from @LifeWay!” Pumpkin spice is everywhere these days. So if you’re one of those “pumpkin spice lovers” (or even if you’re not), let the sweetness found in pumpkin spice lattes and pumpkin spice cakes and pumpkin spice muffins and pumpkin spice pancakes and pumpkin spice cookies remind you of the sweetness of the Word of God. Then remember that there are people in this world who don’t have a copy of it. Then remember what William Tyndale went through to make the Bible available to us.
William Tyndale (1494-1536) was a humble, young scholar who became one of the most hunted fugitives ever, pursued by King Henry VIII, Cardinal Wolsey, Sir Thomas More and others. His crime? Translating and circulating the Bible in English! He was caught and killed, but his unquenchable vision was marvelously fulfilled and we now enjoy the fruits of his labor as we read the Bible in our own language.
Tyndale wanted to see the Scriptures available for everyone to read. One day, a priest visiting Little Sodbury openly attacked Tyndale’s beliefs. Tyndale replied, “If God spare my life, before very long I shall cause every plough boy to know the Scriptures better than you do!” Too often, English-speaking Christians take for granted that we have the Bible in our language (not to mention the fact that many of us have several copies, even the Bible on our phones!). Perhaps these statistics from wycliffe.org will enable you to see the great need for God’s Word to be available in every tongue:
almost 7,000 …the number of languages spoken in the world today
more than 1,800 …the number of languages without any of the Bible, but with a need of Bible translation to begin
about 340 million …the number of people who speak the 1,800+ languages where translation projects have not yet begun
nearly 2,200 …the number of translation programs currently at work
nearly 75% …amount of the world’s remaining Bible translation needs that are located in the three areas of greatest need (Central Africa & Nigeria, Mainland & Southeast Asia, Indonesia & The Pacific Islands)
nearly 1,300 …the number of language communities which have access to the New Testament in their heart language
more than 500 …the number of language communities which have access to the entire Bible in the language they understand best
7.125 billion+ …the population of the world
Give thanks today that you have the Bible in your language. Then read it passionately, vigorously, and voraciously! And then pray that God would raise up missionaries to translate the Bible into the languages of the 340 million who still have no copy of God’s Word. And remember that His word is sweeter than pumpkin spice!