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Honoring God’s Word

June 15, 2012

Did you know today is Flag Day? If you didn’t, don’t feel bad. You are not alone. I had no idea, myself, until Nicole reminded me this morning that she and I needed to attend a Flag Day program at Moriah’s elementary school.

I did a little looking into the history of Flag Day, and I discovered that it has been around for quite a while. President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation in 1916 that officially established June 14 as Flag Day, and that proclamation was formally accepted by an Act of Congress in August of 1949.

The program at Moriah’s school consisted of several patriotic songs and the recitation of certain facts about our nation’s flag. Several of the children listed rules for handling the flag correctly, and I found that particularly interesting, since I hadn’t realized how persnickety it all was. When I got home, I decided to look up those rules. Here’s what I found out:

Federal law addresses flag etiquette. This section of the law is referred to as the Flag Code. Here are just a few examples of the stipulations found in that part of the law:

  • The flag should be lighted at all times, either by sunlight or by an appropriate light source.
  • The flag should not be used for any decoration in general. Bunting of blue, white and red stripes is available for these purposes. The blue stripe of the bunting should be on the top.
  • When the flag is lowered, no part of it should touch the ground or any other object; it should be received by waiting hands and arms. To store the flag it should be folded neatly and ceremoniously.
  • When the flag is so worn it is no longer fit to serve as a symbol for our country, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner.

Those are just a few examples of the stipulations. Wow. But it makes sense. It’s appropriate.

As I listened to the children recite the rules for the proper treatment of the flag, I found myself thinking about the Bible and the way people treat it. It is my observation that some Christians, people who would never lay the American flag on the floor, casually lay their Bibles on the floor. Some folks toss their Bibles carelessly about, treating them almost like the latest bestselling paperback from Wal-Mart. And I find myself wondering whether such actions manifest a proper attitude towards God’s Word.

I do not want to set rules for how we handle our copy of God’s Word. I’m not into that sort of thing. I understand that there may be times when it is necessary to place one’s Bible on the ground. Indeed, one’s Bible may become tattered through use, and that is a wonderful thing.  Still, though, I believe that our treatment of the Bible should reflect our reverence for God and our gratefulness to Him for giving us life in Christ Jesus.

So, no rules. I simply encourage you today to remember all God has given you in your Bible and to treat it with the respect it deserves.

God’s Word is a lot more valuable than a flag. Amen?



  • A Letter to the Church from Billy Graham. In this article, Ed Stetzer shares a letter from Billy Graham included as a forward in his “The Mission of God Study Bible.” I appreciate Billy Graham’s integrity and faithful ministry through the years, and I was encouraged by his letter. I think you will be too. Read it at:

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