All of us can easily look at Scripture through the lens of our experience. Our background, our upbringing, and our culture all color how we view anything, including God’s Word. So, a Christian raised among a culture of warring tribes in Africa, will view certain sections of the Bible very differently than someone who has lived in, say, Switzerland, and has never known war during their lifetime.
So, in a culture like ours – where the individual is prized above all else – that entire idea becomes very dangerous. The reason I say this is because, if we look honestly at the Bible – in specific passages, but also in its general entirety – we are presented with a very different view than the one our autonomous, individualistic society gives us.
Firstly, we see that the overall focus of Scripture is on God. Certainly there are stories of various people throughout the pages of the Bible, but woven into those stories are God-encounters. The Almighty shows up in the midst of all of those individual stories. The primary focus throughout the Book is God Himself.
Second, the picture that Scripture paints about people is not so much a picture of individuals as it is a picture of family. We see the positive and the negative aspects of people’s interactions with one another. We glimpse how to do relationships correctly and also how to do them wrongly. The Lord allows us to see those aspects clearly and repeatedly throughout the Bible because they are so primary to His creation.
The message we receive in seeing those relational aspects is important. Life isn’t just about me flying solo. I’m not at the center of everything. Far more important, far more central to God’s plan is that we – collectively – are His children. And, as such, our interactions with one another – our shared family life together – is primary.