Philippine Bible Society

Heralding the Exaltation of the Philippines

Inspirational Speech of Bishop Reuben Abante
For the Flag Ceremony at Malacañang, Manila
January 21, 2007
A blessed morning to everyone. It is indeed a privilege to be here with you at the Office of the President, today – at the start of this year’s National Bible Week. To make this year’s observance of the National Bible Week meaningful, this morning’s program shall culminate with the distribution of Bibles to officials and employees of the Office of the President.
Last week, a reporter from the Philippine Daily Inquirer asked me why I was so passionate about distributing Bibles to officials and employees of government. My answer is simple: I want our beloved nation exalted. And my Bible says it is righteousness that exalts nations (Proverbs 14:34). Not politicians, or political parties, or grand economic plans, or far-ranging government projects – no. If ever our country is to rise to greater heights, it shall be because our people have been properly instructed in righteousness and consistently demonstrate in their lives the qualities of being upright and moral. Again, my Bible tells me that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable not just for doctrine, reproof and correction, but more importantly, for instructions in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16).
It is also by the Bible that we learn the secret to heavenly blessings. It is a verse familiar to many of you: Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33).
The Bible is in fact rich with instructions in righteousness. Some of these are as follows:

  • It is by the Bible that we learn that governments were established to do good to the people and that respect for authority is appreciated (Romans 13:1-2);
  • It is by the Bible that kings and rulers are instructed to be just in their dealings (Proverbs 16:12-13; 25:5);
  • It is by the Bible that people of faith are instructed to always seek the peace of the land (Jeremiah 29:7; 1 Timothy 2:1-2);
  • It is by the Bible that judgments against unrighteous lawmakers are pronounced (Isaiah 10:1-2);
  • It is by the Bible that we find truth that liberates us from the chains of sin and provides directions to where we should go (John 8:32);

I am not alone in my unqualified endorsement for the Bible and its high educational value. Consider the statements by the following people regarding the Bible:

  • George Washington remarked that, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
  • Thomas Jefferson described the Bible as “the cornerstone of liberty…students’ perusal of the sacred volume will make us better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”
  • W.H. Seward proclaimed that “The whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever growing influence of the Bible.”
  • While William Penn warned that “If we will not be governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.”

I hope that my short discourse this morning on the Bible and its effects on those who would dare read its contents has helped open your minds and change your outlook for the Good Book. The popular notion that the Bible makes people who read it fools is simply not true. On the contrary, it is the height of foolishness to go through life without reading the Bible – which is God’s Word revealed to man.
If not reading the Bible is sheer foolishness, then reading the Bible is the first step to true wisdom. Let us then be wise. Open your Bibles at home. Read it. Savor each line and verse like it is a love letter from someone who really cares about you – because that’s what it is – God’s very own love letter to man. But don’t take my word for it. Prove God. Search the Scriptures and be instructed in righteousness. And together – taught in Biblical righteousness – this country of ours shall at last be exalted!
May I end this message with this reminder by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 7:24-27:

Matt 7:24-27
24 “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them,
I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25 “and the rain descended, the floods came,
and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
26 “Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine,
and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:
27 “and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house;
and it fell. And great was its fall.” (NKJ)

Thank you and a blessed day to everyone!