Today, our son Aidan competed in a local competition of the 4th annual Bible Bee. What is Bible Bee? It is a student competition where contestants memorize Bible passages and study a book of the Bible in order to demonstrate Bible knowledge. This year, the students had to memorize 25 passages (not verses!). They also spent 10 weeks doing an inductive study of the book of Second Timothy.
At the competition, each student had to recite, on demand, up to 20 of the passages within 12 minutes. Then they had one hour to answer 200 multiple choice questions about 2 Timothy, the verses they memorized, and any related study verses from their study. This is not your simple Sunday School Bible memorization. Passages included Ephesians 6:10-18, Job 6:14-21, and Galatians 1:11-17. (Take a second to see that these are not simple passages.) This was a serious undertaking for Aidan and our family. We are so impressed with Aidan’s work. In one of our practice sessions, Aidan ripped off 17 passages in 12 minutes, needing very few prompts. What a joy to hear how much of God’s Word is stored in Aidan’s heart!
Then, I went to our local competition and saw the rest of the students and families. There were about 40 students from age 7-17 who also studied 2 Timothy and memorized the passages. Thirty or so families in our area considered the Scriptures so important that they would commit their summers to studying and memorizing them. Nationwide, over 7000 students were signed up to compete. (The three hundred best will go to a national competition in November.) Meeting these students and families gives me hope for coming generations. Others may look down at today’s students and despair. I look at these students and know that God’s Word will continue to impact our world for good through their lives and families. It reminded me of God’s words to Elijah when he despaired that he was the only one left serving God in Israel. God said, “Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” (I Kings 19:18)
Kudos to these families for taking on the responsibility to pass down their faith and train their children. These intense efforts will not be in vain.
Aidan did not place in the top five for his division. However, we still celebrated his hard work and his endurance. Though he wanted to give up because it was hard, he persevered and made us proud.
A final note: 14 of the 15 winners were females. I’m not sure why more guys didn’t compete and win. However, we told Aidan to remember that Bible Bee might be a great place to meet a Godly woman (with a great family), later when he takes an interest in girls.
So, if you needed a shot of hope about the future, consider the fine families involved in Bible Bee and do not despair.