Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Difficulties in Interpretation

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Timothy 2:15

A young man told me of his experience in Officers Candidate School. He had disassembled his M-1 Garrand rifle and placed it on a table. A great rifle, but containing a lot of small parts.

Before he was told to re-assemble it, the instructor took the parts and threw them into the grass. He hit a stop watch to see how fast the man could gather the parts and put his rifle back together. It was a test of performance under stress.

Sometimes I think that God has done that to us--those who would rightly interpret His Word. There really is a lot of ambiguity in interpreting single verses, a trap for those who do not look at the parallel scriptures--all of them. Many times this separates the men from the boys in Bible study.

It is so tempting to make quick interpretations, especially when they seem to agree with our pre-formed opinions. Often, a verse will be clarified by reading ahead just a verse or two.

There are a bunch of very vociferous, highly energetic Christians, whose minds are as lazy as a hound dog sleeping on the porch. Bible study is fascinating, but it is not a quick thrill. It can take years to perfect--a drag for those looking for instant answers.

Instead of awing people with your amazing, fleshly conclusions, you will spend a lot of time alone, in silence, just you and the Bible and the Holy Spirit. You will be correcting your own wrong ideas, as you learn God's truth.

I believe God has put traps for the lazy in His Word. They mislead some, and discourage many. But others will be inspired to study further. Like the sleeping hound dog, once you wake him up, he will find the trail.

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