Enjoying the Journey
“Why didn’t I see that? Where did that preacher get the understanding of that passage…and how could I have missed it?”
Sound familiar? We have all had these questions. Perhaps you have had the experience of reading a well-known Scripture and suddenly seeing something you did not see before. This is the adventure of God’s truth. It was there all along, but there is always more to discover.
Sometimes it is passages that are most familiar that are most neglected. We have read it hundreds of times. It could be recited from memory. Dozens of sermons have been given on the same verses. And, yet…could it be that there is more God has for us?
The more I study the Bible the more I am convinced that you can never exhaust the infinite God! God’s Word is a mine of truth. No matter how deeply you dig you only begin to scratch the surface of the divine resources found there. Like a deep well, every time you draw from its water you will find it perennially fresh.
Maybe it is time to go back to the familiar texts and read them again. Do more than read them – pray your way through them! You will find that a conversation with the Author will open your spiritual understanding as nothing else can.
The Puritans taught that every Scripture had four levels: A narrative level, a theological level, a worshipful level, and an application level. We may come to a text with a historical approach, a prophetical approach, or a practical approach. There is also a personal approach: what does God have to say to me this day from this passage?
God’s Word never changes. It’s meaning is not subjective. However, on any given day the Holy Spirit can press something to your heart in a way that you have never known. He has an amazing way of matching our current situation to His eternal truth. The God of inspiration is the God of illumination. The Spirit of God applies the truth. Ancient truth comes near. Eternal truth is made personal.
Indeed it is possible to have an unfruitful knowledge of Scripture (2 Peter 1:8). Remember that it was the religious leaders of the day, who spent more time in the Scriptures than anyone, and presumed to teach them to others, who failed to truly discern God’s meaning! No wonder the Psalmist prayed, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law” (Psalm 119:18).
Take the example given to us in Acts 17. The Athenian academia “spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing” (17:21). This is our world! Enamored with novelty. On the other hand stands the Berean believers who “received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so” (17:11). It is not some new thing we are looking for! It is a fresh look at eternal truth.
Thomas Fuller wrote in Good Thoughts In Bad Times,
Lord, this morning I read a chapter in the Bible, and therein observed a memorable passage, whereof I never took notice before. Why now, and no sooner, did I see it? Formerly my eyes were as open, and the letters as legible. Is there not a thin veil laid over Thy Word, which is more rarefied by reading, and at last wholly worn away?…I see the oil of Thy Word will never leave increasing whilst any bring an empty barrel. The Old Testament will still be a New Testament to him who comes with a fresh desire of information…How fruitful are the seeming barren places of Scripture. Bad ploughmen, which make balks of such ground. Wheresoever the surface of God’s Word doth not laugh and sing with corn, there the heart thereof within is merry with mines, affording where not plain matter, hidden mysteries.
Perhaps it is time to go over some old ground again and take a fresh look. God makes divine appointments for you to meet Him in His Word every day. I wonder what will He show you today?