Digging Deeper into Proverbs 19(c)


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Proverbs 19:15 Slothfulness casts into a deep sleep, and an idle person will suffer hunger.

Does the Bible fail to feed and satisfy you? One area to examine, is to find out if perhaps you are not putting much energy into mining out its treasures. God makes them available to us and gives us title to them, but we must take up the labor involved in digging them out and making them our own.

This is not to ignore that there are those with genuine learning disabilities and the like. Nor is it to ignore that some passages are more engaging than others, and some far more complex and difficult than others. It is to say that for many (if not most of us) we’re only getting out of the Word of what, the amount of effort we are putting into reading it. We cannot just casually read it and let it go. We must be in earnest in thinking about it, hunting down important words, thoughts and arguments, considering the personalities as real people within a certain context and not idealizing or even mythologizing them – and looking for Christ in every place.

The more we neglect duties, the more oblivious we will become to the disastrous results which such neglect brings upon us. We will feel the pain. But when even pain is let go for a very long time, we stop connecting the discomfort as having its origin in our own neglect.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, the smaller amounts of the Word we interact with, the more boring it becomes. The more we read it in larger swaths at a time, the less we lose context. In bits and pieces we lose the sense of how the passage we are reading fits into the larger picture. Disconnected phrases and axioms can take on a life of their own and we can begin to impute meanings to various portions that just aren’t there. Only larger and larger circles of context can help us understand each portion correctly.

One glaring example of how this works was driven home to me just yesterday while watching a teaching video. The instructor asked his class: “Why did Jesus come into the world?” To be fair, he was looking for a specific answer out of the Gospel of John 18:36-38. But the way the question was asked implied something else – that there was only one answer to the question. The problem with that is that in the Gospels together Jesus Himself makes no less than 14 explicit statements about why He came to earth. And to answer a question like the one the Instructor asked we must take into account all that the Scripture says on the topic, and not put the full weight of our answer on only one (interestingly enough, the last) statement from Jesus in that regard.

We have said all of the above to arrive at this: If you would have a soul that is regularly being refreshed, and I not famished for the truth in Christ which is meant to satisfy us in ways we’ve not even begun to discover yet – we cannot be Biblical couch potatoes. We must be about the work, and yes, the sometimes very hard and arduous work – of digging up and then taking in what the Spirit has breathed out for us to be nourished upon.

Slothfulness sin this regard makes the soul and the mind sluggish and unaware and certainly unproductive, like in a deep sleep. Those who live like that will suffer unending hunger with no satisfaction to be had. All this, when the Bread of Life has been broken for us, and is there for the taking.

Oh beloved – feast your soul on Him today!

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