We’re reading the Bible through together this year, using the Discipleship Journal Reading Plan published by the Navigators.
Not only is it important to read the Word of God regularly and carefully, since it is God speaking to us – but it’s good to know there are certain rules and tools for reading and interpreting the Word of God accurately.
One of the dangers we can face when reading our Bibles, is that we can focus on individual portions so much, that we lose sight of the whole – and thus lose our way.
When that happens, we can end up distorting Scripture unintentionally.
For example, we can end up elevating one Biblical doctrine disproportionately to others.
Some have done this with doctrines like the sovereignty of God versus the moral responsibility of man.
Err on the one side, and you have a God who only makes puppets with no moral responsibility.
Err on the other side, and man virtually becomes his own God because God exerts no real influence in the world He says He governs.
Or, we might elevate one of God’s attributes above all others and end up distorting HIM!
Consider the love of God.
Scripture does tell us that God is love, but that’s not ALL it tells us about Him.
He is also holy, and just, and cannot ignore sin.
So He’s also the God of justice who will one day punish sin.
A thing He has already demonstrated supremely in the death of Jesus on the Cross.
For those who believe the Gospel and put their trust in Jesus as their sin-bearer – their sin is already punished in Him.
But for those who refuse to believe the Gospel and repent of their sin – they’ll still have to stand before the judgment bar of God and answer for their sins. The greatest of which will be rejecting the Son of God and His rightful claims over them – over all of Adam’s race.
Some have done it by emphasizing only the deity of Jesus, or only His humanity; or think only of His miracles while excluding His natural hunger and weariness; or think only in terms of one little slice of what He taught while ignoring the rest – delighting only in His ethics and not His claims of Godhood.
This is how we can lose our way.
In Joshua 3, the Israelites were to stay 3500′ back from the Ark of the Covenant as they crossed Jordan into Canaan.
The text says they were to do this, because they had never gone this way before.
It’s a great illustration of how a bird’s-eye view is necessary so as to not lose our way.
What a parallel to the Christian life.
How every step of the Christian way – even when it seems obvious, still requires dependence upon the Spirit and the Word.
The Israelites had heard for 40 years about the fact God had given them the land and that they were to go and conquer it.
But, they had never DONE this before.
They couldn’t just rush in and take Jericho.
God had a specific plan for this unique conquest and they needed to look to Him to pursue it, and not assume anything.
And here’s the great difference between presumption and faith.
I pray today the Father will forgive my tendency toward presumption instead of constantly looking to His revelation in the Word, even in what seems obvious. As
says – keep me back from “presumptuous sins.”
Only knowing the Word WELL -will do that.
That’s all for today.
God bless and God willing, we’ll visit again tomorrow.