Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Choosing your Diving Location

It is my firm belief that

Every part of Scripture is

God-breathed and

useful one way or another -

showing us truth,

exposing our rebellion,

correcting our mistakes,

training us to live God's way.

Through the Word of God

we are put together and

shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

(2 Timothy 3:16,17 Message)

Now, I also understand that many people (yours truly included) have gotten lost in the deep weeds of genealogies, or laws, or even certain imageries that seem to be waaaay beyond our ability to grasp (try Ezekiel 1 if you don't believe me). However, rather than throwing the entire book across the room and leaving it there to collect dust-mites and attract silverfish, I have been encouraged to be patient, stick with what the Lord Jesus has revealed and explained, and slowly build on this knowledge and understanding until He illumines the more obscure portions of the Scriptures. As a result, the margins of my Bible are filled with question marks to be addressed at some later date according to God's wisdom and timing.

This approach has served me very well over the years. Believe it or not, many, many of those questions have been answered to my intensely argumentative satisfaction! And now you can toss me just about anywhere between the covers of my Bible, and I would find the diving location oh, so deliciously satisfying the effort and very much living up to the promise of 2 Timothy passage I quoted above.

In the spirit of intentionality and being systematic, we must address the issue of going back to the beginning, since the beginning is generally a good place to start.

Now, I must add a disclaimer here. I took probably a decade or so to read through the New Testament over and over again after I had my initial head-on collision with Jesus Christ. During that decade I paid quick visits to more familiar portions of the Old Testament - like Psalm 23, the Book of Proverbs, famous quotes from the Book of Isaiah, and, O.K. I admit I was sneaking into Song of Solomon under my bed cover, even though I wasn't married at the time.

Having finally gotten to a place where I felt I could trust the heart and the brains of the Author of this book, I got to a place where I felt I could go to the Book of Genesis without my deeply ingrained former atheist, 'scientific' bias totally warping my perception and give it a fair shot as to the possibility of how it all started.

And even with all this, the scoffer in me would still argue from time to time, and roll my eyes, and dismiss altogether the revelation of the first few pages of the Bible.

Now, I promise you, if this is the attitude of your heart and your intellect as you approach God's Word, you are wasting your time. You'll get NOTHING out of it, and you will be worse off for reading it, than not reading it at all. My friendly recommendation to you is, "Stop it!" No one has argued with God and ever won the argument. And, trust me, you are not going to go into history as the first... just one in the string of many ignorant idiots who tried and failed to their own demise.

Anyway, having failed many a time in my arguments with my Creator, I finally got my attitude adjusted as to the issues of arrogance, prejudice and bias. I was ready at last to actually benefit from the most amazing story unfolding before my very eyes.

And so, Genesis, the late bloomer in my study of God's Word becomes one of my "favorite children".

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