Understanding the Bible, Part Two

Hey there.

If you're just joining in on the conversation, or if you jumped ahead to the end, first click over here to read part one of Understanding The Bible. For those who have already read it (or if you're being lazy) here's a quick recap:

I earnestly believe that we all genuinely have the heart to want to study and get into the Word but when we crack open the Bible, we get lost. From past experience, when I tried to read the bible on my own, in a version I didn't understand, without a plan and I try to understand, it never worked. Here's why:

  • I tried to read it alone. 
    • The Word wasn't designed to be read alone, get into a Bible-based community.
  • I tried to read it in a version I didn't understand. 
    • Find a version that you'll actually WANT to read, over and over again. 
  • I tried to read without a plan. 
    • Be intentional about your study with God. 

And lastly:

I would try to understand

This, is probably the biggest problem that we ALL face when trying to read the Bible. We are trying to understand it, based off of our own human understanding. Which we can't. This section is going to be a bit wordy, but stay with me until the end, I promise it will make sense:

What we know about the Bible, is that it was written by God. 

Okay.

It was physically written by man, inspired or revealed by God. "All Scripture is inspired by God... " - 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT)

So for us to use our human understanding to read a book written by God, a supernatural being (for lack of a better word), is little silly. We absolutely need His help, to understand His word. 

If you've been reading along with me during my Proverbs Challenge (1 chapter of Proverbs a day for 31 days) then you would have stumbled on this verse by now:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge...
— Proverbs 1:7 (NIV)

Okay. So I need the fear of the Lord to gain knowledge.

So what's the fear of the Lord?

Funny enough, the answer also lies in Proverbs a few chapters down:

Humility is the fear of the Lord...
— Proverbs 22:4 (NIV)

Oh.

The definition of humility: A modest or low view of one's own importance.

So...

The fear of the Lord [humility] is the beginning of knowledge...

Humility is the beginning of knowledge... or:

A modest or low view of one’s own importance is the beginning of knowledge.
— Vina's Translation

To sum it up (who knew you would be getting a math lesson), not until we understand that our own importance needs to be lower than God's importance will we begin to have knowledge. It means that to truly understand, it calls for us to be humble and completely dependent on God for our understanding. I love this verse (also in Proverbs) that helps drive this point home:

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom.
— Proverbs 11:2 (ESV)

It's kind of like taking a test without going to class. If we understood the material without help, there would be no need for the teacher.

God craves relationship with us, so imagine Him being the greatest teacher of all and we never show to class because we understood the textbook on our own. Imagine God looking like your little old papa, showing up with His overly thick glasses on, socks that don't quite match, tweed blazer and the notes He prepared for today's class and no one bothered to show up. I imagine that would break His heart. God wants us utterly and completely dependent on Him, because if we could understand His word without Him, there would be no point to be in relationship WITH Him. 

God will absolutely reveal Himself, His thoughts, and knowledge to you, when you humble yourself and realize that you can't do it without Him. Which as always, is the ultimate point of this walk with God: total dependence on Him. 

I hope this mini series has been helpful for you to better understand this beautiful and complicated book known as the Bible. No other book has been more controversial, no other book has stood the test of time, and it's my absolute belief that no other book will bring you the answers you need. 

As always, thanks for reading.