Understand?

“Nobody ever outgrows Scripture; the book widens and deepens with our years.” -Charles Spurgeon

Do you understand the Bible? I’ve studied it for a long time and admit there are many things I don’t understand. And I think that I am not the only one!

Here are some examples straight from the Bible:

Jesus told his disciples of his coming arrest, death, and resurrection. They didn’t understand, but were afraid to ask. (Mark 9:32)

The man from Ethiopia was reading an Old Testament scroll when Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. His answer: “How can I unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8:31a)

Job didn’t understand why all these bad things were happening to him. (Job 7:17-21)

From these examples, we learn three things:

  1. If we don’t understand something in the Bible, we shouldn’t be afraid to ask the Holy Spirit to help. James tells us God gives wisdom to those who ask.
  2. We should be willing to learn from teachers who know more than we do. That incudes people in the flesh, but also reliable resources in print or on line.
  3. Job teaches there are things we will never understand in this life. Mysteries will remain, but if we trust God, we can be OK with that.

There are some things in the Bible we cannot comprehend, not because God is intentionally keeping secrets, but because we, as humans, don’t have the capacity to understand the majestic mind of God. We also realize there are many things in the Bible we can understand and, with that knowledge, we obey what we read and we draw closer to our Creator. The rest will become clearer in time.

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” – Romans 11:33

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