Knowing Scripture Pt. 1
Why are you here? Not in a proverbial sense of “why do you exist,” but why are you here on this blog? What is your purpose, your motive, for setting aside time to read this entry? My hope is that you are here because you want to gain knowledge and understanding of God and our Lord Jesus Christ. But sometimes our motive isn’t that pure. Sometimes our motive is to check a box, to get a quick shot of the Holy Spirit and move about our day. Yet God is worthy of so much more than that. Everything we do it seems these days is rushed. Relying on Waze to provide us with the fastest route possible. Ordering our food on an app so it’s ready when we pull up. Texting ‘thank you’ instead of calling or sitting down to write a card to mail. Our world hurries us. We hurry ourselves. Yet, God doesn’t hurry us. He beckons us to abide, to wait, to meditate, to rest, to be still.
The portion of the Christian life in which this “hurry up” mentality is hurting us the most is in our studying of Scripture. The Daily Devotionals are getting shorter and shorter. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts have started to serve as our only means of seeing God’s Word – in a charmingly captured picture with a verse in beautifully scripted font. It has been said that our current generation is the most Biblically illiterate generation of all time. Why? Because we have the Bible at our fingertips – which is amazing, but it is causing us to not memorize or spend prolonged time in His Word because we can just Google it. We can just hop on our “YouVersion” app. There are more Bibles now than ever before yet people do not know what they say. If we don’t know what Scripture says, then we certainly can’t know the God who Scripture is wholey about.
WHY KNOW SCRIPTURE?
One of my favorite verses is Exodus 33:13, and it says, “Now then, if I have found favor in Your sight in any way, please let me know Your ways so that I may know You…” Knowing Scripture is how we know God. Let me know Your ways so that I may know You. God in His majestic infinite and incomprehensibility must graciously reveal Himself to us as finite beings with limited knowledge. God does this. God reveals Himself through creation (Romans 1:20), God revealed Himself through His Son, Christ Jesus (Colossians 1:15-20), God reveals Himself through the Holy Spirit (John 14:16–17, 26; 1 Corinthians 12:3) and God reveals Himself to us through His Word. God left nothing to chance. He created the starry heavens to point us to His sovereignty. He sent His Son, Immanuel, to literally live among men. God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell those who put their faith and hope in Christ – who guides us into all the truth, God’s word is truth (John 16:13; 17:17). And, just in case we still don’t grasp the awesomeness of God, in case we forget His faithfulness – He has it all written down for us. John says in his letter in 1 John 5:13, “I have written to you…so that you may know…” If John, a mere mortal, has written down instructions and encouragements in order for the church to remember, would not our good God do the same for us? Matthew in his gospel records Jesus Christ saying this:
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or what person is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf of bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? So if you, despite being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Our God, our good Father, gives us good gifts. Scripture is one of those gifts – a gift of remembrance. Our Ebenezer stone, to remind us of who God is, all He’s done, and all He will do.
GOD WANTS US TO KNOW HIM
God’s Word is written proof that God wants us to know Him. When the first five books of the Bible were written by Moses, the Israelites were wandering in the desert as punishment for their lack of faith, grumbling, and disobedience to God. While they are wandering, God inspires and instructs Moses to write these books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Why have Moses write these books then, during the wandering? Why did God feel like the Israelites needed these books during this specific time? Because the Israelites were about to acquire the Promised Land of Canaan with the pagan, idol-worshiping inhabitants. God starts out Genesis with the infamous verse of, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Knowing when the book of Genesis was written gives significance to this verse. God wanted His people, the Israelites, to know He had created the heavens and the earth. Why? Because the Canaanites would tell the people of Israel something different. They would tell the Israelites one of their many gods had created specific portions of the heavens and the earth. The Canaanites would tell the Israelites who their gods were, what they controlled, how to please them, how to worship them. God wanted the Israelites to know beyond a shadow of a doubt who He was and what He had accomplished so that they would not be misled. God wanted them to know Him and in knowing Him, know the truth. That’s why the first five books – the Law, the Torah – were written – so that the Israelites may know Him. How could the Israelites confidently stand on a foundation of knowledge that had never been laid? How could the Israelites have boldly proclaimed a God who had never fully revealed Himself to them? The Israelites could not have fully known God without Him graciously revealing Himself to them.
The same is true for us. We could not fully know God without Him revealing Himself to us. And we cannot fully know God apart from His Word. God revealed Himself to the original authors of the Bible to their original audiences and it transcends time and distance to reach out to you; to inform your mind and heart of who God is. God has literally orchestrated the universe that we might know Him. Then He went the extra mile by giving us His Son, the Holy Spirit and His written Word.
So why do we think a 30-second devotional will adequately grow our knowledge of our incomprehensible God of the universe? There are no shortcuts in growing in your knowledge of God. Knowing God is a lifelong project. It’s a lifetime of grace-motivated, Holy Spirit led, prayer filled, Bible study. And even then, we will barely scratch the surface of the sovereign, omnipotent, eternal, infinite, incomprehensible God who moved heaven and earth that we may know Him.
So hunker down. Resolve to spend time in God’s Word. Let the Word of God richly dwell within you so that you may know the God who went to great lengths to reveal Himself to you all that you may know Him.
Author – Sarah D.