Valuing the Word of God
"Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light to my path." (Psalm 119. 103)
For a long time I was content to use my computer completely under the direction of our two sons. The manuals on the bookshelf were rarely opened. The instructions with the computer programmes were virtually a 'closed book' to me. I was quite happy and willing to be 'spoon fed' by two very willing and patient experts. But they wisely began to nudge me into learning for myself and now I am grateful that they did. They are still available when I really need help, meanwhile I explore and experiment.
Christians sometimes have the same attitude toward the Bible. It decorates the bookshelf and it's nice to follow the preacher when it's read in Church but personal discovery, alone with God seems too difficult. Such believers miss much. God's Word is a challenging book. It challenges our thinking and our attitudes. Led by the Holy Spirit the Word changes us if we are obedient to God leading us in our study. Our Father speaks to us in many ways but His Word is our touchstone and those 'other ways' can be checked for correct understanding by reference to the Bible.
So why study the Bible? Is it not sufficient to just read it and accept it. As with any subject or discipline that we wish to understand clearly, its sensible to study 'the literature'. The Bible was written by a number of people in different eras of history and in different languages from our own. By study we saturate ourselves with Scriptures so that at critical moments such as temptation, like Jesus, we can answer the Devil with God's Word. So we become skilful in using the Sword of the Spirit. By study we can compare how God revealed Himself to various people about His plan through the Ages and we can see how that revelation developed. Passages of Scripture can be obscured by ancient languages and long forgotten cultures.
Prayer is vital to the study of God's Word and enables us to make it a practical study. Let us thank our Heavenly Father that he had provided teachers in churches and families who encourage us to learn from the Bible.
"All scripture inspired by God is also profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." (2 Timothy 3.16,17)