When you read the bible, you need the Holy Spirit’s help. I remember reading the book of Job when I was seeking God, but not quite there yet. 33 plus chapters and Job just seemed to have so much self-pity. (By that time, I had learned how to recognize that.) I grew bored with the book and set it aside, not to return for some time…
There are a few things I’ve learned about reading the bible. 1. It is full of types and shadows. The Old Testament hides the New Testament and the New Testament reveals the Old Testament. But in the Old Testament, there are so many pictures of things about God. It’s like he was painting us a picture and he kept adding details in it so we can see, IF we are seeking him. I don’t believe the casual observer will be told the secrets of God. No, Jesus always spoke in parables (in the New Testament) to “those who are on the outside.” He reserved his secrets and explanations to those who drew closer and asked, “what does that mean, Lord?” For instance, in John chapter 6, Jesus tells a group, “unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in yourselves.” Now this was a hard saying. They weren’t cannibals! And the law forbade them to drink blood, so it’s not too difficult to see why they would be troubled by His words. I think a lot of us today would be offended by it. And so, many of the disciples left Him. They couldn’t get past that. It was like Jesus raised the bar one more time and this was the craziest thing He had ever said, and they just couldn’t do it. They dismissed Him then. There were a few left who moved in closer for the explanation. All they knew was that He had the words of Life. They didn’t know where else to go. Have you ever experienced that? You didn’t like what God said, but you didn’t know where else to go for your answer or your comfort, and so, you stayed with God. I have. God sometimes says things to us that make NO SENSE at all!
Ok, back to my list…..Number 2. When you come across something that has been mentioned once already, PAY ATTENTION! This is important. God is saying something. Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, “There is nothing new under the sun. What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. There are patterns in the Bible that are repeated again, things people did and things that happened. It is good to learn from the lives of those people in the Bible; they really did live.
Number 3: Sometimes God may clue you in to a word. You meditate on that scripture and then down the road, you are listening to a teacher or reading and you come across another mention of the same word. Something goes off in your brain when you hear it. It’s like a jigsaw puzzle; you put together pieces that form a whole. Using the word “imputed,” Romans 5:13 says that “until the law, sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law.” In other words, God didn’t hold it against them because He hadn’t given the Law yet. Now go to 1 Corinthians 5:19. “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them…” There’s that word again. It means God isn’t holding the world’s sins against us either! Think about that. God is not mad at the sinner! He’s not holding their sins against them now, just as he didn’t hold it against them before He gave the Law. That is totally awesome! We have to tell them.
Be blessed today and KNOW that God is not holding anything against you!