Tag Archives: understanding the Bible

Surprised By Scripture (Genesis 16, 21)

Ishmael was fourteen years old when Isaac was born. Does that surprise you? How many of us remember that picture on our childhood Sunday School classroom walls of a weeping Hagar, with a baby in diapers under a bush behind her? The Bible does not paint that picture.

Abraham was 86 when Ishmael was born (16:16) He was 100 years old when Sarah gave birth to Isaac (21:5). Fourteen years separated the brothers. When Abraham banished Hagar and Ishmael, Ishmael was a teenager, according to God’s Word..

I am reminded today how important that God’s children read and re-read His Word, put down the commentaries, block out the voice of teachers (and bloggers), and let God speak. Sometimes when we read the Bible, instead of reading God’s Word, we end up reading Charles Stanley’s word, or Kay Arthur’s word, or the word of that dear Sunday School teacher, or the word of the writers of our church denomination’s theology. We read the words on the pages of the Bible, but we hear what others have said instead of hearing the voice of God.

I know God will not give any of us a new revelation, a “truth” not already in Scripture. But I think God would have us read what He wrote and let Him point out what He Himself would say to each of us every time we do.

Last month our Ladies’ Bible Study discovered that Mary Magdalene was NOT an immoral woman. Scripture does NOT identify her as the woman at the well or the woman caught in adultery. Does that surprise you? Read the Gospels and see if you can find Mary Magdalene’s name associated with sexual sin anywhere.

I will tell you it was hard for some of us to let go of the picture of Mary Magdalene as a reformed prostitute. We’d been taught that from childhood. Yet we had to rethink the voices from our past, and accept only what God said about Mary in His Word. It surprised all of us.

God has so much to say to you today. Read His Word and let Him tell you what that is. Don’t assume that the words you are skimming over mean what you’ve always heard they mean. Read with the intention of understanding, and let God reveal Himself to you in a personal, life changing way, according to the Bible.

You may be surprised by Scripture, too!

June 1 -Go Ahead And Read It

Psalm 119:89-176

It makes me sad when I hear someone say they don’t read the Bible because it’s too hard to understand. To me that’s like saying, “I quit eating because I can’t read a recipe.” Or a baby saying, “When I try to walk I keep falling, so I just won’t walk.”

Your handwriting ability improved with practice. You most likely weren’t successful riding that bicycle the first time, either. I imagine you kept trying, didn’t you?

When you realize the God of the Universe wants you to spend time with Him in His Word, that He wrote it with you in mind, that He will give you understanding, you’ll also realize you have no excuse for not reading it.

Verse 174 says: I long for your salvation, O Lord, and Your law is my delight.

Reading the Bible doesn’t have to be like taking that awful spoonful of medicine. Reading the Bible can be something you take delight in! Look forward to. The best part of your day.

I’ve read this precious Book several times, and I can honestly say I learn something every time I open its pages. God didn’t give me the ability to understand everything the first time I read it. He hasn’t given me the ability to understand everything even yet. But He gives me understanding as I am ready to receive it, and at just the right time.

If you aren’t in the habit of reading the Bible, get it out. Go ahead and read it. Pray and ask God to give you understanding (something He is eager to do anyway), then read expecting to have Him open your eyes to exactly what He wants you to know today.

This is God’s love letter to you! Let Him help you understand what He’s done for you. Let Him reveal Himself in the pages you have in front of you. I pray that you will delight in reading and re-reading God’s Word.

Beginning today.