The preacher speaks about the necessity of all Scripture and people politely nod their heads. We read, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…” and everyone gives a hearty “Amen!” Yet, when it comes to our actual attention to the Word of God the scope is often much more limited.
We have our favorite passages. Let’s face it, there are some books that are just easier to understand! But if we truly believe in the inspiration and preservation of all Scripture, shouldn’t we seek to find God’s message to us in every part of His Word?
In a proper interpretation of Scripture we understand that certain portions are addressed specifically to certain groups of people. One example of this would be the covenant promises given to Israel. While the promises are for the chosen nation alone, there is a revelation about God in them that is for all of us.
It has been aptly said that while all Scripture is not written to us it is all written for us. Remember that the Bible is simply God’s revelation of Himself. On every page of God’s Word there is something that the Lord wants us to know about Him!
This is why New Testament Christians still find so much help in the Old Testament. As we work to make accurate interpretation of Scripture, we must not fail to find the personal application of it to our own lives. Last Sunday, I preached all day from the book of Leviticus. I am so glad that we are not bound by the legal code that was given to Israel! So…do we simply ignore a whole section of the Bible by saying it is for others?
No! We must personalize the foundational truth. Let me illustrate. Through Leviticus I was reminded that while we are not bound by the regulations we are still guided by the revelation. Here are a few takeaways God has given me from Leviticus…
- God is holy.
- God wants a holy people.
- God expected His people to leave Egypt behind. (19:1-2)
- God expected His people to be different than the people around them who did not know Him.
- God measures holiness by what we do as well as what we don’t do – how we treat the needy, the poor, etc.
- God says holiness is for us and for our families. We are responsible both to live it and teach it to our children.
- God takes sin very seriously and we should take Him very seriously.
Do not ignore Scripture; seek God in it! The Puritans taught that there were levels of understanding in every passage, beginning with the historical and theological but culminating in the devotional and personal.
Begin by identifying God’s message to the original audience, but do not stop there. Find God’s message for you. Come to the Word with this prayer, “Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth” (1 Samuel 3:9). That is a prayer that God will answer.