The Blessing of hearing the heartbeat of God in reading the bible logically.
George Methodist Church
Sunday 15th March 2020
8am and 10am
Numbers 6:24 -25
I think that when we look at what is going on in the world right now, it is quite clear that people are being gripped by fear around this corona virus. It’s a sad thing really as we see that there are so many other things way worse that are killing people each day. We are told by the Word that God has not given us a spirit of fear but of love power and a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7
When we read the Word of the Lord we need to allow it to logically navigate the paths of our lives so that we begin to hear the heartbeat of the blessing of God. Please know that we do need to be cautious at this time and aware of washing our hands and hygine, however, don’t isolate yourself to the extent that you lose touch with community.
As we study the topic this morning I want to highlight a text and then work through a process of reading it logically.
Numbers 6 – the blessing finds itself between two parts – the Nazrite instructions and blessings (John the Baptist had this calling on his life)
And the dedication of the temple, Priestly duties and offerings. It hangs inbetween these two but for a very important reason. The Torah was read and no bits were left out and we find ourselves in the space of the law and instruction.
- Consider the context. Often we miss something because as I said two weeks ago that we don’t go into it with a spade to dig deeper – Setting, People,Action, Doctrine, Evaluation.
- Know the difference between interpretation and application. It’s interesting to hear how Francis Chan defines this : “Application depends on our specific life situations, so we may all read the same passage and walk away with different applications. Interpretation, on the other hand, is all about discovering what God has actually said and what He intended to communicate.”
- Find the plain meaning. God meets us in the plain script of our own mother tongue and brings his heartbeat towards us. He finds a connecting point, a story, a directive, a teaching a correction which does not normally need a whole lot of theological professors to diagnose it and then apply it to our lives. I think that commentaries and research is good,don’t get me wrong, but there is also the gentle whisper of Almighty God speaking to us – deep calling deep. Psalm 42.
- Take the bible literally and with caution – metaphors, poems, history, prophecy parables etc…
- Grammar in the bible is essential to understand and to keep wide awake to. We can so easily misinterpret what we are reading by just missing a beat in this regard. 2 Tim 2:15 rightfully handling the Word of Truth.
- Historical context is a powerful and beautiful thing to study. To look back into the heart of History, you start to realise where different people were and what was going on and how God steps into this bringing the heartbeat of His blessing.
- Let go of your baggage. We all carry a lot of stuff around from our past and this often defines the way we read the bible – our own backgrounds and traditions have told us that we can only hear the Word in a certain way and that’s it but it might be a whole lot more than that which is at the heart of the Lord wanting to bring you into a whole new and brilliant vista of HIS TRUTH which will set you free. Not a doctrine or statement which came from somewhere else other than if it was hugely helpful.
I am always moved and touched by the blessing of meeting with the Lord in a special time each morning and working through the bible in one year as a discipline tool for myself. I want to encourage you to take a more spiritual journey into your quiet time. Be expectant that the God who created the universe is going to speak to you and allow Him to.
We have a meeting with the author each morning – what an honour. If we had the chance to sit with Shakespeare or Tolstoy or Peterson can you just imagine that !!! We have the honour of sitting with the Creator of the universe and he brings instruction and direction each day. Now that’s a privelege !!!!