Obedience to His word gives Understanding

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  • Post published:December 19, 2020

God reveals His truth to us—His sheep—through the word by His Spirit that He has given us (1 Corinthians 2:10-12). There are deeper things of God that we won’t be able to figure it out on our own (Acts 8:30-31), and God will be delighted to reveal them to us in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:1; Luke 8:9-10) through whatever means He sees fit, and that can include commentaries and other studies. In the meantime, let God prepare your heart, and let Him sanctify you through His word (John 17:17). The hardest and most difficult part of the Bible is not the part that we don’t understand, but the ones that we do. The texts that we do understand are always a challenge, for it bids us to lay down our pride and to walk in humility before God and men (Acts 24:16). The commands we find throughout the Scriptures are there not to exalt self but to crucify it.

We don’t need commentaries to tell us that God wants us to honor our parents, to show mercy, to live justly, for example. He has shown and made it clear to us.

Micah 6:8 (NKJV)
He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the LORD require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God?

And those things which are revealed belong to us, that we may do all the words of the law (Deuteronomy 29:29). “Of making many books” and commentaries “there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh. Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12-14) When you do, you will have more understanding than all your teachers and the aged because His words are your meditation, and His precepts you keep! (Psalms 119:99-100). In other words, obedience to His word promotes understanding (John 7:17, 8:31-32, 13:17; Colossians 1:10). The scribes and pharisees preach, but do not practice (Matthew 23:1-3), and hearers only are deceived (James 1:22). This is why they understand not because His word finds no place in them (John 8:37-38 cf. James 1:21).

Don’t become those that handle His word, but don’t know Him (Jeremiah 2:8). They search the Scripture, but don’t have the love of God in them (John 5:39-42). They desire to be teachers of the word, but understand nothing (1 Timothy 1:5-7). Knowledge acquired through much learning can puffs up (Romans 8:1). So boast not in our knowledge and wisdom, but in understanding and knowing Him (Jeremiah 9:23-24), because eternal life is to know the Father and His beloved Son (John 17:3). Commentaries, Study Bibles and higher learning can be useful, but they can also take away the joy and fun of reading the word and encountering God for yourself. It can be very intellectual and dry. I didn’t know anything about commentaries or dictionaries until a few years later after I got saved, and looking back now, I thank God that it went that way for me because I got to encounter and know God personally. He has put life and fire in me that is still burning today, and no study bible, commentary or school can ever do that.

Draw closer to God, and as you grow in sanctification, you will also grow in knowledge and understanding (Colossians 1:10; 2 Peter 3:18). Later when you dig deeper and consult commentaries and other studies, you don’t have to worry about going down the wrong path because by then you have come to know the Shepherd of your soul.

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