You have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
—2 Timothy 3:15
Maybe you have heard the story about the person who sought the Lord’s guidance in a superstitious way. He laid the spine of his Bible on a table, glanced up to heaven, closed his eyes, and let the Bible fall open. Then, with his eyes closed, he stabbed his finger down on a verse. He opened his eyes and read, “He went into a cave and spent the night” (1 Kings 19:9). Then he repeated the process, and his finger fell on the text “Go, and do likewise” (Luke 10:37). Now a bit confused, he tried this method a third time and read, “What you are about to do, do quickly” (John 13:27).
This person aimed to seek God’s guidance, but he got things a little twisted: the passages of Scripture are not to be understood in isolation, at random, or in fragments, but within the context of the stories in which they are found. And difficult passages are to be understood in the light of more foundational passages.
Interpreting the Bible is not a matter of magic. Since all the books of the Bible are inspired by one Author, the Spirit of God, it is not a hodgepodge of contradictory, crazy teachings. If we patiently learn from the Bible, it will make us wise for salvation and train us for a life of serving the Lord.
We are thankful, Lord, for the Scriptures you have given us to teach us your way of wisdom for living. Thank you also for faithful believers who help us understand your Word to us. In Christ we pray. Amen.
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