Monday, May 26, 2014

Opened Eyes And Ageless Words

Psalm 119 extols the Word of God by using pithy couplets to illustrate its various effects on individual believers. During my time with the Lord this morning, I spent about 30 minutes in this glorious psalm, highlighting and making notes. I only got through 32 verses, but boy!--did the Lord feed me a prime rib meal!

As I chewed on verses that particularly grabbed my attention, one stood out as the key, first to the psalm, but also to Bible reading as a whole.

Open my eyes, that I may behold
    wondrous things out of your law. ~~Psalm 119:18 (ESV)

The psalmist relied on the Holy Spirit, rather than his own intellectual abilities, to give him a clear understanding of Scripture. This dependence on God's Spirit finds support in Paul's words to the church in Corinth:


Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,
“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—
10 these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11 For who knows a person's thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.
14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. 16 “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. ~~1 Corinthians 2:6-16 (ESV)

When a regenerate believer comes to the Bible, the Holy Spirit helps him understand the text. Notice, however, that the Spirit doesn't speak apart  from or outside of the Word,  but rather that He enables us to understand it. The Spirit doesn't bury truth in the way Gnostic religions (that reserve esoteric knowledge for an elite group) do, but He recognizes that those who reject His authority over them simply won't "get it." Submission to Him gives us a willingness to accept His precepts.

Dependence on the Spirit doesn't excuse us from reading God's Word in context. He won't isolate a fragment of Scripture to give it a "personal meaning." What He said to the First Century Christians continues into the 21st Century unaltered, applying to each of us equally. No secrets. No private whispers.

Yet without the Spirit's assistance, we can read  Scripture only as another piece of literature. We may find certain portions beautiful and inspiring, but we'll fall short of letting its words  transform our thoughts and lives. 

So, as I approach Scripture, I pray for God to open my eyes to the wonders of His Word, so that He can teach me to better love and obey Him. I use my intellect as I study, but I also ask Him to teach me, as He has taught believers through the ages, by opening my spiritual eyes. I trust Him to honor my prayer.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, exactly. It is God's Holy Spirit that breathes life into His words, and it is His Holy Spirit that gently reminds us of His words when we need them most. Before I was saved His words were dry and lifeless on a page. After He entered into me, His words brought life and light to my understanding. He is the never ending supply of oil in my lamp that was running out of my own small supply of oil...the foolish virgins ran out of oil, the wise had plenty but each had to have received their own oil from God Himself. The foolish thought it was something they could buy...but the wise were ready for the Bridegroom with their lamps trimmed and full of oil. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post! I'd love feedback, as long as you attach a name. Disagreement is fine, as long as it is presented respectfully. Please keep comments confined to a maximum of four short paragraphs. Sorry for making to do the Word Verification, but I've been getting too much spam.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...