November 5 I Tuesday
“Teach me, LORD, the way of Your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep Your law and obey it with all my heart.”
When building our interpretation on the Word of God from the ground up by looking at the words, the sentence, the paragraph and the subject, the next level to consider is the book. The Bible is made up of 66 books, with 39 books in the Old Testament and 27 books in the New Testament. Although all the books have an overarching theme about God, the fourth unit of truth is that each book has its own purpose.
For example, some parents like to claim this verse as a promise, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV). This verse is found in the Book of Proverbs. What is a proverb? “A stitch in time saves nine” is an example of a proverb, where a proverb is a generally true statement. Although it is proverbially true that parents can bring their child up in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it, that verse is not a promise God has made. Another verse in Proverbs says, “A foolish son brings grief to his father and bitterness to the mother who bore him” (Proverbs 17:25). Parents could have a fool as their son, bring him up well but he has turned his back. We cannot turn proverbs into promises.
Another example, “Surely the fate of human beings is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: as one dies, so dies the other….humans have no advantage over animals. Everything is meaningless” (Ecclesiastes 3:19). We find throughout the Book of Ecclesiastes the word “meaningless” echoed about 36 times. But we must bear in mind the theme of Ecclesiastes is about a humanistic perspective on life. Only in the last chapter do we find the true purpose of life, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” and “…fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind” (Ecclesiastes 12:1, 13).
Lastly, if we were asked what the Book of Revelation is about, one may answer, “the end times.” We tend to read Revelation and interpret it in light of what is happening now in our current world. Yet, if we read the first verse of that book, we will come to know what it is truly about: “The revelation of Jesus Christ…” (Revelation 1:1, ESV). The end-time scenario illustrates the supremacy of Jesus Christ, so in every part of reading the Book of Revelation look for Christ.
When we read Scripture, the fourth hermeneutic practice we must be mindful of is the purpose behind
Prayer: Father God, thank You that I can know more of You through Your Word. Guide me as I read to know Your heart more deeply.