March 2 I Monday
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” —2 Timothy 3:16-17
The greatest gift God has given to the human race, apart from Jesus Christ, is the Bible. Through Scripture, God reveals His mind and His truth so we can come to know Him, but above all, God reveals His Son through whom we are reconciled to God. As mentioned in the opening verse, all of Scripture is God-breathed, but to make it known to us, God did what He has always done—worked through His people.
There are over 35 writers who penned 66 books of the Bible. They ranged from kings, doctors and prophets to shepherds, fishermen and servants. Each writer wrote with a distinct style, according to the background and historical context in which they were writing. Their contributions consist of various genres: poetry, history, allegory, prophecy, biography and autobiography. It deals with dozens of controversial issues such as marriage, sexuality, truth, lies, sin and judgment. It addresses fundamental questions of life, such as, who is God? What is our purpose on earth? Is there a future beyond this life? Despite the variations, the Bible is a perfectly cohesive narrative from beginning to end. To borrow the words of the English poet John Milton it is about “paradise lost and paradise regained,” as well as all that happens in between.
The NKJV translation of 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God...” This is an accurate statement, but it does not capture the nuance of how God authored Scripture through humanity. The Greek word for “breathe,” pneuma, also means “spirit.” We can think of God breathing His Word through the Holy Spirit so the writers knew what to write. This does not mean God gave them the exact words to put on the page, but that His Spirit directed their writing with the unique dispensation of the writers’ personalities giving us different perspectives, and all are accurate. The authority of Scripture, however, does not depend on its human authors but on God who spoke through them.
This is why it is so important we listen for that still, small voice of the Holy Spirit when reading the Bible. As the ultimate author and authority behind Scripture, God is also its best interpreter. Commentaries, devotionals and sermons can provide insight into biblical history and theology, but we should never allow these to replace intimate time alone with God, as we prayerfully read and meditate on His Word. It is then, the Holy Spirit ministers to us, faithfully highlighting what speaks to us most in the time that we need it most. This draws us nearer to God, enabling us to experience Him and we will discover the written Word becomes the Living Word within us.
Prayer: Eternal Father, thank You for Your Word so I can know You more. Speak to me, Lord, and grant me discernment in understanding what You have to say. Thank You, Lord.