Ask The One Who Wrote It
A man wrote a note expressing his views on a particular subject. He sent this note to some of the people he knew to get their opinion. The people that received it read the note, and afterward, they started to discuss its content. They were many opinions about what they believed the note said. It continued like this for days, and no one got back to the author. Finally, they gave the note to a man known for his practical wisdom. He read it as the people waited. The reader nodded when he finished reading. The people asked him, "Well, what do you think?" The reader said, "I think this is worth pondering. It could be interpreted in many ways. So I do not know…" They all waited to see if he said something else. Then suddenly, the man spoke, "Well, you all know me to be very practical. And I think this needs a practical solution." "And that is?" asked the impatient crowd. The man said very matter-of-factly, "Well, I am going to find the person who wrote this note and ask him personally what he meant by this." The man left the premises to find the author of the note.
Meanwhile, the crowd stood in place quietly, mumbling, "Why did we not think of that?" I believe the Bible presents a similar situation. When we read it, we do not readily understand it. So, we discuss and philosophize amongst ourselves what we think God meant. But, we do not ask God Himself what He meant in His Word.
This week's scripture reading makes a bold statement: "All scripture is given by inspiration of God" 2 Timothy 3:16. In Biblical Greek, the word inspired is translated from the word "theopnuestos." This term means, "God breathed out..." In other words, God exhaled the writings of the Bible on the authors. God did this, not by giving the authors of the Biblical books inspired words, but by inspiring the writers. One of my favorite writers elaborates on this,
The Bible is written by inspired men, but it is not God's mode of thought and expression. It is that of humanity. God, as a writer, is not represented. Men will often say such an expression is not like God. But God has not put Himself in words, in logic, in rhetoric, on trial in the Bible. The writers of the Bible were God's penmen, not His pen. Look at the different writers. It is not the words of the Bible that are inspired, but the men that were inspired. Inspiration acts not on the man's words or his expressions but on the man himself, who, under the influence of the Holy Ghost, is imbued with thoughts. But the words receive the impress of the individual mind. The divine mind is diffused. The divine mind and will is combined with the human mind and will; thus the utterances of the man are the word of God. (Selected Messages, book 1, p. 21)
So when God exhaled to these Holy men, they "spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit" 2 Peter 1: 21. The power that God used to give life to Adam when God "breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul" (Genesis 2:7), is the same power God used to inspire the authors of the Bible. This power gave life to man, and also gives life to the Words written in the Holy Writ.
So, the Bible belongs to the Spirit of God. The Bible is a Spiritual thing. And, Spiritual things are "spiritually discerned" (1 Corinthians 2:14). Only those who have received that Spirit of God understand the things of the Spirit. Only those who receive the Spirit can discern spiritual things. To understand the Bible in its purest simplest form –as the Truth as it is in Jesus - we need the same breath that God gave to those who wrote it. If the Holy Spirit is the author, and He dwells in us, then He should be able to tell us exactly what He meant when then men He inspired wrote as moved by Him.
The Bible says that "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him" (James 1:5). Jesus Himself says to all,
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Matthew 7:8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
To the above quote, the Apostle James may have added, "Ye have not, because ye ask not" James 4:2. Jesus also said that the Father is more than willing to give us the Holy Spirit if only we ask for Him (Luke 11:13). Will we continue to discuss amongst ourselves? Or, will we go back to the One that wrote it and let Him breathe His heavenly wisdom upon us?