Monday, September 18, 2017

READING THE BOOKS OF THE BIBLE CAN BE DIFFICULT TO UNDERSTAND AND WITHOUT THE BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE MUCH DOES NOT MAKE SENSE. But The Bible Does Not Have To Read With The Mindset Of Someone Seeking To Become A Biblical Scholar. Everybody can read the Bible from a devotional point of view and allow the Spirit of God to teach us what we need to know from its pages that are relevant to us at the time. This is especially the case with the Old Testament, more so than the New Testament.

People read the Bible for different reasons. Some read the Bible because they are looking for contradictions. Others read the Bible just to say that they have read it. Philosophically minded people may read the Bible to see whether there is a philosophy to be found within its pages, or texts to justify their own belief system. Theologically minded individuals may read the Bible looking for texts to further justify the dogmas of their sectarian persuasion. People who are seeking to know what the Bible has to say about the reality of God’s existence, may find themselves taking a devotional approach to reading its pages.
A person seeking to understand the truth of the Bible may inquire into its historical and archaeological proofs. This will include learning ancient Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic—even other ancient languages of that era. On the other hand, a dishonest person will reject the Bible and even claim scholarship—true scholars seek truth and will leave no stone not turned to find it; especially, if presented with evidence that the historical account of Exodus has been verified and Noah’s Ark has been found, along with many other archaeological proofs.

Regardless of how anyone approaches reading the Scriptures, when a person reads in the book of Isaiah that God invites everyone to come and reason with Him, this has to be considered from a relational viewpoint, irrespective of how a reader approaches the book. For like every invitation provided in writing, RSVP (Répondez s'il vous plaît) depends upon whether a person is pleased enough to respond. As it happens, not every person is pleased enough with the invitation in the book of Isaiah to respond.
  • “Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” (Isaiah 1:18-20)
When we read the Bible with the view that if there is anything relevant for ourselves to consider, every book in the Old and New Testament will provide something for us to consider at some point in our search for the truth of life and our purpose for existence. Much has to do with our thinking, because a person reading the book of Isaiah, as I did for the first time, may not be as struck with the above-quoted Scripture that I was.

That the Bible states the Creator of the Universe would desire to reason with us mere mortals amazed me, and gave me a realization that when I presented my reasoning to Him (just prior to my own encounter with the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ), this is actually what God seeks. Unbeknownst to myself, my presenting to God the complaints I had, which formed an argument about the futility of my existence, fulfilled the above request written in Isaiah.

My argument was that life is futile, if we are born to die; unjust, if we are to suffer when we did not ask to be born; evil, because there is no love in the world, merely a knowledge of what love entails.

Not having been indoctrinated with dogma or other people’s views, when I read Isaiah for the first time, even though most of the book was beyond my understanding, reading Isaiah 1:18–20 was worthwhile. Later on, I became aware of the prophecies that related to the Son of God that are found in the book. Then as I became informed more about the background to the book of Isaiah; various passages before not understood, began to make sense.

The issue of time is a personal matter. Reading the book of Isaiah is not essential for salvation—possessing a relationship with Lord Jesus Christ is the requirement for eternal life each one needs to secure. Nevertheless, reading the Bible from a devotional perspective is always profitable. This includes the book of Isaiah.

Experiencing The Reality Of Existence Supersedes Every Known Form Of Ideology


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