Understanding the scriptures is indeed “puzzling” to many. Well, yeah! That’s the best lesson on how to study them. Read on >>
Understanding what you read in the scriptures seems like the first responsibility of the the reader. It is not. Our job is to read. Understanding is irrelevant. Isaiah 34:16a “Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read:..” Revelation 1:3a “Blessed is he that readeth,..” Understanding will come when he wants to give it. Luke 24:45 “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,”
Back to the puzzle. Imagine you have a bunch of pieces to a jig-saw puzzle in front of you. You have no idea what to do to use them correctly. First thing then, is to accumulate pieces. You start gathering pieces on the table. That is your #1 job. Don’t try to put them together, even if they seem to fit together. You just don’t have enough pieces to judge rightly.
As you accumulate those pieces, the Lord is watching to see if you’re faithful at accumulating. Are you consistent? Do you accumulate with the right attitude? Do you believe the puzzle can be solved?
After a while you start to notice patterns. You start putting orange pieces with orange and red with red. You notice that some are clearly edge or corner pieces and you begin a rudimentary categorizing (putting them in basic groups).
Luke 16:10 “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.”
When the Lord sees that you’ve been faithful at that, even that little thing, he quickly flashes a little view of some of the box top that has the picture of the finished product. Just a little glimpse, but it is an “Ah Ha!” moment, none the less. Now you start to see where many more of the pieces fit in.
Now as you study and remember to avoid pride (after all- you were shown, you did not solve it) you start to see that the more pieces you find places for, the more pieces make sense and the more pieces you find places for. After a long time the pieces speak for themselves.
Hebrews 11:6 “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”
When the Lord sees that you are diligent and faithful…That you do not cheat and you really, really want the truth (whether it’s what you wanted it to be or not) he shows you the whole box top clearly and sets it on the table for future reference. Though when you see the box top you want to think, “Yeah, I knew that” you don’t. Instead, the other pieces taught you to be humble and self inspect. So you keep the box top there for reference and assurance and further, continual self inspection.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”