So easy to forget, but really, I mustn’t.
All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
(2 Timothy 3:16–17 NRSV)
Yes. But the Bible does not merely exist to be “your personal GPS”. It is first and foremost a national document, of Israel in the Old Testament, then of the Body of Christ in the New. So, for example, when reading a psalm that seems to yell for fire and brimstone to rain down on hateful people, remember that the psalms were meant for temple worship, so a ‘cursing’ psalm would have been sung in the context of the king being chosen by God to wage war against a particular party. “It’s not about you.”
The above is some of the stuff I’ve learnt at school this week.
Then today, while idly checking out the Tyndale commentary on Jeremiah 42–43, I see this line:
Far too many Christians also expect God to honour plans which are none of his making.
I shuddered inwardly. Reminded of myself, reminded of words from the hearts of people I care for. Here’s the thing — I might think I’m reading Scripture. But Scripture is actually reading me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my thoughts. See if there is any wicked way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.
(Psalms 139:23–24 NRSV)