Read Scripture Blog: Week 5

There are some things that I just do not understand! For all the things that I’ve learned in my life, some lessons still escape me. Like, what is the deal with girls all going to the bathroom at the same time? Or, if some food items are so unhealthy and should be avoided, then why do we continue to make them so delicious? Or maybe more thought-provokingly, if universities were always meant to be for specialized education, then why did we start diluting them by encouraging everyone to go to them? Some things in life just don’t seem to make sense right away, if at all. This can absolutely be true for the Bible as well.
There was, for years, a certain passage in the epistles that I could not discern the meaning of, nor did it even seem to be interpretable to me. So, I promptly avoided it. And yet, it was not until I was confronted with a parallel text in a community Bible study, that we were able to all discuss the Word together, including that tricky passage. And while we were not able to say 100% confidently that we understood all of that passage, we were able to gain more confidence and boldness in the Word of God together, and also were able to be challenged by those passages rather than dismissive of them.
Still, there are passages that seem so “out there that I don’t know what to do with them. We came across one such passage the other day! Maybe you remember it? Exodus 4:24-26. A strange story of Moses on his way back to Egypt, and God seemingly wanting to put him to death along that journey! That is, until his wife circumcises her son (?) and touches Moses’ feet with the cut off flesh. Then God relents? I’ve never understood the significance of this passage, and it seems more confusing to include it than to leave it out, since I can’t see the purpose for it.
And yet, just like the former passage I mentioned, this passage is included in the story of God for a reason. There is a purpose and a message attached to it. Beats me if I know that message and purpose! But the lesson I learned from the first passage is to not avoid reading it just because I don’t understand it. Additionally, I don’t need to try and force an interpretation upon it. Doing so may begin to incorrectly taint other passages that I read.
I also learned that the partial interpretation that we were able to discern in that community Bible study was far more convincing and compelling than any of the commentaries I had previously read about that passage. And I think I now know why: it was because the interpretation came through a unified group that was all committed to submitting to the Holy Spirit. And, it came about through a comparison and study of other Scriptures, rather than those other men’s words.
Now, I don’t want to dissuade you entirely from seeking out wisdom from other godly people, but I just want to share the lesson with which I had been humbled by God. It is O.K. to not understand something in God’s Word. It’s not as O.K. to pretend, as I did, that the passage just doesn’t exist! Humility and patience are two crucial characteristics needed when reading the Word of God! Who knows though, maybe through a unified, Spirit-driven discussion, a community like ours may begin to understand that passage in Exodus 4! But if not, that’s O.K. too!