As we’ve discovered over the last three weeks, Biblical interpretation can sometimes be a difficult task. There are elements both within ourselves and within the text that we must understand to the best of our ability before we can be certain of what the Scriptures are saying to us – and even then, we must admit that we are limited. Hence, the final instalment for this series focuses not on our emotional involvement or our intellectual involvement with the text, but our spiritual involvement. And even though this is the final part, it is actually the most important.
There is a children’s Sunday school song which says, “Read your Bible, pray every day, and you’ll grow, grow, grow.” How simple that is, yet how true. It illustrates that part of our Christian walk is that we engage in conversation with God. And when it comes to the meaning of the Scriptures, who best to ask about their interpretation than God himself? Interpretation is not solely a human exercise. If we truly want to know the meaning of God’s word, and we truly want that meaning to be an active part of our lives, we must communicate with God about what we find in his word – whether we love, dislike (perhaps even hate!), or are confused by it.
It should be said that talking to God about his word should not replace diligent study over his word. Rather, it should be an integral part of that study. In God’s wisdom, he designed his word as something to be wrestled with, that its meaning should be earned – and there will be places where this is certainly more difficult than others. But when we have wrestled, we are rewarded.
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” – Psalm 119:103