Understanding God’s Secret
In the Bible many truths are concealed which will not always be hidden from those who will devote time and study to searching the Scriptures. Proverbs 25:2 “It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” Many consider that they have fulfilled their duty as Christians if they periodically read portions of the Bible, but, contrary to the popular conception, nowhere in the Scriptures themselves are we admonished to read the Bible. Rather the emphasis is on study and research, to be followed by careful analysis and application of its teachings. In his instruction to Timothy Paul said: “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)
Study Essential: Jesus Himself admonished His followers to “search the Scriptures” (John 5:39) and, if we follow His instrucitons, we must do more than just read Biblical passages from time to time. One is often greeted with the inane remark, “I jsut cannot understand the Bible.” This is invariably expressed by one who has never really tried to understand the Scriptures, having only given of his time spasmodically to reading familiar passages taken out of their context, such as “Selected Bible Readings” and the like. Spiritual understanding is the by-product of diligent study under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Unless individuals approach the Bible with a prayerful desire that the Lord will open up to their understanding the knowledge and wisdom hidden within its pages, they will fare only a few degrees better than the atheist and agnostic who only read the Scriptures to criticise and censure.
When Paul and Silas went to Berea, it is stated that the people there were more noble than those at Thessalonica: “In that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)
As a result of such an open-minided study of the Word, many believed the Gospel. This same spirit and desire for understanding was evidenced among the prophets, who gave close attention to the werods of the Lord so that they might understand His purposes and plans: “Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the plory that should follow.” (1 Peter 1:10-11)
Things to Come: Daniel the Prophet was given a series of remarkable revelations, yet he said: “And I heard but I understood not.” (Daniel 12:8)
Because of his failure to comprehend what he saw and heard, the prophet inquired of the Lord as to their meaning: “then I said, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” (Daniel 12:8)