You must be careful to keep all of My decrees and regulations by putting them into practice. I am the Lord (v.37).
I love knowledge. As a child, after stumbling across a picture Bible in the library, I wanted to read the real Bible. I had the impression that it was simply a thick book with tiny words, full of information like an encyclopedia. But as I read the real Bible, I realized that knowledge is good but wisdom is much, much better.
Today I recognize that I need to view life in the light of God’s Word. It’s not simply about knowing His Word, I need to have a comprehensive working knowledge of it. As finite beings, however, we have a natural tendency to emphasize certain passages in the Bible and to neglect others.
For example, we might frown if someone considers getting a tattoo: “Do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord” (leviticus 19:28). Yet, we might politely excuse that same person for missing church, or turn a blind eye to her disrespect toward the elderly. In the same passage, God said, “Keep my Sabbath days of rest, and show reverence toward my sanctuary. I am the Lord” (v.30) and “Stand up in the presence of the elderly, and show respect for the aged. Fear your God. I am the Lord” (v.32).
So, how can we “be careful to keep all of [God’s] decrees”? (v.37).
John MacArthur’s prayer gives us a clue, “God, we know [that knowing You and Your Word] is more than academic. We know it’s more than just reading and mentally comprehending. It’s to be filled with that knowledge, to love it, to cherish it, to find ourselves saturated by it, and in our minds to be able to draw principles that can be applied in acts of spiritual understanding and issue in a worthy walk.”
May this be our prayer too.
—Poh Fang Chia
Note how John MacArthur’s prayer echoes the words of the apostle Paul in colossians 1:9-10.
How can you ensure that your study of God’s Word isn’t merely academic? What would it take for you to acquire a comprehensive working knowledge of the Bible?