God’s word surely gives joy to those who receive it, but there’s another important attitude to consider as we open the Bible...
‘This is the one I esteem’ says the Lord, ‘he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.’ Isaiah 66 v 2
Read Hebrews 4 v 12, 13
I sometimes give advice. But I can never insist people do what I suggest—how can I? It’s up to them—my thoughts and words don’t have authority over someone else’s life. But we don’t come to the Bible merely for advice. God’s words are final. He has total authority over us. We reject them at our peril.
Skim through Hebrews 3 v 7–4 v 11 in order to get a sense of the context of verses 12 and 13 .
The readers are being warned in no uncertain terms not to ‘do an Israel’ with God’s words. An entire generation disobeyed God and, as a result, failed to enter God’s land—they died in the wilderness. It’s that serious, these Christians are being told: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts’ (4 v 7).
What are we told in v 12, 13 about what the Bible is like?
What are we told about what the Bible does?
You get the point. If you come to me for advice, it’s up to you how much you let on about your situation. You can play games with me if you wish and get the answer you want. But we’re truly foolish if we think we can try that with God. His word lays us bare. God’s word gets to the stark truth about us. It uncovers all our layers of pretence and sees exactly what we are thinking.
Can you see now why an attitude of humble trembling before God’s word is vital? Are you ready to hand in your (rather feeble) defensive weapons and take whatever God says? If not, what will you say to Him when you have to give an account of yourself (see v 13)?
When we come to the Bible, we can’t come picking and choosing the bits we like or agree with. We come to change our thinking and living, to bring it in line with what God says. You might like to read the awesome warning Jesus gives right at the end of the Bible to those who cut and paste the Bible to suit themselves:
Is there something that you need to come clean about with the Lord right now? He’s waiting to hear from the ‘real you’. And more than ready to forgive you and pour out His blessing into your life…