READING or UNDERSTANDING
Have you heard about Philip’s encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch? An angel of the Lord had told Philip to “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” While Philip was on his way, he saw an Ethiopian eunuch sitting in his chariot and heard him reading Isaiah the prophet. The Ethiopian eunuch was an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). He had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and was on his way home. When Philip heard the eunuch reading, he asked him if he understood what he was reading. The eunuch’s response to Philip was “’How can I unless someone explains it to me?’ So he invited Philip to come up and sit with him.”
Maybe you have heard the tale of the man who, in order to discern God’s will for his life, would open his Bible and read whichever verse he saw first? One day, as he was going through a difficult time with his family, he sought the Lord’s guidance. Opening his Bible, he pointed to a random verse. His finger rested on Matthew 27:5: “Then Judas went away and hanged himself.” Puzzled by these directions, but still hungry for a word from God, he called a “do-over” and flipped to another page. His eyes settled on Luke 10:37: “Go and do likewise.” Flustered but chalking it up to coincidence, the man decided to give his method one last chance. Saying a quick prayer, he flipped the page and placed his finger on John 13:27. There, staring up at him was a command from Jesus: “What you are about to do, do quickly.”
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17 it states, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” In 2 Timothy 2:15 the scripture says “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Reading and understanding the Bible is an essential part of the life of a Christian. However, understanding the scriptures in the Bible is not always easy. So what do we do?