I recently wrote an article for my friends over at Glory Books Ministry titled The Myth of the Proverbs 31 Woman. Now, before you judge me over the title in the court of human opinion, you might want to check out the article to see where I’m coming from. I promise it’s not blasphemous. 🙂 (FYI, I love the ministry going on over at Glory Books. You should definitely check out all the great authors there. I’m humbled to have such incredible company)
Shortly after I submitted that article, I shared the pre-published draft with a friend over lunch. In the way only a conversation between two women can go, we jumped the rabbit trails until we ended up talking at length about our human propensity to isolate segments of Scripture and make them weightier than others. 2 Timothy 3:16 says “ALL Scripture is inspired by God . . .” All means all.
So, why do we elevate certain Scriptures over others? I believe there are several reasons. I’m going to share 4 of them with you.
4 REasons we elevate certain scriptures
1. The elevated Scriptures make us feel good about ourselves. Although certain passages – most often taken out of context – make us feel good about ourselves, it doesn’t make them inherently “good” over others. In fact, if we are looking to Scripture to only give us a favorable emotional tug, we are looking to Scripture with selfish motives.
For example: Jeremiah 29:11 can be found on countless coffee mugs, home decorations, t-shirts, etc., within the Christian market. But when viewed in it’s context, we see that it was a specific promise to Israel that God was not going to desert them after their 70 years of captivity in Babylon. And the result of the plans God had for them would be Israel once again calling upon God, praying to Him, and seeking Him with their whole heart. (see Jeremiah 29:10-14)
Does Jeremiah 29:11 have relevance to us today? Absolutely. If it’s contained in the closed cannon of Scripture, it has relevance. All Scripture is relevant. The writer of Hebrews calls it “living and active.” (Hebrews 4:12) But that doesn’t mean we can squash it into any circumstance we face and claim it as a promise through our human understanding of the words “prosper” (or “welfare”) and “harm” (or “calamity”).
2. We have (wrongly) assumed certain Scriptures are “boring.” Take genealogies for example. Genesis Chapter 5 is a whole chapter on “the generations of Adam.” It is very tempting to just skim over those verses with a quick perusal. Or skip the whole section entirely. However, if you don’t slow down and read them, you will miss some very key points made in the chapter.
You could possibly miss verse 3, where it says Adam became the father of a son “in his own likeness.” You see, Adam was created in God’s image. But Adam’s children were born in Adam’s likeness. Adam’s likeness was a sin nature. See the significance?
You could also miss verses 21-24 about Enoch. Enoch walked with God 365 years “and he was not,” for God took him. Enoch didn’t die. He was translated to heaven without death. That’s a freaky-cool fact that you would completely miss if you deemed genealogies “boring” and flat-out skipped over them.
3. We don’t step outside of our Scripture comfort zone. The article I linked above told you that I read a Proverb a day as my “devotional.” I once heard someone say that the most important things we need to read on a regular basis are the Psalms and Proverbs. “Psalms because it’s praise and Proverbs because it’s wisdom.” Really? What about understanding 1 Peter because it’s about suffering? Or Ephesians because it’s doctrine? We need to be familiar and comfortable with all aspects of the Scriptures.
4. We think only the New Testament needs to be studied to understand Jesus and the church. If God only wanted us to know and understand the 27 books of the New Testament, why on earth would He leave us the 39 books of the Old Testament as well? God’s redemption story through His Son Jesus starts in Genesis 1:1 and goes all the way to Revelation 22:21. We are to know and understand ALL 66 books.
my challenge to us all
This leads me to the conclusion my friend and I came to that day over lunch. Instead of being a “Titus 2 woman” or a “Proverbs 7 man,” let’s all become “66 books Christians.” She said “why can’t we just be 66 books women?” And I wholeheartedly agree. This is my lifelong pursuit. To mine and excavate the deep things of God through the pages of His holy Word. Because to desire more of His Word is to desire more of Him. I want more of my Lord in my life. Don’t you?