Rightly dividing God’s Word is a two-fold work, beginning with study, accompanied by revelation.
Hebrew 4:12 – For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
2 Timothy 2:15 commands us to study. It is one-word command, followed by the reason for its purpose and the result of that obedience. The reason; to show yourself approved unto God. The result; God’s workman who needs not be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. In today’s Second Miler, we’ll look at some of the key elements that need to be applied in rightly dividing God’s Word. To do that, we must answer some basic questions.
- Who said it? – Did God say it? Please understand that while the Scriptures were written as Holy Spirit moved upon men to write it, not every word recorded in the Scriptures were originally spoken by the Lord. In Job, the words of Satan are recorded. At times we can read the words of the apostles, the words of kings, priests, soldiers, and just ordinary men and women. One must always determine who the true speaker is in any passage before attempting to establish the truth and application of what is recorded.
- To whom was it spoken? – There are certain passages in the Scripture that were not spoken as commandment or in reference to all people. Sometimes things are spoken to only a certain group or segment of people. To properly interpret what was spoken, one needs to know to whom it was spoken.
- Was it spoken concerning eternity, or only a certain block of time? – The Scriptures reveal a number of covenants presented to man by the Lord. While they all reveal certain aspects of God’s person, they are different in content, extent, duration, and more. The laws applied to physical man under the law of Moses are applied differently when they are translated into laws applying to the spiritual man in the New Covenant.
- Every word in Scripture is truly recorded, but is every word true? – Here is a question that stirs almost instant rejection. Still, the answer to the question is “NO.” Not every word recorded in Scripture is true. There are many examples. Samson lied on several occasions concerning his strength. Job’s statement, “The Lord has given; the Lord has taken away,” was made in error believing the false information he had received from a servant who said, “Fire came down from God out of heaven…” In every instance in which someone lied, or was misled by a misinterpretation, we are informed. The problem arises when the person who is reading or studying a passage does not take the time to apply and answer the questions posed here. And this is just the beginning.
Manna for Today – Hebrews 4:9-16; 2 Timothy 2:15; Genesis 1:6-7; Exodus 14:15-22; Joshua 3:5-4:18; 2 Kings 2:5-9; 2 Kings 2:12-15