Practical Proverbial, from Hebrews, 23 September 2016

We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away.  Hebrews 2, verse 1.

There are folks who don’t like that some folks (like me) dissect Scripture verse by verse and comment on it in the same way.  There’s danger, some say, in taking verses out of context and mis-applying them or misconstruing their meaning.   That’s true.   And there’s danger, others say, in missing a larger meaning or story being told if all we talk about is one verse at a time.   That, also, is true.   I’m sure there are other gripes with doing this, and that’s ok.   It’s a free country, a free internet, and a free gift of salvation in Jesus Christ that we talk about.   If I get close to the line of propriety in any of these commentaries, I ask for your help in vectoring us back to God’s Word.   Over the years we’ve been doing this, I’ve received many emails and calls doing just that, and they’re all helpful, of great value

They’re of great value because of Hebrews 2, verse 1.   Writing these proverbials is one way I pay the most careful attention to God’s word.  He put it on my heart to heal and grow me, then as a way to help encourage others.  In this old world, perhaps that’s most important because it’s easy to drift away from His path.   It doesn’t take radical temptation:   it takes simply living through each day.  If I can help someone cling better to God’s Word by reading them one by one, then perhaps that can be a good thing.

Mind you, I’m neither pastor nor professor.  I’m just a guy occasionally wading into exegetical work.  Theopedia.com defines “exegesis” as “a systematic process by which a person arrives at a reasonable and coherent sense of the meaning and message of a biblical passage. Ideally, an understanding of the original texts (Greek and Hebrew) is required. In the process of exegesis, a passage must be viewed in its historical and grammatical context with its time/purpose of writing taken into account.  This is often accomodated by asking who wrote the text, and who is the intended readership, what is the context of the text, i.e. how does it fit in the author’s larger thought process, purpose, or argument in the chapter and book where it resides, what is the choice of words, wording, or word order significant in this particular passage, why was the text written (e.g. to correct, encourage, or explain, etc.), and when was the text written?”

You betcha!

Theopedia.com also later defines “hermeneutics” as “the science of interpreting what an author has written. In Christian theology, hermeneutics focuses specifically on constructing and discovering the appropriate rules for interpreting the Bible. These methods and principles, however, are often drawn from outside of scripture in historical, literary or other fields. It inevitably involves exegesis, which is the act of interpreting or explaining the meaning of scripture. The goal in applying the principles of hermeneutics is to “rightly handle the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15), striving to accurately discern the meaning of the text.”

Welcome to seminary…except this isn’t seminary, and I’m not a seminary student nor do I intend to be one any time soon.   Again, I’m just a guy who’s trying to figure out what God is telling him, verse by verse and day by day.   The reason for that goes back, again to today’s verse.   I take it to heart (and hope you do, too) that what God says to me in His Word is important.  It’s important to understand what the Spirit is saying.   It’s important to be able to hear God when He calls (because He calls all the time in many different ways).   It’s important to listen closely and read closely to make sure we’re following what He wants us to know and to do.

Some folks do that by studying at college to be a professionally trained minister; God bless them.   Some folks do that simply by living out their faith, and God bless them too for being such a blessing to others.  And some folks do what you and I are doing here:  breaking down His Words a few at a time to glean out what they mean as we live in this moment.  I don’t know if it’s exegesis, hermeneutics, or just another blog among thousands.  Long as it serves God’s purposes, then all glory to Him.

For more reading:   Romans 11:22.

Lord, I praise You for inspiring these words.   Thank You for Your gift of sharing and for letting us spend some time together.   Help me to always stay true to Your purposes.

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