After the church Bible study this evening, I went up to the pastor to share my thoughts. They were burning inside me, like there was no way I could avoid saying them. I brought my open Bible and spoke. Maybe 10 words. The pastor responded, “You bless me with your study.” And then he went on to talk to me about what I’d said.
Two things hit me here. First of all, I don’t think anyone, particularly a pastor, has ever said I blessed him/her with my study. Not that women haven’t stated that what I write has been a blessing, but that the sheer fact that I am studying the Word is a blessing (if that makes sense). In truth, the last time I said something about Scripture to a pastor the reception was not so positive.
But more importantly than my own kudos, infinitely more important, is the second thing that I want to mention. Blessing a pastor with our study seems like it’s probably a rare occasion. While he was appreciative of my commentary, it appeared that this wasn’t something he was predominantly used to. And I think it speaks volumes of the church (as a whole – not the congregation I’m currently involved in specifically) and where we stand in the eyes of God.
Are we blessing Him with our study? Do His eyes light up when we bring His Word back to Him? Do we even know enough about His Word to do so?
I dare say that most of us are not spending enough time studying. We count our five-minute devotionals as “time in the Word.” And, since I often write devotions, I am not suggesting that you refrain from those five minutes of concentration. What I am saying is that if you only spent five minutes a day to eat you’d be starved before the end of the week. And we wonder why our spiritual lives feel so thin.
But I digress.
At church we are listening/watching sermons by R.C. Sproul as it applies to his book: The Holiness of God. The first night we watched, I commented that if we had a better understanding of the holiness of God then we would get the concept that fearing Him is the beginning of wisdom. Tonight, the focus was on how there are times in the Bible where God seems to be a bit harsh or overbearing. That His punishments seem over the top. The specific examples are from Leviticus 10:1-3 and 2 Samuel 6:1-7. If you don’t know the stories, I suggest you read them.
People are real quick to think God acted unjustly and too intensely towards these individuals. Much like they think the punishment for those who lied about their profits on the sale of their property was exceedingly harsh. Herein lies the problem: God is Holy. In fact, the Bible tells us that He’s: Holy, Holy, Holy. We have no reverence and awe towards His majesty, power, or holiness. And thusly, when He acts out of that holiness we think something’s “off” with His behavior.
So, the thing I brought to the pastor tonight was simply Romans 9 (specifically vs. 14-24). It is where I go whenever I feel even slightly tempted to ask God why He does anything. I think, if we saw God for how huge and powerful, righteous and holy, He is, we would be less inclined to take our finite wisdom and attempt to put Him in our miniscule morality boxes. We’d realize that as Bildad the Shuhite says in Job: we are worms. It is our arrogance that assumes to question God. Recall that if we don’t humble ourselves He will humble us.
It’s time we recognized His holiness and our place.
Studying His Word is a GREAT place to start. Bless Him with your study!