Why We Shouldn’t Skip the Hard Parts of the Bible
Title: Why We Shouldn’t Skip the Hard Parts of the Bible
Artwork by: YMI X @nelsonlip_
Description: When it comes to reading the Bible, we’re often tempted to ignore the parts we find difficult to understand, and just hide in the comfort of our favourite verses again and again.
But if we believe that the Bible is God’s gift to us–giving us access to God’s heart and character, pointing us to the work of Jesus, and enabling us to see the full story of how He is rescuing and redeeming us from our sins–then we know that skipping parts of our Bible will mean that our understanding of who He is, and how we can relate to Him rightly as children of God, will be limited.
So what do we do when we feel like skipping some parts of the Bible?
Let’s explore some common challenges we face when reading the Bible–particularly the Old Testament–and see how we can open ourselves up to God as we open His Word, and allow it to speak into our lives.
A common struggle we face when it comes to reading the Old Testament is the fact that these books contain so many layers of symbolism, cultural context, and rituals that take a lot of hard work for us to figure out as modern-day Christians.
Maybe you even found the language of these books archaic, or wonder whether the portrayal of God’s character seems to be at odds with what we see in the New Testament.
Find a Bible study tool or commentary that works for you, and start verse by verse, passage by passage. As you enter into the world of the Bible, you’ll see how God used the common experiences of our everyday lives to connect with us and speak to us, so that we might understand His heart for us better.
As we do so, we’ll begin to see Him as a God who is holy, merciful, and long-suffering–and also a God who’s personal, who goes to great lengths to reconcile Himself with us and show us what it looks like to be at peace with Him.
Have you ever found yourself skimming through the long lists of genealogies and numbers in the Bible, puzzled by who exactly these people are or what the numbers mean?
So, the next time you come across a boring passage of the Bible, don’t skip past it. Look into the stories that these numbers and names tell us of a God who cares so deeply for us that He calls us by name, and keeps records of the most intimate aspects of our lives and the work we do for Him.
Perhaps you’ve come across stories of murder, rape, incest, and prostitution in the Bible, and might have asked yourself, “How can these stories be in the Bible?”
As we allow these stories to show us what happens when we live and do “whatever seems right in our own eyes” (Judges 21:25), we also see how Christ offers us a different way of living. We see a God who doesn’t whitewash the “ugly” parts of our lives nor does He take our sin lightly, but offers Himself as a sacrifice to atone for our sins, that we may be “white as snow” (Isaiah 1:18).
Maybe you’ve come across a passage in the Bible that you felt was irrelevant to you because of the stage of life you’re in, or because you don’t struggle with that particular sin.
But as 2 Timothy 3:16-17 reminds us, the Bible presents to us the full counsel of God, and every part of it is “profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness”.
As you engage with the God of the Bible, let it give you a glimpse of His plan not just for generations of the past, but for us living in the present, and for future generations.
Nelson Lip loves to spread light through art. He is actively involved in various children book illustration projects and he is an adventurous and outgoing person with a deep love for nature and hiking.
Make sure to follow him for more amazing art!
Instagram (@nelsonlip_) / Facebook (NelsonTsen).
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