“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
For the third Friday of the month I want to share with you tools to be able to study the Bible better. In the above verse Paul is telling Timothy that he needs to rightly handle the word of truth. We too, need to make sure that we are growing in our understanding of God’s Word.
Many people today think that one of the most difficult books of the Bible to understand is the book of Revelation. Part of the reason it is so difficult is that we don’t know the rest of the Bible as we should. The Old Testament is quoted in Revelation 249 times. To give you some perspective the next book of the New Testament that quotes the most from the Old Testament is the Gospel of Matthew at 96 times. In other words, to understand the New Testament and especially the book of Revelation you need to read and understand the Old Testament.
One example early on in the book of Revelation is the use of the number 7.
“John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne,”Revelation 1:4
God uses the number seven over and over again in Scripture.
Some examples from Zechariah:
“For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day.” Zechariah 3:9
“And he said to me, ‘What do you see?’ I said, ‘I see, and behold, a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it, and seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it.” Zechariah 4:2
“For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the land of Zerubbabel. ‘These seven are the eyes of the Lord, which range through the whole earth.” Zechariah 4:10
A brief weekly thought is not the place to go into great detail about Revelation 1 or Zechariah 3 and 4, but anytime we read something that might sound strange like “seven spirits” we can look at other places in Scripture that may help us understand it better.
Where is the first place that we read of the number seven in Scripture? I hope that your mind went to the creation week in Genesis 1 and 2.
To summarize this Bible Study tool, we should allow Scripture to interpret Scripture where ever possible. The more we know the Bible the easier it is for us to understand it and see the interconnectedness of all 66 books of the Bible.
Take advantage of opportunities you have to learn God’s Word with God’s people on the Lord’s Day. Make sure you are studying God’s Word on your own. And always if you have any questions about Scripture don’t hesitate to ask. Anything I can do as your Pastor to help you understand the Bible better is a great joy to me.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13