Have you ever tried to learn a new language? My German in high school and college seem like a long time ago, but even today I can recall the joy that would surge when something clicked. Oh! I get it now!
That’s how I felt as I took a 4-week seminary class this summer for continued development as a Cru missionary. The class was Biblical Interpretation & Communication.
As things began to click for me, I kept thinking, I want to tell our friends about all this! There is more to share than space allows, so I’ll share what books and truths most affected me and pray they encourage you.
The Story Larger Than My Life
A fresh gratefulness washed over me as I was reminded of the big picture of the Bible and God’s incredible redemptive storyline revealed in it.
Can I be honest and say that I finally felt like—after 30 years as a believer—more than a few of the pieces of history of Israel were jumbled and confused in my mind. God’s Big Picture and How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth gave me gift of putting the pieces all together and in a 30,000 foot view that was so helpful and awe-inspiring!
A huge takeaway for me was this: Old Testament narratives are not ultimately intended to teach moral lessons. My first thought was, Wait…what about the David & Goliath Sunday School lesson to “be like David?”
As I prayed and processed what I was reading, I found incredible relief in this truth. I don’t have to squeeze and tug and pull a biblical man or woman (especially in the Old Testament) into a place of character they don’t possess. I don’t have to explain away their sin, poor choices or lack of faith. Even on their best day they fall short.
Here’s what’s wonderful—they point to a better One coming. They show our need for redemption, which is ultimately ours in Christ. The One who would be perfect. Thereal hero. The better Adam. A better Abraham. A better David. They give us mini-tastes of redemption, which make us hungry for Christ.
Putting On Gospel Glasses
These two questions (above) have absolutely changed how I read Scripture. It’s like I have new grace goggles as I look at the Word.
In other words:
- What does this passage tell me about the nature of humanity that requires redemption, and
- What does this tell me about the nature of God who provides redemption?
Our greatest need before salvation is the gospel. And our greatest need after becoming believers is…the gospel. May we be encouraged today as we read the Bible to see how great is our need (our fallen condition) and how great is God’s grace (redemption)!