" . . . in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures "
( 2 Pet 3:16, NKJV).

There is a spiritual formula provided for addressing texts difficult to understand. "Give me understanding" (Psa 119:34,73,125,144,169). Jesus provided this exalted perspective of understanding. "If any man is WILLING TO DO HIS WILL, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself" (John 7:17, NASB). The driving compulsion that must precede true spiritual knowledge is that of desiring to do the will of God. James also spoke of the proper approach to obtaining wisdom. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him" (James 1:5). There is a wisdom that is "from above," and it is to be sought by all (James 3:17). When the prophet Daniel was confronted with something he did not understand, it is written that he "sought for the meaning," and it was given to him from heaven (Dan 8:15-19).

As rudimentary as this may appear, there is a class of religious people who refuse to approach spiritual understanding in this way. There are, indeed, things "hard to be understand." They are not impossible to understand, but "hard to be understood." They are too difficult for the flesh. They cannot be profitably probed by academic methods. They extend high above the reach of the wisdom of men. They are too lofty for lexical word meanings, being of a higher order.

People in Jesus' day were offended by some of His sayings (Matt 13:57; 15:12; Mark 10:22). On one occasion, the multitudes acknowledged what Jesus said was a "hard saying," and were offended by it (John 6:60). They did not bother to inquire of their meaning from the One who said them. They simply dismissed them as absurd. Such things frequently occur in our day, but men have developed convenient explanations for the condition that justify men and exalts their wisdom.

When men attempt to force God's Word into the mold of their stunted understanding, they have "wrested" the Scriptures. Rather than changing their way of thinking, they attempt to change the Word, manipulating it until it fits at last into their variant way of thinking. And what kind of men do this? Without hesitation the Spirit replies, "ignorant and unstable people" (NIV). They know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God (Matt 22:29), nor can they navigate in the mountain peaks of Divine truth. These are "double minded" people, which is the cause of the instability (James 1:8). Their minds have been infected with the virus of this world's wisdom, and their hearts are alienated from the life of God (Eph 4:18).

And what is the result of them tampering with Scripture? They do so "to their own destruction "not the destruction of Scripture, but their own condemnation! Scholar or not, those who manipulate Scripture will be destroyed by God! As Peter said earlier, these are bringing "upon themselves swift destruction" (2 Pet 2:1). Of such men Paul wrote, "whose end is destruction" (Phil 3:19). Jude says of such people, they "were designated for this condemnation" (Jude 4). It is evident the Scriptures are to be approached in faith and sobriety. If they do not fit into your way of thinking, change your thinking--God will not change His Word. That change begins by asking for the wisdom that comes down from above.

PRAYER POINT: Father, in the name Jesus Christ, Who is Your own "wisdom," give me that wisdom that comes from above. Give me grace to comprehend Your Word, delighting in it, and walking in accord with it.

Brother Given O. Blakely

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