When I want to truly understand what I’m reading in the Bible, I must first recognize that whatever I’m reading, whatever book, chapter, or verse it happens to be, is there to tell me something about God. The Bible is not literature, law, letters, or legacy. It’s an introduction to God – who He is, what He wants, and what He will do. Part of that understanding of Him is made clear and simple by the fact that He is clear and simple – especially when it comes to what He wants. We’ve talked about that in my last couple of blogs, but it’s essential to remember this as we move to the next principle of biblical understanding. Now that I know that whatever I’m reading about Him will be clear and simple, my next step is to read through the eyes of God. By that I mean, what is behind why He does what He does. One will never understand why stories are told like they are if one doesn’t remember how much God desperately wants His creation to have a relationship with Him. It’s not just a narrative, and it’s not just some dispensational tracking of God’s dealing with man! It’s a record of how passionately God wants man to seek a real relationship with Him. That’s why God does what He does! He’s not reacting to events or being caught by surprise when mankind chases idols and selfishness. He is patience and loving, but He is also just and Holy. He has done everything to make a relationship with us possible, but He will not, and cannot, compromise his character to achieve it. The best part is, He never gives up!
So, as we read those fantastic stories of floods, destruction, victories, plagues, freedom, river crossings, and man’s cycle of rebellion – they’re not just events of “biblical proportions” but parts of the bigger picture of God’s patience and persistence in His pursuit of a relationship with us. Look at all those classic stories through the eyes of a loving Father and see the loving Dad that is pictured in Jesus’ story about the Prodigal Son. That is the picture Jesus wanted us to have, and that’s the picture of His Father as He had seen Him deal with man since beginning in the Garden of Eden.
Everything we look at changes when we change our perspective. The Bible will change dramatically when we look at it through the eyes of the One who gave it to us. If we don’t do that, there is no way we can accurately understand and interpret it, and worst of all – we won’t know God!