perspicuity

clarity

The teacher wrote the word ‘perspicuity’ on the board and asked if any of the students had any guesses as to what it meant. There were a couple of takers but they weren’t even close. Had you asked the teacher a few month before, he wouldn’t have known either! He just came across a new big word and wanted to try it out on the class. The word ‘perspicuity’ simply means ‘clarity’ and that absolutely describes the Word of God.

Most of us would agree that there are some things in the Bible that are so straightforward but other things, not so much. We can gain a little bit of comfort when we read what Peter had to say about some of Paul’s writings:

[15] And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, [16] as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.  (2 Peter 3:15-16 ESV)

I like the vulnerability and honesty from brother Pete. He said that some of Paul’s writings had him scratching his head. If anyone has ever struggled with some of the things that Paul wrote, then we’re in good company. I appreciate that. The class agreed there were some hard things in the Bible. Topics like end times, election, and eternity were mentioned.

I would also like to point out, though, that the word he used is ‘hard.’ He didn’t use the word ‘impossible.’ He didn’t use the word ‘unfathomable’. He used the word ‘hard’. Some things written in God’s Word are hard to understand.

We could stroll through a number of Scriptures to talk about it’s clarity but I want to focus on a favourite Psalm of many. We’ll just look at the first half.

[1:1] Blessed is the man
who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
[2] but his delight is in the law of the LORD,
and on his law he meditates day and night.
[3] He is like a tree
planted by streams of water
that yields its fruit in its season,
and its leaf does not wither.
In all that he does, he prospers.
(Psalm 1:1-3 ESV)

This passage says that a believer can be fruit producing…but in order to get there, we need to delight in God’s law but that’s not all. We’re to meditate on it, chew on it, linger over it, turn it over and over in our noggins.

There was a gal who I used to see at the Y many years ago. She was likely ninety-five pounds soaking wet and I would see her on the treadmill every morning for a season. For those of us who know a little about physical training, we know that treadmill time for a little thing is just going to make her skinnier. I might have saw her for a few months every morning on the treadmill but then I didn’t see her for many months…it might have been a year…and then I ran into her again and she was buff. I don’t know what she was doing, but she was doing something different. She must have added weight lifting to her routine because her arms showed that she was getting ripped. In order for her to bulk up, it took her some work.

Psalm 1 shows a believer, day and night, thinking on the Word of God. That’s work. As the believer turns the Word over and over again in the mind, things start to line up. Things start to make sense. It says that fruit comes in due time. It takes hard work of lingering over Scripture but fruit will come. That’s bulking up spiritually.

Sometimes we shy away from the hard work of Bible intake. I often talk about the five ways of Bible intake and I think I first heard them from Don Whitney: reading, studying, memorizing, meditating, and hearing it preached. I believe that meditation is key to all of them. If you just read it or study it or hear it preached but you don’t think about it… if you just memorize it to impress some people or win a Bible memory contest but don’t think about it, it doesn’t do too much. Meditation is key to unlocking what is hard…over time.

Meditation helps us bring clarity as we consider a verse within a passage within a book within the context of the whole Bible. We use Scripture to interpret Scripture and the more we have a grasp on all of Scripture, the better we will be at figuring some things out that may be hard to understand.

So I’m gonna wrap this up by saying that Scripture is clear, there is much clarity and when we meditate on it, over time, it will become clearer and clearer. I want to plug Friday’s post because I have a real life story that will add weight to what I’ve been trying to say today. So tune in again on Friday to hear about a dude named Grant. I love to tell his story!

 

 

 

 

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