King's Business - 1968-03



H ea/ tin g

S e e in g

Cont. that is thirsty. Whatever brings about that thirst, that holy heartburn, whether it be a sermon or a song or the Scriptures or adversity or sickness or quiet meditation; whether the condition be sought or unsought, Job must quit talking and let God have His say. Peter never did get anywhere as long as he did the talking because usually “ Peter said . . . not knowing what he said.” Tribulation may bring it but not always need it be so. “The goodness of God leadeth us to repentance” and while things seem to be going well, a man may let God show him that he is nothing. It was while Moody was successfully carrying on herculean la­ bors for the Lord that two godly old women were used to show him that a man could be tireless but still Fireless. Arguing the pattern and the psychology of all this, we but compound the confusion. Satan likes to get us busy taking it all apart. Like falling in love, it does not start with a pre-arranged pro­ gram. But when Job gets through to God Himself, past hearing to seeing, HE KNOWS. By whatever road you take and at whatever cost you take it, make sure you can testify with the saintly patri­ arch of old, godly as he was even before he could say it, “ I have heard of Thee by the hearing of the ear; BUT NOW mine eye seeth Thee.” You see, it is not more education, more activi­ ties or more meetings that we need so much as that what we already believe might become real. We need fire set to all our accumulated knowledge and work. We need to “ familiarize ourselves with the familiar.” I have heard of a brother who wished he had never read the Gospel of John so that he might read it for the first time. I think I know what he was driving at. Some o f us have grown up in Christian homes and have been saturated with the language of Scripture. We have heard and believed and have sought to live faithfully but what has been heard needs to be seen. I think that was what Timothy needed. He had enjoyed a godly upbringing; he had heard and believed the Scriptures, but Paul sensed that all this needed to be set aflame. That was what John Wesley needed and it was what he got at Aldersgate. What he had long heard was there seen. We have heard of the godly saint who, while studying the resurrection story one day, was so seized by the reality of it that he rose and went about shouting “ He’s alive! He’s alive!” What long had been heard and believed was seen. Is it not true that while familiarity with Gospel truth may not breed contempt, it may make us compla­ cent and smug since we “know all the answers” ? It will be a blessed day for many of us if we can say, “ I have heard . . . I have believed . . . BUT NOW I SEE” nn 14


T h e b e i s s o m e t h i n g in Bible study more impor­ tant than the best methods and that is the fundamental conditions o f profitable study. He who meets these conditions will get more out o f the Bible, while pursuing the poorest method, than will he who does not meet them, while pursuing the best method. Many a one who is eagerly asking, “What method shall I pursue in my Bible study?” needs something that goes far deeper than a new and better method. The first o f the fundamental conditions o f the most profitable Bible study is that the student must be born again. The Bible is a spiritual book, it “ combines spiritual things with spiritual words” (I Cor. 2:13, A.S.V., 1901), and only a spiritual man can understand its deepest, most character- istic and most precious teachings. “The natural man receiveth not the things o f the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually judged” (I Corinthians 2:14, A.S.V.). Spiritual discern­ ment can be obtained in but one way, by being bom again. “ Except a man be bom anew he can- not see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3, A.S.V.). No mere knowledge of the human languages in which the Bible was written, however extensive and accurate it may be, will qualify one to under­ stand and appreciate it. One must understand the divine language in which it was written as well, the language of the Holy Spirit. The second condition of the most profitable study is a love for the Bible. A man who eats with an appetite will get far more good out of his meal than one who eats from a sense o f duty. It is well when a student of the Bible can say with Job, “ I have treasured up the words o f his mouth more than my necessary food” (John 23:12, A.S.V.), or with Jeremiah, “ Thy words were found and I did eat them; and thy words were unto me a joy and the rejoicing o f mine heart; for I am called by thy name, 0, Lord God o f hosts” (Jer. 15:16, A.S.V.). Many come to the table God has spread in His Word with no appetite for spiritual food, and go mincing here and there and grumbling about everything. Spiritual indigestion lies at the bottom o f much modem criticism of the Bible. Abounding life means abounding hunger for the Word. Study of the Word stimulates love for the Word. The author can well remember the time when he had







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