At a men’s Bible study that I attend, the leader often speaks of “unpacking” a particular passage of Scripture. He is talking about doing more than just reading it. Even more than just commenting on it. He understands that in order to truly use Scripture we must deal with it thoroughly. And so our group digs in to study the truth we read and find ways to apply it to our lives.
Perhaps you have shared the following experience after a trip out of town. You return home tired from travel, walk into your home, and set down your bags. For many of us, the first thing we want to do is clean up and sleep in our own beds. The last thing we want to do is deal with our luggage. That’s a task for a new day…or the next. If that next day turns into a few more, it could spell trouble. Soon you look into the closet for a particular suit, only to find that it has “disappeared.” It’s still yours, but it’s not available to be used until it is unpacked.
Perhaps that’s similar to our Bible. We own one (or more) and know that it is the most valuable tool for our lives. Yet it often sits unused on the shelf. When we need it the most, it seems inaccessible to us. Surely, God has something to say about our particular situation. However, because of neglect, we’re not quite sure what it is. How should we “unpack” the Scriptures?
- Consider it (Psa. 119:95)
- Delight in it (Psa. 1:2)
- Heed it (Psa. 119:9)
- Meditate on it (Psa. 119:97)
- Keep it (Psa. 119:167)
- Memorize it (Psa. 119:11)
- Love it (Psa. 119:97)
- Speak it (Psa. 119:172)
The psalmist’s list goes on and on. The apostle Paul reminds Timothy that the study of God’s Word would prepare him for the demands of this life.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15
When we thoroughly study the Word of God, we know what He says about our circumstances. When we commit it to memory, we make Scripture accessible in our daily lives. With His Word we are prepared to face both opportunity and temptation…blessing and difficulty…peaceful days and storms. All of our decisions and actions will be affected by our interaction – or lack of it – with the Scriptures.
If your Bible has rested on a shelf too long (with only an occasional Sunday trip to church), “unpack” a verse today.