Applying God’s Word

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Applying God’s Word – 12 June 2006

Looking through some of my notes, I came across these maxims attributed to Publius Syrus, who lived in the first century B.C.:

“From the errors of others a wise man corrects his own.”

“Many receive advice, few profit by it.”

Publius Syrus (also spelled Publilius) was a Syrian who was taken to Italy as a slave and found favor with his master who later freed and educated him.

Then I started to think of the stories and parables found in the Bible. The Scriptures are full of accounts of the errors committed by others, and God-given advice for our own good. But how many people apply the lessons of the scriptures to their own lives? What good does it do if you own a Bible and never study it for yourself, or if you take the errors of Biblical characters as models for your behavior?

An example of people using the Bible to glorify God’s enemies is found in Genesis 10:8-9, 1 Chronicles 1:10, and Micah 5:6. How often we hear hunters proudly calling themselves “Nimrods”! Actually, the people descended from Nimrod were considered to be the enemies of God, and to be like Nimrod is to go against God’s will. Do you remember the tower of Babel and how displeased the Lord was with the people?

Genesis 10:8-11

8 Now Cush became the father of Nimrod; he became a mighty one on the earth.

9 He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, "Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD."

10 And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel and Erech and Accad and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.

~ New American Standard Bible

David is another Biblical character who did evil in the sight of the Lord; but he repented of his ungodly actions. Nimrod did not repent. Then there is the well-known story of the woman caught in adultery who was about to be stoned to death. (John 8) Jesus saves her life, then tells her to go her way and, “From now on sin no more.” And what about Paul, who started out as an enemy of God, repented, and became an Apostle? (Acts 9)

It seems as though most people want to wallow in the “lowest common denominator” of this fallen world, rather than to seek the perfection Jesus spoke about in Matthew 5:48:

48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

~ New American Standard Bible

These are just a few examples of how the Bible can help us to correct our errors and profit from Godly advice, if we are willing to face the truth and not to try to justify our errors.
 


"Joyful Curmudgeon"
An oxymoron?
No! I see all the beauty of God's creation and I'm joyful.  At the same time, I see all the suffering and corruption going on in the world, and feel called to help expose and end it so that we may have true peace and compassion.

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