The Bible is the compass to our destiny. For this post we will consider those impediments that block our understanding of the Bible and prevent us from Living in the Faith taught by the Word of Yehovah. Many of us have a hard time grasping the things of Yehovah because there are things in our life that impede us from receiving and understanding the scriptures; forming barriers on how to grow our understanding of the Faith. There are many impediments that we could explore, but today we will look at a few.
Reason #1: We lack the time for Bible reading and Bible study.
Despite having ready access to modern technology, most of still suffer from having too little time to devote to Bible reading and Bible study. This seriously impact our ability to teach the Bible to our children and to apply its treasures to our own lives.
Our daily schedules are more often than not, filled to overflowing. We have very little time to fit Bible reading and Bible study into our daily lives. By the end of a busy day we are generally exhausted and lack the physical and mental energy to read, much less, study to grow our understanding of the Faith.
The problem is not limited to our having full schedules: many of us simply do not have a good enough understanding of the enormous value of regular study of Scripture on our personal time; and so we do not factor it into our daily lives as a priority. Most of us do not realize that the enemy of our soul is constantly at work creating schemes to bombard us with distractions to consume our time. Because we are unaware of this fact, we become entrapped in his schemes and end up with no time or less time to read the Bible. The cumulative effect of this trap leads us to not being able to grow our understanding of the Faith, due to not having the time to read and study the scriptures.
Reason #2: The Bible is too confusing.
Most of us lack knowledge of the culture, language and historical background of the Hebrew people featured in the Bible. This lack of knowledge not only creates misunderstandings, but also leads us to interpret the Bible through our western mindset, ideals and understanding; or through the eyes of our Christian denominations.
Bible reading becomes even more confusing when we do not understand the Hebrew mindset of the writers and the people to whom it was written. Knowing what was affecting the people at the time to cause them to lose their faith or walk away from the Faith is key to understanding the messages written. Each message is written to God’s covenant people, the nation of Israel. And today, those same messages speak to those who desire to enter into covenant and remain in covenant with Jehovah. Understanding this piece makes a big difference in helping us to understand the things of the Faith.
Israel was given a holy culture to live by in order to have the presence of their God dwell among them and provide them with protection, safety, peace and the blessings of abundant resources. But What were the threats to their holy culture, that caused them to go in and out of their Covenant with Yehovah, their God; and lose their abundant blessings? Their lack of understanding that their security, their peace, wealth, safety and protection all came from the teachings of their God, Jehovah who established the Faith! Those are the same threats we face today but we do not make the connections in our minds because we do not understand the culture of holiness and the holy language. We lose the ability to grow our understanding of the Faith when we are unable to connect the dots.
When we stop seeing the Bible as just another religious book, we will learn to appreciate the life giving power concentrated in it. Some see it as a history book; others see it as a mystery book, but those who are in covenant with Yehovah, understand it to be the Book of the Covenant, and use it as the Manual for Life and holiness, to remain in Covenant with their God.
Yes, it has been translated from the Hebrew to the Greek to Latin, to all the languages that are derived from Latin; plus many other languages. This fact has caused many to treat its contents lightly because some translations do not always reflect the original Hebrew in which it was written. But the error remains in our court if we refuse to search out the correct translation for those parts. Fortunately, many historical, archeological, and linguistic experts have read those areas of the Bible before we received our copy, and they found the errors and wrote about them in books, and articles so we would be aware and have that correct information available to us when we are ready to seek and find the corrections to those errors, so we can grow our understanding of the Faith.
Now that knowledge and technology has increased, we have no excuse for staying in the dark with a lack of understanding and confusion, because the answer is only a few keyword clicks away. And knowing that the Bible is truly our Life Manual with a treasure map, we should be highly motivated to place reading and studying it very high on our priority list. The Bible is a compilation of ancient writings inspired by God. It is unlike any other literary in existence. It is the words of life and it is spiritual. Its writers wrote under the inspiration of God. In it, we get to not only learn about the Creator of the Universe, but read His instructions for life. His words resound in our spirit and minds as we read them. This is how we grow in our fear and admonition of God and grow our understanding of the Faith. “So then, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God” (Romans 10:17).
Where else could you get a transcript of the event when Yehovah spoke from heaven in the hearing of over 2 million people? We get to participate in the event as you read and “see” the effects His voice had on the physical earth as He spoke? Read Exodus 20 for yourself. Yehovah’s words are spiritual food and life. The sound of His voice causes us to fear Him. When we don’t internalize these truths recorded in the Bible, we cheat ourselves of the treasures available to us. When we do not engage in the reading or study of it, we cannot and will not truly understand it.
Reason #3. The cares of life get in the way.
Life unfortunately happens for each of us. Now that our economy demands two incomes to make ends meet for most families, we put our children in day care and after school care, so we can earn that second income. While this is a necessity there is also a consequence because children talk to each other about what they are doing after school and parents get to find out what other children are doing and they desire these things for their children too.
While this is health for our children to have opportunities to bond with other children of their age group, and be part of the community, this desire for extra-curricular activities take the shape of sports, arts, etc, which consumes more of our time and our children’s time. Everyone is happy, which is a good thing, but by the end of the day, everyone is exhausted and left with very little quality time to spend together as a family.
But the biggest consequence is the loss of time to do our own personal Bible study as parents so we know what lessons to teach our children. So, we leave that job to the pastor, which most times, the children do not get or understand the message preached. Other life impediments such as family concerns, finances, job challenges, relationship conflicts and so many others, drain our energy and choke out our ability to understand and process the Word of Yehovah in our lives, when we do settle down to read the Bible.
Reason #4. We lack sound teachers and teachings.
In addition to having a lack of cultural, historical and linguistic biblical knowledge to aid in our reading and study of Scripture, many of us face major challenges in finding teachers of Faith who rightly divide the Word of Truth. The story of the Ethiopian high-official (wrongly interpreted as eunuch in Acts 8) is a prime example of why having Godly teachers is vital to our spiritual growth and understanding of the Bible at various times in our walk.
Reason #5. Carry-on Baggage
Each of us brings with us excess, carry-on baggage, so to speak, when we come into Faith. We have been entrenched in like religious traditions, doctrines of men, racial and cultural experiences and worldviews; political leanings and preferences; past and abiding sins; spiritual strongholds; habits; preferences, questionable mannerisms; anger; hatred; socio-economic biases; and the list goes on. This load of carry-on baggage, so to speak, serves to cover-over, hide and drown out the still-small voice of Yehovah as He speaks to us through His Word.
Reason #6. Dependency upon man-made Biblical constructs
Many of us become dependent upon man-made constructs to make up for our deficiencies in bible reading and study. In so doing, we run the risk of boxing ourselves into mechanical systems that may not allow for the movement and direction of the Holy Spirit in our reading and studies which is essential to any understanding and application of the Word in our lives.
The other thing to keep in mind is that commentaries, when indiscriminately used, may be misleading and cause us to go off-track in our understanding of Scripture. This is generally because the commentators are expounding upon the Scriptures based on their predisposed denominational world views.
Solutions to the Impediments Preventing our Understanding of the Bible and the Faith
The key to overcoming these and other impediments to our understanding of Scripture and the ways of Yehovah and the Faith is to take a full and honest assessment of where we are in our walk and search for Truth. In so doing, we should aim to identify the areas in our walk–such as those impediments mentioned above–that adversely impact our ability to discern and process Truth.
What follows are solutions to the various impediments that prevent us from understanding our Bible and applying the Word of Truth to our day-to-day walk with Yahoshua Messiah.
Solution #1. Approach bible study and reading with an intent and purpose to hear from Yehovah.
It is also important to adopt a proper mindset (purity of heart and mind and soul; hungry for Truth; lacking any guile) when studying and reading Scripture. Must somehow put the baggage that impedes our understanding in their proper perspective, if not, discard the baggage that is not of Yehovah.
Solution #2. Seek the leading of the Holy Spirit to guide our study and reading of Scripture. This may require fervent prayer leading up to the study and even after.
Solution #3. Seek out Godly, anointed teachers and teaching to help us bridge the gap of biblical knowledge and understanding. This too will require prayer and seeking the direction and will of the Father.
Solution #4. Let us empty ourselves of the things from our previous lives. In other words, seek the assistance of the Holy Spirit to divest us of those cultural, experiential, biases, sins, strongholds, unholy perceptions and opinions that cloud and block our minds from receiving Truth
Solution #5. Seek out others who have successfully walked this thing out and learn how they overcame such impediments.
Solution #6. Let us prioritize our days and make sure that Bible reading and study is factored into each day’s schedule.
Set aside time for Bible study and learning each day. The weekly Sabbaths are a good place to start. Teaching our children Scripture on a regular basis is also paramount to our spiritual well-being. Torah requires that we train up our children in the ways of Yehovah. This is our God-given responsibility as parents.
That which we have learned, we are to share the information with others. One way of doing so is by posting what we learn on social media. It is important that we factor in that which we learn, otherwise, it will be factored out of us, eventually.
Solution #7. Seek out and maintain a substantive relationship with the Father. This is the most important thing we must do in this life. Everything else pales in comparison. When we put Father first, everything associated with our walk falls right in line. We don’t want to treat our relationship with Father lightly. The amount of time we give to our relationship with Father ensures how well we do in growing in and walking out this Faith. Scripture is Father’s words communicated to us.
Solution #8. Learn to properly study and read the Bible. Learn to read and study Scripture in proper context. Exegesis (pull out from the text that which Father has given) versus eisegesis (reading into the meaning of the text, which is likely going to be influenced by the excess, carry-on baggage we refuse to let go of. Also, let us make a concerted effort to learn the history, linguistic elements and culture that surrounds the passages and texts in question.
Solution #9. Acquire well-researched Bibles and Bible resources.
Solution #10. Let us resist the urge to be too independent in our Bible study. We should not be insistent upon studying alone; that is leaning to our own understanding of Scripture. We do need teachers and teachings to fill in the gaps of our biblical knowledge from time-to-time. It is important that every new believer coming in to Faith be discipled and we must be open to disciple others.
Solution #11. Let us be voracious consumers of the Word as we see described in the persons of the Bereans as recorded in Acts 17:10-12.