So a Passage Doesn’t Immediately Apply? Read It Anyway

rebuilding_the_walls_1153_vol_5-956This past Sunday, I preached out of Nehemiah 3. If you’ve read that passage, you realize that this passage has all the interest of reading the phone book. Our problem is that when something doesn’t immediately apply to us on first sight, we disregard. This is a dangerous mindset!

I’d like to use Nehemiah 3 to bring home a few points.

  1. Every word in Scripture is inspired by God.  Not just John 3:16.  Not just Ephesians 2:8-9. Not just Revelation. “All Scripture is breathed out by God.” We do not have the liberty to pick and choose what we believe God said and didn’t say, or to allow the present, passing culture to determine what of God’s word stays and what changes. We have the responsibility and the joy to examine the genre, the historical context, and the overarching arc of the redemptive story from Genesis to Revelation.  God breathed it out!  Let’s take Him at His Word.
  2. Every word in Scripture is profitable, equipping us for every good work.  “All Scripture… is profitable.”  Profitable? How could a list of names outlining the various sections of the wall they were to rebuild around Jerusalem profit us?  (The answer is that God has called the New Testament church to build a temple, His church, on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ as the cornerstone–Ephesians 2:19-21.)  So even Nehemiah 3 has profit. Does it take some work and prayer and maybe examining a commentary or two from a trusted pastor or scholar?  Sure. Are we willing to do the work to mine out the prophet for our profit?
  3. The Scriptures are not ultimately about us, but about God.  If the Scriptures are about us, then we come to a chapter like Nehemiah 3 and skip over it. The same with Leviticus. The same with the first few chapters of 1 Chronicles. The same with the Minor Prophets or the first chapter of Matthew. But if the Scriptures are about God and what He reveals to us, then Nehemiah 3 matters for we know He included them for a reason.  Do you believe that God has revealed the Word to you?  Or do you believe that God has revealed the Word to you?

Should you wish to listen to how even Nehemiah 3 is profitable to us in 2016, click here.

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