God is the ultimate gift giver!
In the last few posts, we looked at the gift of His Word and His Holy Spirit. These gifts build our confidence to discern our own thoughts from His thoughts.
But how do we know if we are understanding God’s Written Word?
This is why we have been discussing the five keys to enjoying the Bible with the Author. These aren’t simplistic steps or formulas. Just really neat truths that can help us. And the fourth key is amazing. Let me tell you why, before I tell you what it is.
God knows that we are all unique.
We each have different ways of learning, relating, and understanding. We have emotions, intellect, unique personalities, and life experiences that shape us.
In God’s brilliance and through His mercy, His written word has various literary styles to help these unique parts of us. This means He has written His word to our emotions, intellect, and our actions.
God breathed through the Biblical writers, and they wrote history, poetry, prophecy, stories, letters, and even genealogies!
And it is written to help us love Him with all our heart, soul, and strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
If we gravitate toward an intellectual understanding, He also gave us the psalms and stories filled with vibrant and deep emotional expressions.
If we tend to feel more than we think, He gives us history and instructional letters to help us read with our hearts and our head.
Key #4 – The various literary styles help us read with our heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Understanding literary style (history, law, poetry, letters, prophecy) is key to interpreting what you’re reading. You’ll miss out on a lot, or even draw incorrect conclusions if you treat a poem like a narrative or vice versa!
Here are some Tips:
Don’t Go it Alone
- Read and talk about the Bible with other believers. Learn what they see through the different literary styles.
- Read the Bible to children. Emphasize the wonder of God and not just the moral lessons. See God through a child’s eyes as you read together.
- Watch videos on Bibleproject.org. They have a great video explaining literary styles, as well as books of the Bible and subjects such as the Kingdom of God, the character of God, and peace. There are also articles on how to read the Bible with your head, your heart, your whole body.
Mix Things Up
- Read different translations at biblegateway.org
- Listen to the free audio versions of the Bible while walking, gardening, painting, commuting, or as you fall asleep.
- Memorize a favorite passage using pictures or hand gestures to make it “stick.”
Make it Fun
- It’s hard to get stuck in your head when you’re having fun.
- Discipline turns into delight the more you enjoy the wonder and beauty of how God reveals Himself in the Bible.