“Most of us study the Bible like either the Tin Man or the Scarecrow – either all brain and no heart or all heart and no brain.”
Me? Tin Man. While I hesitate to admit that, I think people who know me would agree.
Our pastor Doug Walker offered this comment in a recent message about Chapter 11 of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Doug has been preaching through the book of Romans since January (2013). His recommendation?
“1) No study of truth without worship; AND, 2) No worship without truth.”
Put another way, Bible study and reading involves both brain AND heart. Those components should never be disconnected. He also suggested that we try to appreciate Scripture instead of always trying to study it.
Romans 11 is a difficult lesson to grasp – that the Jews’ rejection of Jesus resulted in the Gospel being offered to the Gentiles. But that didn’t mean God has rejected Israel. Down the road, Israel would one day honor Christ.
Paul doesn’t explain how this will happen. Instead, he invites the Romans (and us readers) to rejoice in our God who in his own unsearchable way, completes the story of human history in just the right manner. The prayer Paul penned has since become a favorite doxology of praise for Christians..Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! “Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?” “Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever!
Amen. (Romans 11:33-36, NIV)
Conversations I’ve had with people about faith came to mind. So often, they want first to understand before they commit their belief or become a follower of Christ. Although I sympathize with their struggle, that’s not how faith works. Our minds and God’s are simply not on the same plain. Not even close in fact.
“Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor?”
No one. The question is rhetorical.
But God gives more than enough to provide a solid foundation for belief and faith. So why when Doug offered the Tin Man
and Scarecrow analogy did I immediately align myself with the Tin Man? I wish I knew.
I wrestle with life. My mind is always racing with challenges that arise. The pace of it gets to me – and the materialism – and our self-centeredness – and our insatiable desire to be in control. And temptations – I never seem to achieve a safe enough distance from them. We never seem to get that it’s not about us. And, too often, me neither.
I need to take deep breaths more often, to relax and give my heart some air. Maybe I should make myself Scarecrow costume…