Fascination with wickedness obscures what is good, and roving desire perverts the innocent mind.
Wisdom of Solomon 4:12

Friday, March 18, 2011

An Obedient Hermeneutic

In this next treatment of bible interpretation I would like to consider the role of obedience in our hermeneutics.

In Gen 12:1 we read, Now the Lord said to Abram…

The very 1st thing worth noting is that the church of Christ believes and teaches that it is not only possible for God to make himself known & experienced by persons, but rather that it this is precisely the thing that God loves & intends to do.

God desires a situation wherein his creation lives before him at all times, & not only with God’s awareness of the creation's presence, but with the creatures equally aware of God’s presence.

At the same time we should also note that we are not told exactly how this voice of God came to Abraham, that is a mystery.

We know this, somehow, God revealed himself, & somehow Abraham heard rightly; so let me start again from vs 1:

12:1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

2nd, please notice that this conversation seems to be a monologue; I say it seems, but we cannot be sure that this was the whole conversation.

After all we do not know where Moses learned the content of this meeting (maybe Jewish elders, maybe Egyptian books, maybe direct revelation), however, we can be sure of this; this is the part of conversation that the Spirit wants the church to know.

The point of the conversation is that when God speaks to Abram he tells him you GO! & then as you GO, I WILL; in fact, God says I WILL 5 times.

You GO, & I WILL show you where, I WILL make you a great nation, I WILL bless you, I WILL bless those who bless you, I WILL Curse those who do not.

When God causes himself to be experienced by Abraham, & any person, he first commands a following or a work of faith, & then when we follow, HE ACTS before our eyes.

Notice what we read in vs 4:

4 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him … 7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.”

As Abraham went, God began to Act, & to come to Him more & more. Abram left & god reveals himself again & tells him where he is going- To your offspring I will give this land.”

And as Abraham is strengthened he turns to God more and more, now Abraham begins to go before God

So he built there an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

8 From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east.

And there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord. 9 And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

When God speaks, if we listen, we follow, only then does He speak more, & the more He speaks, the more we can follow, & the further we are drawn into the life of God.

Interpreting the bible has everything to do with hearing God speak and following his commands so that we might further understand, no following results in no understanding.

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