Scripture Echoing Scripture

There are important principles for properly interpreting our Bibles. We should interpret Scripture according to its literary and historical context. We should interpret Scripture in its intended sense, not in some arbitrary way. Another important principle for wise Bible reading is to use Scripture to interpret Scripture. This practice can lead to helpful insights.

Compare Hebrews 4:13 with the basic confession of Psalm 139. Hebrews tells us, “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.” Our innermost being is uncovered and laid bare before God’s penetrating inspection. The author is chasing after the readers; some of them are slipping into a dangerous lethargy. The author’s harsh warnings are intended to alert these sleepy believers. The author asks, “How shall we escape if we ignore such a great salvation” (2:1)? He warns, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (10:31).

The author of Psalm 139 also speaks of God’s omniscience. The psalmist confesses that the Lord is totally aware of the creature’s thoughts. Here is the difference. Instead of being insensitive to the Lord’s gaze, the psalmist invites God’s inspection. The Psalm concludes: “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

Which attitude do you show before the Lord? Have you become cold and lethargic before God’s penetrating eyes? Or are you humble and tender before him? Let’s welcome the Lord’s examination and guidance as a gracious gift — it leads to an everlasting and abundant life.