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In Scripture the Lord gives believers enough truth to live responsibly, 

but enough mystery to draw them to Him in believing prayer. (1)

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In this simple statement John MacArthur explains with absolute clarity why the Bible is a maddening book to read and study. We cannot fully understand it on our own.

I love to read and study books which challenge me.  I enjoy engaging my heart and mind while reading deep and probing texts, whether fiction, science, theology, philosophy, or the Bible.

I pride myself on being able to understand what the author has written, even if it I must slowly read and re-read the text, stopping to sort out what has been written.

However, the Bible is the only book I cannot read and fully understand on my own.  Even when I consult the experts in exegetical studies and biblical theology, there are passages which I never fully grasp.

The Bible is a mystery book which does not satisfactorily answer all my questions.

As a pastor who teaches from The Bible on a regular basis, this is a frustrating experience.  I hate it when the only response I can honestly give to someone’s biblical question is, “I don’t know!”

My ignorance drives me to prayer!

This is a good thing.  Good for me and for you.  It keeps me humble.  It makes me honor the mysteries of God, of heaven and earth, and of His Word.

My ignorance reminds me that I am a creature.  Even the atheist, the evolutionist, and the naturalist has to acknowledge that they are simple creatures, not The Creator.

Despite my best efforts, I will never possess the full wisdom of God.  In some part, I will always be in the dark.  At every moment in life my knowledge will be incomplete.

This is not be a bad thing when it drives me to Him.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. (2)

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  1. John MacArthur, Truth for Today : A Daily Touch of God’s Grace (Nashville, Tenn.: J. Countryman, 2001), 246.
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Proverbs 1:7.
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