DEVOTIONAL PAGE - "Brethren, I have written a letter unto you" (Hebrews 13:22).


Archived Devotionals

October 28, 2019

 

The Illuminator

My Dear Friend,

     When in 1922 British archaeologist Howard Carter, aided by candlelight, first peered into the dark, hidden, long-sealed tomb of King Tutankhamun, his associate asked him what he saw? "Wonderful things, wonderful things!" was his reply.

     Indeed, Tut's tomb was a treasure chamber filled with unimaginable wealth - ancient, hidden, shrouded in darkness. Can we not compare it to the Bible?

     It, too, is ancient, inscribed thousands of years ago; and its meaning hidden, though in plain sight and under incessant scholarly scrutiny; and shrouded in darkness, specifically, doubts, fears, and heresies inspired by the rulers of darkness to prevent its treasures of truth from being known; and of unimaginable wealth, the unspeakable eternal riches of the knowledge of God that far surpasses the temporal worth of earthly gold and silver.

     Just a simple, single candle lit Carter's way into Tut's treasure chamber. Once inside, his candle illuminated one wonder after another and another, leaving the rest for the moment in darkness, until eventually all Tut's treasures were, at least visually, his.

     Jesus appointed another Candle, the Holy Spirit, to lead Bible archaeologists into the wonder-filled examination of His treasure chambers of truth. He is our Illuminator. "He shall teach you all things," Jesus said, and "guide you into all truth," and "take of mine, and shall show it unto you" (John 14:26; 16:13, 15).

     Of the Spirit's life-changing work of illumination, R. C. Sproul wrote: "Though the Scriptures themselves are light for us, there is need for additional illumination so that we may clearly perceive the light. The same Holy Spirit who inspires the Scripture, works to illumine the Scriptures for our benefit. He sheds more light on the original light." (Reformation Study Bible, 2113). And Paul informs us the Illuminator can, if we will, show us even God's deepest wonders: "The Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God" (1 Corinthians 2:10).

     If we first receive Him, and then learn to humbly ask His help every time we read or study Scripture, the Illuminator will spotlight the correct interpretation, key idea or principle, and life application of every text or passage in the Bible. He does so not only by personally enlightening our minds but also through others specially gifted and called to interpret the Bible. So we need the Spirit's personal inner tutelage and also the aid of the wonderful Bible translations, study tools, and commentaries Spirit-filled, devoted Christian scholars have made available to us. This opens before us a life of endless spiritual discovery.

     As biblical archaeologists walking through a sixty-six room treasure chamber, we will not see all the Bible's truths clearly at once but we will see them clearly one at a time. One text here, one topic there will become our treasured possession as we patiently and thoughtfully ponder them. Provided, of course, we continue walking with God and studying His Word day by day. Eventually we will see and understand all its treasures. If we obey the Illuminator. And if our motive is correct.

     Why do we study the Bible? To be known as wise? Wrong reason! To know more than another believer or minister whose biblical knowledge we envy? Wrong reason! To quote scripture impressively? Wrong! To compose and deliver sermons or write and edit books? Wrong! To be honored as a Bible expert? Wrong again! Jesus said the Illuminator hides the Scripture's inner meaning from those who are "wise and prudent" in their own view (Luke 10:21). Such motivations snuff out our Candle's light.

     Or do we study Scripture to find something to believe? Right reason! To more fully know its Author, our Savior? Right reason! To get closer to Him? Right! To more clearly understand His will? To find something to obey? To understand our times? To discover gems of truth and invaluable insights with which to enrich and deliver others? Right, all right! These right motives also need the right methods.

     In our very well educated generation many take a head-first approach. They imagine the intellectual comprehension of the Bible as human literature is the sole key to unlocking its wonders. If we understand the word meanings, idioms, cultural features, and historical contexts of the Bible, we have discovered all it has to offer. Yet while intellectual or academic study is a part of the process, it's not the most important.

     A heart-first method is most effective. Devotion to Christ leads to knowledge of Christ. Full consecration, utter abandonment to Christ, these lead the way into the treasure chambers where priceless spiritual insights await our discovery. The Illuminator teaches most those who love most. Is my Bible study devotionally driven or spurred only by academic curiosity, or worse, rank religious pride? If the latter, the true wonders of the Word are sealed off from us. If the former, we're on the right track, and among the "babes" (simple, childlike believers) Jesus said His Father has chosen to receive an illumination of the "deep things of God."

     That is, if we continue obeying. If we continue believing. If we continue having the right motives. If we continue refusing to let hard tests end our wonder-filled exploration of God's biblical treasure chamber. And if we continue asking the Illuminator's help. Then, "wonderful things, wonderful things" await us in God's wonder-filled Word! And, unlike those Carter discovered, ours will never be exhausted. Are you continuing today?

Continuing,

Greg Hinnant
Greg Hinnant Ministries

       Greg Hinnant Ministries
PO Box 788, High Point, NC 27261
1-336-882-1645