A Fellowship In Christ Jesus

A Fellowship in the World, but not of the World

A Ministry of D. Paul Walker

Confirming Defending Bearing the Gospel of Christ Jesus

Seven Precepts to Understanding the Bible

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Diligence

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

Hebrews 11:6

Whether or not due diligence is given to the study of the Bible is determined by the heart, its attitude toward God and his word. To understand the Bible, a godly perspective of life’s priorities and a heart’s desire to seek the Lord is required. How should the time devoted to the study of the words of our creator be compared to the time spent in the pursuit of the profit and pleasures of this world? God is “a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Jeremiah 9:23-24 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches: 24But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.

The word diligent, diligence or diligently appears 62 times in 61 verses in the Bible. All but a few refer to being diligent toward obeying God's word, diligent in studying God's word or diligent in preparing ourselves to serve him.

Exodus 15:26 If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight,…

Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life:…

Deuteronomy 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children,…

It is important to conceptualize the abstract meaning of diligence and make it a concrete desire of the heart if we expect to meet the standard that will be rewarded of God. The following is a short word study on diligence. It is not necessary to memorize the following definitions, but it will be extremely helpful to familiarize yourself with the terms and comprehend the action that each describes so that you understand what God is requiring, what he will reward.

Diligence {Latin—diligo, to love earnestly}

  • Persistent application to one's work or duty; persevering effort
  • Due attention; Proper heed; care; Steady application
  • Exertion of body and/or mind without delay or sloth
  • Constant and close attention to;

Constancy is a very interesting part of diligence in relation to God's word.

Constancy {Latin - consto, to stand}

  • fixedness, standing firm
  • Unchanging; immutable
  • A permanent state; lasting affection
  • Particularly applicable to firmness of mind under sufferings to steadiness in attachments

If time is taken to study and consider the above list, it will be seen that the substance of these words is not physical attributes, not all mental attributes but all are qualities of the heart. Persistence is not by strength but by a heart's desire; you persevere when physical strength and mental determination fail. Zeal from the heart is undampened by disappointment while the affections of the flesh fade as fast as they are obtained; our minds we change constantly. Lasting affections, steadfastness, is of the heart. Standing firm, fixedness, unchanging these are attributes of God which he desires us to have.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not;…

James 1:17 …the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Daniel 6:26 …the God of Daniel: …he is the living God, and stedfast for ever,…

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

A common response when speaking with people is that they had tried to read the Bible at one time and failing to understand it, not having immediate comprehension, the Bible was set aside and left to collect dust. This type of statement always betrays one's heart attitude, especially when it is from professionals, businessmen, college graduates, tradesmen of all sorts; men who have and continue to diligently study the disciplines of this world in order to reap its rewards and have applied no time to the diligent study of God's word. Men have their priorities reversed. They spend all their time preparing for and attempting to profit in the here and now, our short and temporary home, and no time preparing to profit in eternity, our long and permanent home.

Ecclesiastes 12:5 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:…

Do you have a desire to know God, to understand his word? Make that desire a permanent state, a lasting affection. God is not going to give the undecided, the lackadaisical, the double-minded nor those that are self-promoting, any considerable understanding or wisdom in his word.

Psalms 78:5-8 For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children:… 8And might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

James 4:8purify your hearts, ye double minded.

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

There is much more to the admonition that God, "is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him," than first meets the eye. The Bible is our lamp, our light, and our guide; without a knowledge of what it says we will not understand the Scriptures, and can not fully comprehend life, history, or the nature of the universe we live in. The greatest indignity we as part of creation can perform toward God our creator is not to listen and diligently consider when he speaks, to forsake his word and walk in our own way.

Psalms 10:4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

1 Samuel 2:6-8 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive: he bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up. 7The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up. 8He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and he hath set the world upon them.

According to the Scriptures, there is nothing that is without the Lord nor is there anything not in his control. We are far better advised to diligently seek him and an understanding of his word than the wisdom and understanding of this world.

The first precept to understanding the Bible is:

God is a rewarder of them
that Diligently seek him

Some believers stop looking for treasure in their Bibles after a while. They don't stick to the map, don't rely on the Word to chart their course, and after a while they get detoured into a maze of self-help books, psychology, intellectual speculation, philosophy, materialism, educational title mongering, mass media punditry, or motions of empty religiosity.

THE TRANSLATOR TO THE READER
“The Orthodox Jewish Bible”
Translated by: Dr. Phillip E. Goble
Artists for Israel International Publishing
Copyright © 2011, ISBN 978-0-939341-05-4

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