“Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together, they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then thou shalt see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee.” – Isaiah 60:1-5
LIGHT FOR NOW: The degree of your attention in reading is revealed in the degree of your observation in reading.
Looking at observation, we said that in this step, you pay attention to details. So, a student of the bible must be one who pays attention to the finest of details; he must never be in a hurry, he must never rush bible texts while reading. Observation in bible study is essential; if one misses it in observation, he can never get the interpretation right, and neither can he get the application right. You cannot interpret or study what you assume or think was there; you can only interpret what is already written, this is because a text cannot mean what it never meant. Hence, a diligent student of the bible, while reading, will need to ask questions such as: Who wrote it? Or who said it? For instance, in Genesis 3:4, Moses records “And the serpent said unto the women, ye shall not surely die”. The reference to “serpent” here is a choice of words, employing the use of a figure of speech known as imagery. In determining what the serpent was, we will rely on the epistles to explain.
Hear Paul in 2Corinthians 11:3 as we get a lead, it reads “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtility, so your minds should not be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”. In revelation 20:2, Genesis 3:4 is better brought to the spotlight, it reads “And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years”. Hence, in answering who said what in Genesis 3:4, the epistles help us identify this personality. In that scenario, it was Satan speaking not God; neither was it a snake speaking because snakes don’t talk. In explaining Genesis 3:4 which we have done above, we have in the undertone applied a bible interpretation rule which we haven’t examined yet but will be examined as the studies advances; it is the rule of systematic reading. When we get to this rule, you will come to understand the word context beyond pretext and post-text. Pretext and post-text is primary where context is concerned and shouldn’t be neglected. However, in advance studies, we will expand context to mean the whole books of the bible read together. Hallelujah!
INSTRUCTION: Follow the studies carefully.
PRAYER: My eyes of understanding are enlightened, in Jesus Name. Amen.
QUOTE: Observation in bible interpretation drives you to paying attention to details.
DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 2; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3