JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (13)

“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: Consistency in reading is a vital quality that shows you are either diligent or not.

It’s clear and unarguable that reading plays a vital role when it comes to understanding and interpreting texts of scriptures. When reading is out of place, understanding the scriptures can’t be in place. So, understanding the scriptures will begin first by reading any written material at all. The vitality of reading is so critical in scriptures that its emphasis was/is overwhelming. That’s why Paul while writing to Timothy who was his mentee says “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1Timothy 4:13).  In Ephesians 3:3-5, Paul in verse 4 uses a phrase “when you read”. Verse 4 of Ephesians 3 already tells us why he wrote to them “…Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand…” hence, Paul wrote to them so that the epistle can be read but the essence was for them to read and understand.

That term “when you read” used by Paul in verse 4 of Ephesians 3 is “anaginosko” in Greek and we’ve seen that it was gotten from two words: “ana” meaning again and “ginosko” meaning to recognize. “Anaginosko” therefore implies continuous reading, that is, you must keep reading. “Anaginosko” means to read properly, to pay attention to details as you read. This word is used to relive an experience. You keep reading it again and again. In historical times, “Anaginosko” was used for judges when they read their judgment on matters of justice brought before them. It was used 33 times in the New Testament books of the bible. The frequency of its usage by the authors points our attention to the importance of the word “read”. Hence, what Paul said to the church at Ephesus can be better understood as, “as you keep reading, you may understand”. Paul again pointed out that understanding revelation is related to how dutiful (diligent) we are in reading. The believer, therefore, has a duty not just to have read the scriptures but to keep reading the same. This is why the very first rule in bible study is reading, that is, observation. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Your reading must be continuous.

PRAYER: I declare a boiling fire and passion within me to drive me to a place of reading God’s word consistently and continually, in Jesus name, Amen.

QUOTE: Reading that is not consistent lacks the quality of diligence.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 21 EVENING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 22

 JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (12)

“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: Reading for understanding is reading with observation.

Reading plays a very vital role in study and interpretation. Observation plays a key role in reading; it is from reading with observation that understanding will be arrived at. Meaning:

  • You cannot understand in reading if you don’t comprehend the read material.
  • You can’t comprehend the read material devoid of observation.

So when it comes to understanding and interpreting bible texts, reading plays a very vital role. Thus, understanding the scriptures begins firstly from reading. If you cannot read, you cannot comprehend or understand. Reading is so emphasized in the scriptures that Paul also instructs Timothy; a minister of the gospel, a bible teacher to give attendance to reading; thus, in 1Timothy 4:13, Paul had this to say, “Till I come, give attendance to reading to exhortation, to doctrine”. In Paul’s words in Ephesians 3, he had this to say “How that by revelation, he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the spirit” (Ephesians 3:3-5). Verse 4 clearly tells us why he wrote to them, “Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand…” Hence, Paul wrote to them so that the epistle can be read but the essence was for them to read and understand. The term “when you read” used in Ephesians 3 above as documented by Paul was translated from a compound word in the Greek Lexicon “anaginosko”. This word is important in our study, it was gotten from two words in Greek: “Ana” which means again and “Ginosko” which means to recognize. What in essence does “anaginosko” mean? To be answered in next study. Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: While reading, don’t miss out of observation.

PRAYER: My eyes of understanding are sharpened as I study through your word, even as I consecrate myself to the place of reading your word diligently now and always, in Jesus Name. Amen.

QUOTE: You can’t skip observation in reading and aim to arrive at understanding in reading.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 12 EVENING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 19

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (11)

“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: For there to be understanding in the place of reading, you cannot ignore, neglect or exonerate observation from the picture.

In Acts 8:27-35, the question Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch who read from Isaiah the prophet (Isaiah 53:7-8 in Acts 8:31-33) was “Understandest thou what thou readest”. Meaning, in interpretation and studying, proper reading is the key. From Philip’s question in verse 30 of Acts 8, the first thing to be deduced is that the Ethiopian Eunuch read from the scriptures. Secondly, Philip was able to explain the verse that the Ethiopian Eunuch was reading because he also must have read the scriptures. The phrase “began at the same scripture” in Acts 8:35 (as documented by Luke) imply Philip used other scriptures to explain that same verse to him. Thirdly, based on that explanation, the man of Ethiopia believed; he received salvation (Acts 8:37).

This shows you that reading plays a very vital role when it comes to understanding and interpreting texts of scriptures. This explains why Philip’s question bothered on the Ethiopian Eunuch understanding what he read. So, we can say that: Understanding in reading cannot be arrived at if reading is done with zero percent observation. Also, it can be deduced that: Understanding the scriptures would begin firstly by reading. So, reading without observation cannot land you in understanding. Meaning, to understand what is read, observation must be given to what is read, and you have not observed what is read until you pay attention to the details of the read material. Reading for understanding demands observation and that is how understanding can be arrived at. See this:

  • For you to arrive at study, you have to read.
  • For you to arrive at interpretation, you have to read.
  • For you to arrive at right/proper reading, you have to observe.
  • For you to observe, you have to pay attention to details.
  • For there to be comprehension in reading, you cannot neglect observation.
  • If you cannot observe what is read in order for comprehension, you cannot arrive at understanding. Think! Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Meditate on the study carefully.

PRAYER: I declare my commitment to the reading of your word Lord, no more in a lazy and carefree attitude, but with the attitude of diligence, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Until observation begins in reading, reading has not begun; understanding will not emerge.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: 1TIMOTHY CHAPTER 4; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (10)

“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: Interpretation and studying begins with reading and proper reading begins at observation of what is read.

Interpretation and study begins with reading; if you can’t read, you can’t study and if you can’t read, you equally can’t interpret. So, the bedrock of both studying and interpretation is reading, however, the bedrock of right reading and deep reading itself falls down to observation. Observation in reading will mean paying attention to details in the material. If you miss it at observation, you will miss it in all the processes (that is, reading, interpretation and studying). The minute you fail to pay attention to details when reading, it simply means you will fail to properly interpret it. A major work of a bible student is to be observant, because what you do not observe, you cannot interpret; and thus, you did not study at all or you were just doing a shallow study. To go deeper in bible interpretation, go deeper in bible reading. Your expertise in interpreting bible text falls back to your bible reading ability.

Reading is so important that in Acts 8:27-34, where we have Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, Philip asked the Ethiopian Eunuch who read from the Prophet Isaiah “Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30). From Philip’s question in verse 30 of Acts 8, it is first important to note that the Ethiopian Eunuch read from the scriptures and the place he read from was Isaiah 53:7-8; Acts 8:31-33 shows that. And Philip was able to explain the verse to the Ethiopian Eunuch, why? Philip was able to explain the verse that he was reading because he also must have read the scriptures. Observe what Luke wrote in verse 35 of Acts 8 “…Philip opened his mouth, and began at that same scripture…” The phrase “began at the same scripture” means Philip used other scriptures to explain that same verse to him. So reading is very critical and pivotal to proper bible interpretation. Hallelujah!

INSTRUCTION: Read your bible.

PRAYER: Thank you father for the instruction from your word as touching reading, I yield myself to this instruction as I am diligence in the place of reading and my eyes open up to revelation knowledge, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Reading with zero observation is no reading at all.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: ACTS CHAPTER 8; EVENING: MATTHEW CHAPTER 12

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (9)

“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: Studying demands reading, interpretation demands reading; however, proper reading demands observation, and reading without observation will not make you have the appropriate interpretation.

One of the critical aims of this study is to fully equip us with critical facts surrounding bible interpretation; how the bible ought to be read. And it is this fact that will be applied to Isaiah 60:1-5 to bring the study to the spotlight. Previously, we came to establish that if you miss it in proper reading; you can never get the interpretation right. And we thus established that a vital key to proper reading of bible text is observation. You can’t read the scriptures carelessly and lackadaisically, and aim to get the interpretation right. Proper reading demands close observation. Observation will be to ask:

  • What does it say?
  • What is the content?

Truth is:

  • If you cannot read, you cannot study.
  • If you cannot read, you cannot interpret.

You cannot interpret what you assume or thought was there. You can only interpret what you have read. Observation is important to reading and bible interpretation. Any reading without the observation of what is being read is just a shallow reading or no reading at all, but any reading with the observation of what is being read is deep reading. So far in our study, let’s answer the following questions:

  • How do you study bible text? By reading.
  • Why is the first answer “by reading”? It is because if you don’t read, you cannot study.
  • How do you interpret bible texts? Also by reading.
  • Why is the answer to question 3 also “reading”? It is because if you cannot read, you cannot interpret. Meaning, you cannot interpret an unread material. You cannot study if you are not reading. Studying will thus begin with reading and interpretation begins with reading.
  • Why is the answer to the first sets of questions above “reading”? It is because reading is the bedrock of studying and interpretation.
  • What is the key ingredient in proper reading? Observation
  • What is observation in reading? In reading, observation is paying attention to details. Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: Don’t read with your mind wandering about, pay attention to details.

PRAYER: I declare and stir up a reading atmosphere over my life; I will be enthusiastic and passionate of studying God’s word now more than ever, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: In bible interpretation, if you miss out of observation, you can’t arrive at proper bible interpretation.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: ACTS CHAPTER 8; EVENING: EPHESIANS CHAPTER 3

JESUS IN ALL THE EARTH (8)

“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: Never try to interpret a text you haven’t read properly, if you do so you will be abusing the authors’ intent.

We have established fundamentally that bible study and bible teaching demand carefulness, hard work and diligence, because bible texts must be presented in their exactness. We can’t read our meaning into what has been written already, because doing that becomes an abuse to what was intended by the author in such a text. No one is at liberty to give a personal interpretation or meaning to a text. Don’t forget, the Greek word “orthotomeo” from which the English term “rightly dividing” was translated from in 2Timothy 2:15 brings to the fore that Paul’s use of that terminology was to let us know that in bible interpretation, we don’t innovate, we excavate. We don’t read our intents into bible texts; we study bible text carefully allowing the authors’ intent find expression in our interpretation.

Recall, reading plays a vital role as far as interpreting bible texts is concerned. As far as you miss it at right reading, you cannot get it at right interpretation. Is it not saddening that most folks teach or try to explain bible texts that they’ve not read properly. And some even try to explain bible text that they’ve not by themselves read. The question is:

  • How can you explain what you have not read?
  • How can you explain properly what you’ve not read properly?
  • How can you even read properly when you don’t know how proper reading is done?

This must be settled in our minds: Reading plays the greatest role if bible texts must be rightly divided. This, therefore, brings to the fore the importance of reading, because you cannot successfully interpret a text you did not properly read. Hence, in proper bible interpretation, one vital key is observation. This is because observation is important in proper interpretation of texts of the books of the bible. You can’t aim to get it at right interpretation when you had missed it at proper reading. Observation in reading or bible interpretation will be to ask these questions while reading bible texts: What does it say? What is the content? Hallelujah!!!

INSTRUCTION: When you read, observe.

PRAYER: I stir up a reading appetite in me now more than ever, in Jesus Name.  Amen.

QUOTE: Error in right reading equals to error in right interpretation which equals to error in right application.

DAILY BIBLE READING: MORNING: LUKE CHAPTER 23; EVENING: LUKE CHAPTER 24

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