Now Playing: Can we understand His ways?
What do we do when we cannot figure something out? We pull out a dictionary, thesaurus, or encyclopedia. We go to the library, check on the internet, call one of our friends, or simply experiment. But in spiritual matters, the Lord can help us to find understanding about the struggles and issues we face every day.
We have a good example for us in Nehemiah. "(v.3) And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law. (v.6) And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. And all the people answered, 'Amen, Amen,' with lifting up their hands: and they bowed their heads, and worshipped the LORD with their faces to the ground. (v.8) So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading". (Nehemiah 8:3,6,8)
King David counsels us, "Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even they shall understand the lovingkindness of the LORD" (Psalm 107:43). "Make me to understand the way of Thy precepts: so shall I talk of Thy wondrous works" (Psalm 119:27). "I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Thy precepts" (Psalm 119:100).
Solomon adds his advice, Proverbs chapter 2 ==> "(v.1) My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; (v.2) So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; (v.3) Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; (v.4) If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; (v.5) Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. (v.6) For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. (v.7) He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: He is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. (v.8) He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of His saints. (v.9) Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path. (v.10) When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; (v.11) Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee. " (Proverbs 2:4-11) " (v.19) A servant will not be corrected by words: for though he understand he will not answer. (v.20) Seest thou a man that is hasty in his words? there is more hope of a fool than of him". (Proverbs 29:19-20)
The prophet Isaiah warns, "(v.9) Whom shall He teach knowledge? and whom shall He make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. (v.10) For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: (v.16) Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, 'Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.' (v.26) For his God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him." (Isaiah 28:9-10,16,26). And we find in chapter 44 of Isaiah, "(v.6) Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and His redeemer the LORD of hosts; 'I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. (v.7) And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for Me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them. (v.8) Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.' (v.18) They have not known nor understood: for He hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand. (v.19) And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding..." (Isaiah 44:6-8,18-19).
Daniel has recorded for our blessing, "(v.9) Yet heard I the voice of His words: and when I heard the voice of His words, then was I in a deep sleep on my face, and my face toward the ground. (v.10) And, behold, an hand touched me, which set me upon my knees and upon the palms of my hands. (v.11) And He said unto me, 'O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent.' And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. (v.12) Then said he unto me, 'Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words'." (Daniel 10:9-12)
The prophet Hosea instructed God's people, "(v.7) They that dwell under His shadow shall return; they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine: the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon. (v.8) Ephraim shall say, 'What have I to do any more with idols? I have heard Him, and observed Him:' I am like a green fir tree. From me is thy fruit found. (v.9) Who is wise, and he shall understand these things? prudent, and he shall know them? for the ways of the LORD are right, and the just shall walk in them: but the transgressors shall fall therein" (Hosea 14:7-9).
In Luke chapter 24 (read it all) we also find instruction and encouragement. "(v.14) And they talked together of all these things which had happened. (v.15) And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus Himself drew near, and went with them. (v.16) But their eyes were holden that they should not know Him. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning Himself. (v.28) And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and He made as though He would have gone further. (v.29) But they constrained Him, saying, 'Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.' And He went in to tarry with them. (v.30) And it came to pass, as He sat at meat with them, He took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. (v.31) And their eyes were opened, and they knew Him; and He vanished out of their sight. (v.45) Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures" (Luke 24:45).
We also learn from the apostle Paul exhorting those at Philippi, "(v.9) And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; (v.10) That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. (v.11) Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. (v.12) But I would ye should understand, brethren, that the things which happened unto me have fallen out rather unto the furtherance of the gospel;" (Philippians 1:9-12). To the Corinthians, he admonishes, "(v.1) Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. (v.2) And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (love), I am nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:1-2)
The Hebrew people were instructed, "(v.1) Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (v.2) For by it the elders obtained a good report. (v.3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (v.39) And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: (v.40) God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect. (v.1) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, (v.2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith..." (Hebrews 11:1-3,39-40,12:1-2).
The Lord Jesus Himself taught, "(v.14) And when He had called all the people unto Him, He said unto them, 'Hearken unto me every one of you, and understand: (v.15) There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. (v.16) If any man have ears to hear, let him hear'." (Mark 7:14-16) May God give us "ears to hear" what He has to say that we might find understand to walk in a way well-pleasing unto Him!