Understanding the Bible—A Pleasure Open to You
THE Bible contains precious truths from God. It tells us about the purpose of life, the cause of human suffering, and the future of mankind. It teaches us how to find happiness, how to make friends, and how to deal successfully with problems. More than that, we learn about our Creator and heavenly Father, Jehovah. Such knowledge brings us delight and gives meaning to our lives.
Taking in knowledge of God is likened in the Bible to eating. Jesus said: “Man must live, not on bread alone, but on every utterance coming forth through Jehovah’s mouth.” (Matthew 4:4; Hebrews 5:12-14) Just as eating nourishing food each day is necessary for us to keep alive, so reading God’s Word regularly is necessary for us to benefit from God’s promise of everlasting life.
We enjoy eating because of the way we are made and because it fills a basic need. However, we have another basic need that we must care for if we want to be happy. Jesus said: “Happy are those conscious of their spiritual need.” (Matthew 5:3) Happiness is possible because that need can be satisfied through an understanding of God’s Word.
True, some find that it is a challenge to understand the Bible. For example, you may need help with texts that refer to unfamiliar customs or that use figurative expressions. Then, there are prophecies written in symbolic language that can be understood only by referring to other Bible texts dealing with the same subject. (Daniel 7:1-7; Revelation 13:1, 2) Even so, you really can come to understand the Bible. How can you be sure of that?
A Pleasure Open to All
The Bible is the Word of God. In it God expresses his will to us. Would God provide a book that is impossible to comprehend or that is understandable only to highly educated people? No, Jehovah would not be so unkind. Christ Jesus said: “Which father is there among you who, if his son asks for a fish, will perhaps hand him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he also asks for an egg, will hand him a scorpion? Therefore, if you, although being wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more so will the Father in heaven give holy spirit to those asking him!” (Luke 11:11-13) Thus, you can be sure that an understanding of the Bible is well within your reach and that if you ask God sincerely, he will provide the help you need to understand his Word. Why, basic Bible teachings can be grasped and appreciated even by children!—2 Timothy 3:15.
Though it takes effort to understand the Bible, doing so can have a powerful, uplifting effect on us. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to two of his disciples and spoke to them about Bible prophecies. Luke’s account says: “Commencing at Moses and all the Prophets he interpreted to them things pertaining to himself in all the Scriptures.” What was the result? That evening, as they reflected on what they had learned, the disciples said to each other: “Were not our hearts burning as he was speaking to us on the road, as he was fully opening up the Scriptures to us?” (Luke 24:13-32) Understanding God’s Word gave them pleasure because it strengthened their faith in God’s promises and gave them a positive outlook on the future.
Far from being a chore, coming to understand the Word of God is interesting and beneficial, as enjoyable as eating a hearty meal. What must you do to gain such understanding? The following article shows how you can enjoy “the very knowledge of God.”—Proverbs 2:1-5.
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Like a loving father, Jehovah gives holy spirit to help us understand the Bible