The Deeper Secrets of the Bible
How shall we enter into the deeper secrets of this Book? Let me give you SIX RULES, easily remembered: search, meditate, compare, pray, believe, obey. What would you think of some university professor who proposed carrying you into the mysteries of philosophy by these six rules? You would think that either he was a fool or else he thought you were. No book on philosophy or science, poetry or history, needs any such conditions. But without these, and every one of them, no reader penetrates the secrets of this Book!
SEARCH it — because its wonders do not lie on the surface like shells on the beach, but like nuggets in veins and caverns, to be dug with the pickaxe.
MEDITATE, because there is a process akin to rumination, by which, as you dwell upon the Scriptures, your being takes roots in them and shoots up and bears fruit — the “tree planted by the rivers of water.” And without such meditation, you skim over the surface a thousand times and know nothing of what is beneath.
COMPARE, because there is no error on earth that may not find apparent support in an isolated text —but no error in doctrine or practice can stand the test of the whole Scripture. You need to compare Scripture with Scripture so that one passage may correct your misinterpretation of another or confirm your right impression of another or let in new light illumining its meaning and opening up its depths.
PRAY, because prayer is the illumining secret of the intellectual eye. “Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” And as Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord — that is to say, Paul, conscious of being inspired, appealed to the verifying faculty in the prophets of the Corinthian Church. And that is one thing that settled the canon and shows how we got our Bible. Holy Men, who knew God inspired them, appealed to the prophetic spirit in the early Church until their epistles and writings were acknowledged by the Church to be the very voice of God and were incorporated into the canon. It is a very remarkable piece of history which shows God’s providence in superintending the compilation of the Word of God.
And not only pray, but BELIEVE. In all other departments men believe what they know — but in the matter of Scripture, men know only what they believe. It is a very remarkable and unique fact that you come to the highest certainty only as you first believe. In the scientific world, men pride themselves on their incredulity. But in the the spiritual world we learn that faith is not credulity. It is the entering of the door into the secret chambers of God. The prophet Isaiah said to Ahaz, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be established” — the force of the Hebrew is, “If ye will not believe, surely ye shall not be CONFIRMED IN KNOWLEDGE.”
Finally, OBEY. You never learn a second lesson from God until you practice the first. In human universities, you can go through and manage to get out and not know much more than when you went in. But not so in God’s university.
Under God’s training, it is like mounting a ladder — you have to step on one rung before you can get to the next above it. And so our Lord says in John 7:17, “If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine.” If you have a doubt of Holy Scripture, it is probably linked with disobedience. Come in the spirit of obedience and bow before the authority of this Word. Whatever you see as a precept, translate it into practice. Obey what God teaches and He will lead you into larger knowledge of Himself and of His commandments. You shall find that, by searching and meditating and comparing, by praying and believing and obeying, you are enabled to see in this Book its Divine Author, to see in this Book the remedy for your fallen and depraveted estate and nature, and to come into the deepest knowledge and understanding of its inscrutable mysteries.