“I heard, but I did not understand. Then I said, “O my lord, what shall be the outcome of these things?” He said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are shut up and sealed until the time of the end.” – Daniel 12:8-9
Warmest Christian greetings for the New Year!
‘’The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever” (Isaiah 40:8). In a rapidly changing and often chaotic world, it is reassuring to be reminded of the absolute reliability of the Bible.
In our recent series of studies in the second half of Daniel, we found that many sections were not easy to understand. This quote from the Westminster Confession of Faith was really helpful:
“Not all things in Scripture are equally plain in themselves or equally clear to all. Yet those things which are necessary to be known, believed, and observed for salvation are so clearly stated and explained in one place or another in the Bible that not only the educated, but also the uneducated, may gain a sufficient understanding of them by a proper use of the ordinary means.”
We read of Daniel admitting: “I heard but I did not understand.” Some find it fascinating to search for answers within the text that may not be there. It is better to accept what is clear (main and plain) rather than speculate over what is not. Studying the Bible is demanding. It requires commitment and diligence. Paul urged Timothy to be a WORKMAN who handles the Scripture in such a manner that he would have no need to be ashamed.
One of the benefits of teaching the Bible systematically and in this fashion is that it enables the listener to develop their own Bible-study skills and keep the pastor honest. There is no substitute for a daily diet of Scripture. J.I. Packer said, “Disregard the study of God, and you sentence yourself to stumble and blunder through life blindfolded, as it were, with no sense of direction and no understanding of what surrounds you.”
In light of this, we want to help each other to be diligent in 2016. So we’re offering the ESV Daily Devotional New Testament this month. By reading about twenty minutes a day, this resource will take you through the entire New Testament in one year. I commend it to you highly.
In looking forward, I don’t want to forget to say a sincere thank you for the way in which your gifts allowed us to finish the year in such a strong position. Because of your generous partnership, we’re able to continue offering all of our online and mobile teaching for free. This is a tremendous help to many. On their behalf, I thank you.
With my love in the Lord Jesus,
Topics: Letters From Alistair Begg