Beware of Misrepresenting God
My wife left me a very important note with very detailed instructions. I was going to have all three of our kids for a whole 24 hours. Our twins were 10 months and our oldest was about 2 years. And I was going to have them. By myself. For 24 hours. By myself.
She wrote about what they needed to eat and when. The time they took naps. What to do if they woke up at night. Where the formula and bottles were.
Imagine to her horror if when she gets home and asks how things went I said,
“It was ok. We just chilled and had a good time. I saw what you said about getting them down for two naps but I had a lot of errands to run and I was busy playing a video game so I thought they actually weren’t that important. And when you said to give them bottles of formula I thought what you really meant was buckets of granola. They didn’t like that very much. And when you said to give them baby Motrin for their teething I thought you really meant morphine. They are sleeping pretty good right now. In fact it’s been a while, you might want to go check on them.”
Not quite sure how awful that would end up for me but let’s just say the doghouse is what I would be praying for.
It is frustrating to be misinterpreted is it not? When you try to communicate something clearly and someone makes up another meaning that you didn’t intend. Whether it was an accident or not it is frustrating!
If we think our words and thoughts being accurately conveyed is important, I wonder how much more God’s words are? God has entrusted us with a precious book full of insight into who he is and what he is about, shouldn’t it be of utmost importance to get this right? To make sure the meaning he wants to communicate from this book is correct?
It is no wonder that because the character of God and person of God is on the line, that James 3:1 says, “for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness.” We see this in the Old Testament too that prophets who claim to speak on behalf of God and are shown to be false, are to be put to death (Deuteronomy 13:5; 18:22).
God cares about his name. He cares about his reputation. What we say about him matters. We ought to then approach the Bible with the humility and submission.
God has revealed himself and our job isn’t to interpret it however we want. It’s not our job to simply confirm our ideas of what we think he is like or ought to be. Our job is to find out the meaning of the Bible that God intended through the author.
We are his servants. We are created by him for his glory. How dare we approach the Bible flippantly making it say whatever we want unconcerned with communicating God’s words accurately and representing him correctly.
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly handling the Word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
“This is the one I esteem, he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2