Tim Johnson, editor
October 5, 2008
Sayings of the Bible
What the Experts Say
In every area of life, the experts are sometimes mistaken. While it is admirable to respect the knowledge of those who have applied themselves to learning in a given field, it is unwise to trust everything they say completely. Whether the topic is medicine, technology, entertainment or academics, those who are supposed to be in the know often aren't. The following quotes illustrate the point:
The above examples of experts who were badly mistaken could be multiplied by the thousands. Most of us have learned to take the opinions of experts with a grain of salt. That same care and more should be applied in spiritual matters as well.
Sometimes the self-proclaimed Bible experts just don't know what they are talking about. Paul described those who "desiring to be teachers of the law, though they understand neither what they say, nor whereof they confidently affirm" (1 Timothy 1:7, ASV). We've often heard televangelists explaining things like the end times and the second coming of Christ while ignoring many plain passages on the subject. They confidently twist and misuse more difficult passages "to their own destruction" (cf. 2 Peter 3:16).
Sometimes the experts don't want you to learn the truth. Their reason may be that if you learn it you will discover that they are wrong, and then you won't trust and follow them anymore. In Luke 11:52, Jesus warned the experts of the law with these words: "Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered."
We can certainly learn from others who are more knowledgeable than ourselves. The writers of Bible commentaries and other respected Bible scholars may help us understand God's truth. But it is a mistake to keep our minds so open to the teaching of experts that our brains fall out. Jesus instructs us to "take heed how you hear" (Luke 8:18). We should learn to listen critically - to think, question and study for ourselves. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world" (1 John 4:1).
There are some sayings of the Bible which are outstanding and most of us have at least heard them. These are no more important than others but are worth thinking about.
1) Choose You This Day Whom Ye Will Serve. These are the words of Joshua to the people of Israel. He was calling upon them to make a decision. He said, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh. 24:15). Man is a free moral agent and has the right to choose to obey the Lord, and do right, or reject God and do as he pleases. We have to make the decision and no one else can make it for us. What decision have you made?
2) Stand Still And See The Salvation Of The Lord. Moses is leading the children of Israel and, as they come to the Red Sea, they face the problem of the Sea crossing as the Egyptians are pursuing them. Moses uttered these famous words: "Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord which He will show to you today. . . And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided" (Ex.14:13-22). As a result of this miracle, the children of Israel were able to across the Red Sea on dry ground and were saved from the slaughter of the Egyptians.
3) For The Lord Seeth Not As Man Seeth. God and men are different! Man is so limited in what he can see and know. "For the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart" (I Sam. 16:7). Men are often heard to say, "I know what you are thinking." No Way! You may think you know what a person is thinking, but unless they tell you what they are thinking, you do not know, for man can only see the outward. This is one reason we must read and study the Word of God to see what God thinks and wants us to do!
4) It Is Not In Man That Walketh To Direct His Steps. Man is not always as smart as he may think he is. When it comes to spiritual things, man must rely solely upon the teaching of the Bible. "O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps" (Jer. 10:23). This is the reason we must ask, "For what saith the Scripture?" (Rom. 4:3).
-- Johnnie Edwards
Via Elletsville church bulletin, Elletsville, IN, Vol. 8, No. 2, January 24, 1991