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Monday, June 15, 2015

Grieving and Paining (background for tomorrow's post)

In 1978 and 1979 my wife and I were at Michigan State University living in faculty housing.  We were working with a Christian organization on campus.  MSU was a training center for that organization.  Part of the training was a requirement to study the Bible 20 hours a week and to work a part time job 20 hours a week.  After that we could go to the dorm and engage with students.
Grieving and Paining (background)
In that 20 hours per week of study we were assigned topical studies that were tied to ministry and ministry philosophy.  One of those studies was on spiritual multiplication.  The concept was simple.  We were to look up all the passages we could find that had multiple generations in them, record them, and then make observations and conclusions.  Simple, but this was before personal computers, Bible programs, and the internet.  So essentially we either used concordances or skimmed the Bible from Genesis to Revelation looking for the passages that were required by the study.

We lived in a one bedroom apartment.  In the corner of the “living room” I had a desk and some shelves with my reference books.  I either studied there or in the MSU library.  I was at that desk one afternoon working through the Psalms in the search for generational references and came to Psalm 78.  As I read through the Psalm I literally stood up at my desk in excitement.  Prof talks about keyhole texts, texts that open up understanding of books or large portions of Scripture.  Psalm 78:5 – 8 was the first such text that I found.  I stood up in excitement because that passage outlined the content and purpose of the Old Testament.  It became the cornerstone of many of my future messages, especially those that dealt with God’s overarching plan of redemption.

I have invested a significant amount of time in this Psalm, I have referred to it at least four other times in this blog.  I have spoken using 5 – 8 as the outline more times than I can recall.  This week it was part of the assignment for the Tuesday morning Bible study in which I participate.  I saw things in Psalm 78 that I had not seen before.  I will share those things tomorrow.

The point of this background is to serve as a reminder to me and you by extension, that no matter how familiar I am with a passage of Scripture, there is more there than I have seen or will ever see.

I may have a masters in theology, but I will never master the Bible.

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