Read 2 Peter 3:15-16
15 And remember,the Lord’s patience gives people time to be saved. This is what our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you with the wisdom God gave him-16 speaking of these things in all of his letters. Some of his comments are hard to understand,and those who are ignorant and unstable have twisted his letters to mean something quite different,just as they do with other parts of Scripture. And this will result in their destruction. (NLT)
Here we have it,straight from the horse’s mouth: some parts of the Scriptures are hard to understand. No great surprise to any of us who have spent time studying it so as to teach it or apply it. As this passage suggests,some use some of the complexities and ambiguities of the Bible to twist it to their own purposes. Since a meaning isn’t immediately clear,they impose a meaning on it which will suit their own agenda. And we can assume there are others who faced with such difficulties simply give up. It is all too hard.
The Bible is both simple and complex. Simple and clear enough to show us what God is like and how we can get right with him and live his way. Complex and mysterious enough to make for much diversity of thinking among Christians and confront us with our own limitations of understanding. After all,a book about the living God is by definition a book about someone who is above and beyond us,a book dealing with profound truths.
When it comes to the complexities of Scripture,we need not battle through on our own. God has provided people who have studied these Scriptures and they are his gifts to us. Never be ashamed of seeking help from their books or talks or their persons if you know them. In fact,most if not all churches have someone in them who has made it their business to study the Bible so as to teach it. They won’t have all the answers but they will shed some light in the previously murky darkness.
Then again,let’s not over-complicate the Bible as if we need an expert to tell us everything. The Holy Spirit of God is our helper in reading the Bible. True,he uses others at times,but very often he gives us insights our own native faculties would not have picked up. Never let the things we don’t know dominate the things we do know. As has been said,it is not the bits of Scripture we don’t understand that are the challenge: it is the bits we do understand!