10 As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
There can seem to be a lot of pressure on us to figure out the texts we read and understand them all properly. I hope we didn’t come away with that being the point yesterday. Simply, yesterday was about understanding the text is not just to one, but to all. And it is healthy to hear the voices of people in the past and present when we work to understand what is here.
And today we see where the pressure can come off even more. God has given his words to us. God has enabled us to read and understand his words. God makes sure that his words have the effect needed in each of us.
This plays out with differing impacts. One thing I have learned to do, although not always, is to refrain from correcting every single error I perceive in people’s Biblical understandings. Sometimes it is important that we hear another speak of their understanding and let it be. It is what they need at this time as they follow Jesus.
It comes out strong for me when I hear people speaking of death and life after death. As they look for comfort hey will say things that are not how we typically understand the Bible, but they are words that offer some comfort. It becomes time to let those roll through and allow people the comfort they need. It is not damaging their faith or mine. And correcting what we see as errors in those understandings may actually cause harm to someone’s faith.
It is not our job to be the final arbiter of all truth. It is the task of God’s word to bring us hope and faith in the God who knows us and wants us to know him. And his words will not return empty. His words will achieve the purpose for which he sent it. It is for us to be reading and hearing the words of God so that it will have its effect on us and to give others opportunity to read and hear God’s word, allowing it to impact them as God has seen fit and helpful for them. Trust God and his words to live in us, and in his church. To change us and his church as we follow him.
Song – I Will Hide Your Word Inside My Heart (LUYH 761)
Living God, help us to hear your holy Word with open hearts so that we may truly understand; and, understanding, that we may believe; and, believing, that we may follow in all faithfulness and obedience, seeking your honour and glory in all that we do. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.