Did you ever read a part of the Bible and have absolutely no idea what it means?
Then you are in good company.
Even those who wrote the Bible didn’t understand all of it.
Daniel lived a life of confident faithfulness to the Lord. He refused to eat the king’s food that was contrary to God’s dietary laws. He refused to stop praying to the Lord even though the consequence was being fed to pent-up, hungry lions.
Daniel also faithfully served the Lord by writing down the dreams and visions God gave him of future events. Beasts, goats, rams, antichrist, the abomination of desolations. Even though Daniel was the one receiving the visions, he did not understand it all.
In Daniel 8:26-27:
“‘The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.’ I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.”
What we can learn from Daniel’s experience
Accept that God’s word is true even if you don’t understand it. God tells Daniel that the vision of the evenings and mornings is true and He tells Daniel that it is about the future. Just because Daniel didn’t get it doesn’t mean it wasn’t true. The truth of God’s word is not dependent upon our ability to understand it.
Put effort into understanding. Daniel was exhausted by the vision because he had put forth energy into understanding it. When you come across a hard part of the Bible, don’t just look for a footnote and then give up if there isn’t one. Put some effort into understanding a passage. Read some different translations. Look up the definitions of some of the worlds. Check your cross-references. Ask a friend what it means. Put some effort into Bible study. It’s okay to break a sweat during your quiet time!
Know when it’s time to take a rest. It’s definitely time to give a difficult passage a rest when you find yourself trying to pick a fight with someone from a different point of view.
Don’t let your lack of understanding paralyze you. Daniel didn’t stay in bed. After a rest, he got up and went back to work for the king. As Christians, we cannot let a lack of understanding keep us from serving the Lord. Even if you don’t understand the Bible, you need to go about the King’s business. You don’t have to understand every detail of heaven in order to share the truth of eternity. You don’t have to know how God created the world in order to teach your children that God made them.
When you come across a hard part of Scripture, work on it. Put energy into figuring it out. Know when it is time to rest and be okay with letting God’s word be true even if you can’t fully understand it. Don’t let the hard parts prevent you from working for the King.
What is your first reaction when you come across a hard part of the Bible? Has a hard part of the Bible ever held you back from serving the Lord? Comment below!