One of the classic features of my undergraduate years was my lack of notes. Not lack in the stark sense of the word but in the sense that I wasn’t one of the guys you’d come to if you needed an updated note for a particular course or topic. I just never had them.
I preferred to listen in class and make scribbles in my notebook, and I found writing in class to be distracting for me, however, when it was time for exams I relied on those whose notes were complete and up-to-date.
Documentation is important. Infact in Medical Practice, there is a common saying; “Not documented means not done”. Writing things down helps us to remember, keep track of and reference them amongst other things. They don’t only serve us, they serve other people too. They can also be relevant in our engagements with other people.
Rom.15.4: For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope. (AMP)
Rom.15.4: Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. They give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises. (NLT)
Let’s notice that there are things that have been written down. This is simple, but a lot of believers function as if nothing has been written down for them, as though they have been called to figure the faith life as they go along.
It’s our job – under the hand of the Holy Spirit – to discover what those things are, for our lives depend on them. Reading patiently, prayerfully and meditatively are good starting points.
First, we note the who. They were written for us. The scriptures primarily wasn’t targeted to unbelievers. Yes, it has a certain range of communication with the unbelieving world. Yes, it is, in a broad sense, God’s communication to mankind.
Yet, it is my considered opinion that at the heart of the Scriptures is God’s communication with His children, with the redeemed of the Lord. They are written for us.
Secondly, we are informed when the records started; they started from the former days, long ago. Some years back, some people were spreading a dangerous teaching that the old testament didn’t matter new testament believers. Apparently they never read this before.
Thirdly, we are informed about why. They were written for our Instuction. There are several reasons for the scriptures. Amongst them is to teach and instruct us. Admittedly, men out of their own desires have invented reasons or rather have gone to scriptures for reasons outside of the intended scope and frame of reference. God wanted us to live and function is a certain manner. He didn’t simply wish it, he documented it. They were written for our Instuction.
To what end?
To supply us with patience and comfort. And in this day and age, how sorely do we need them.
But beyond resources to help us deal with the constraints of our times, we see that patience and comfort are necessary for our continuance in the faith. There are so critical that we are to get a constant and consistent supply of them by the agency of the scriptures. And the basis for this is to stabilize our hearts in hope, that we can hold fast and steady. God’s promises, in time and in eternity will surely come to pass.
You can count on the promises of God. There is hope. Stay with scriptures. So what has been written. Everything we need.