How many of you have your favorite verses of Scripture? You know, the ones you’ve memorized, written down, maybe even have them framed and hung on the wall or, most importantly, plastered on the refrigerator door. Me too. Since I turned fifty years old the other day, I’m becoming fond of Song of Songs 2:14, where the young man tells his bride, “Let me see your face; let me hear your voice. For your voice is pleasant, and your face is lovely.” It gives me comfort to think that as the remaining hair on my head turns grayer and the lines grow deeper on my face, God still likes to hear me speak and enjoys seeing my face in His presence.
However, for many years I also had a least favorite Scripture because I just couldn’t understand what it meant. Whenever anyone asked what faith was, some well-meaning person in the room would always quote Heb. 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” True, that’s what is says. Can’t deny it. Now, what the heck does that mean? “Well,” they’d say, “faith is a substance, a thing that, uh, you know, you have when you’re, uh, hoping for something like heaven or a blessing, or, uh…” About that time I’d say, “Never mind. I’m still confused.” Do you see why it was my least favorite Scripture?
The problem with quoting this one verse of Scripture and stopping there is this: Although it is technically correct, it is contextually incomplete. To take one verse of Scripture, quote it, then sit back and wait for the light to come on over everyone’s head is a bit presumptuous. Continue Reading