1 Samuel 5:1-6:12; John 5:39-47; Psalms 106:6-12; Proverbs 23:12
NT: “You pore over the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life in them, and yet they testify about me. But you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life. I do not accept glory from people, but I know you — that you have no love for God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and yet you don’t accept me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe, since you accept glory from one another but don’t seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. Your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me. But if you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe my words?” (John 5:39-47 CSB)
Jesus explained to the Jewish religious leaders that He wasn’t a self-proclaimed deity, but that John the Baptist, the miraculous works that He did, and the Father Himself testified to the fact that Jesus was the Son of God. Then Jesus turned to the authority that was most dear to the religious leaders: the Holy Scriptures. Not only did John the Baptist, God the Father, and Jesus’ miraculous works testify to Who He was, the scriptures themselves testified as well. The scribes and Pharisees were self-proclaimed experts of the scriptures. They poured over the scriptures incessantly – but because they didn’t love God, they failed to see that the promises of life found in the scriptures all pointed to Jesus. The Apostle Paul explained in 1 Corinthians 8:1 that knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. The scribes and Pharisees studied the scriptures to gain knowledge that would benefit their own purposes and social standing. They didn’t study the scriptures out of a love for God. They were all about impressing each other with their knowledge, all the while failing to grow in their familiarity with God. Because they did not know the God of the word, they did not recognize His Son. If they had truly believed the things that Moses had written in the Law, they would have recognized Jesus the Son and believed on Him as well. But they had no faith in the Word – they only used it as a tool for personal advantage. God has chosen to reveal Himself through the word and through The Word made flesh. There are plenty of Biblical scholars that know a lot of information about the word, but they don’t know The Word, nor do they know the God of the word. Lord, help me to not be devoted to discipline, but to be disciplined because of my devotion to You. Help me not to be puffed up with knowledge, but to be built up on my most holy faith as I grow to know You more fully.
Proverbs: “Apply yourself to discipline and listen to words of knowledge.” (Proverbs 23:12 CSB)
The word discipline here carries the connotation of the correction and admonishment that children receive from their parents. To be built up to maturity, we must allow our heart, mind, and understanding to enter into discipline, and allow our ears to enter into words of knowledge. That discipline and those words of knowledge come primarily through the scriptures. As we open the door and enter into the revelation of God through His word, we will be admonished and corrected as to how we are to live our lives, and we will grow in the knowledge of God, His will, and His ways.