This is what God gave me today in his word:
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
Well, that’s fairly all-inclusive I’d say. But Paul, are you really sure you want to say that? I mean, what about in Genesis where Adam and Eve eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? Surely we couldn’t learn anything from that. And what about some of the other passages in the Old Testament?
Well how about we, ourselves, review a couple (meaning two) Old Testament passages and see how they could be useful for the latter-mentioned.
Adam and Eve
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. (Genesis 3:1-3)
Profitable for teaching: “Did God really say…“ “You shall not certainly die.” This is what the Devil tells us as well. First he questions if what God told us was true, the he out-rightly denies that what God said was true. God tells us we’re forgiven, but often the Devil tries to squeeze in a ‘but’: “You’re forgiven mostly, yes, but that only means you must work all the harder for your salvation. You see, Christ’s blood only really goes so far. In fact, one could even say it doesn’t really ssssssave or forgive…”
For reproof: Why do we listen to what the Devil says? We shouldn’t. Rather, we should doge all the poison he spits out.
For correction: Sometimes we do listen to what the serpent has to say. Sometimes we even follow-up on his lies, as Adam and Eve did. So then, let’s now turn to Jesus instead and ask him to put up a shield around our minds. That’s better than turning to the devil for confirmation that what you’re doing is ‘right’.
For training in righteousness: We should learn from their mistakes, and not make the same ones ourselves. Rather than listening to the Devil, we should make sure he never gets a chance to speak!
Miriam and Aaron
1 Miriam and Aaron began to talk against Moses because of his Cushite wife, for he had married a Cushite. 2 “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” they asked. “Hasn’t he also spoken through us?” And the LORD heard this. (Numbers 12:1-2)
9 The anger of the LORD burned against them, and he left them.
10 When the cloud lifted from above the tent, Miriam’s skin was leprous[a]—it became as white as snow. Aaron turned toward her and saw that she had a defiling skin disease, (Numbers 12:9-10)
Profitable for teaching: They conspired among themselves to confront Moses. This may have been acceptable, if their reason for doing so had only been to help him. But it wasn’t. “Has the LORD spoken only through Moses?” – They were being prideful; trying to put Moses down while building themselves up. – If we’re going to confront someone, we have to make sure the actual reasoning we’re doing so is to help them. Or it’s very possible we’ll come down with some disease as well.
For reproof: We should pray to God to help us with our pride rather than act in the heat of a moment. And we should make sure any correction we may give is Godly, rather than prideful.
For correction: Everyone has pride of one kind or another. It’s a fact. However, by Jesus’ power we can keep it in check. And so we should.
For training in righteousness: The two of them conspired with each other, yes, but I’d dare to say there was a third voice in the bunch. One who possibly hisses a little. With every thought we have, we must decided, “is this from God, or Satan?”. Perhaps by doing that, we can avoid a defiling Spirit disease.
You are Loved!