An Idea Borrowed

Years ago on a radio program someone shared that they read a chapter in Proverbs every day. Since there are 31 chapters and the longest month has 31 days it allows you to read through Proverbs on a regular basis. I use it as the launch pad for my personal worship time and branch out from there. On this blog I will try to share some of the insights I have in the Word. I will try to organize them in the archive by reference.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Lesson in Interpretation

(Proverbs 21:18 KJV)  The wicked shall be a ransom for the righteous, and the transgressor for the upright.

This is a verse that would be good to establish some heresy, if that was your goal.  This seems to imply that God will use the evil to pay the blood price for the sins of the righteous.  This is nonsense, of course.  Only the blood of the Pure Lamb of God would be sufficient to pay that price.  You need to be careful with isolated verses.

This is a good verse to teach about Biblical interpretation.  A simple, isolated reading of this brings us to an understanding that is the opposite of Bible teaching as a whole.  Only the pure sacrifice can pay a “ransom” (3724a).  That is clear in the rest of the Bible.  Sacrificial animals were required to be without blemish.  This kind of thinking even applied to the priests.  They were not allowed to be crippled or maimed.  It certainly is demanded in the statement that Jesus was without sin.

When you run into statements like this you must reach an understanding that is consistent with the witness of scripture.  Ignoring this principle is how weird cults get started.  When you come to an understanding it must work together with the rest of the Bible.

What could be an interpretation?  One possibility is that when the balance of the universe needs to be leveled out, God will generally try to direct it toward those who are living in rebellion.  You can take this too far also, but if you believe that God protects His people then you must leave open the option that those who hate God will suffer calamity.  Some call it bad luck but to the Christian there is no such thing as luck.  Put this together with another verse in Proverbs:
(Proverbs 16:4 KJV)  The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
So?  There are times when God allows His people to suffer, but in general we can relax more than the rebels.  We know that God will be looking out for us.  That is part of the promise.

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