TUESDAY, OCTOBER 23
SCRIPTURE: DEUTERONOMY 7
By: Josh Boles
Today’s devotional will be a bit shorter for two reasons. One, so some of you can get caught up since we had to send two yesterday. Second, because I want to do something a little different today that will have you doing some investigating on your own. I want to take you through a hermeneutical principle that is very helpful when trying to find the meaning of the text. Just to clarify, hermeneutics is Bible interpretation and, we all interpret the Bible every time we read it. This is why it is important to have some tools like this.
Today I want to take a look at a couple of different components of a sentence structure. The first thing I want you to do is read carefully verses 1-7. Now, see if you can identify all of the active and passive verbs. When a verb is active, the subject of the verb is doing the action. When a verb is passive the subject undergoes the action rather than doing it. Here is an example of an active verb. Jack will win the game. I won’t tell you how many I found, but search through these verses and try to identify the active verbs.
Now, ask yourself what you can learn from all of these. If it helps, get a notepad and a pen, and jot all of them down. Look at all of them and look for patterns, or themes. Compare them to the passive verbs, if there are any. I will give you one example of what I think this means, and I hope some of you will come find me and share your insights with me. These things that are being spoke of in verses 1-7 have not happened yet, but Moses speaks of all of these things as if they are sure things. He does not say anything like “The Lord Should drive out many nations.” He says “the Lord Will.” This shows Moses faith in the Promise of God.
It is also important to look for changes in the theme. Notice how verse 1-7 talk about what will happen. Now take a look at verse 7-12. These verses give us the “why” these things will happen. Again here, look for common words. Look for the verbs, or if you are feeling really ambitions look at a sentence structure diagram and see what else you can pull out of the text. I hope that many of you will share the insights you have from this section as well.
The next two sections are a bit different then the other two. Both of them start out with a conditional sentence. The first word in both paragraphs is “if.” Here, Moses is trying to warn them that even though God’s promises are a sure thing, we all have a responsibility to be obedient. If we do not, there are consequences. 2 Chronicles 7:14 is a perfect example. If my people pray, I will heal their land. That verse is a conditional sentence with an active verb. Enough of that though, I hope you will explore this section and you guessed it, come share your insights with me.
The point in all of this is that you do not have to be a Biblical scholar to interpret, and find meaning in the scripture. You also do not have to be an expert in grammar, I certainly am not. If you have read any of my writings, I’m sure you have found many mistakes and typos. The point is to take some extra effort and dig into the text. We all have a responsibility to study God’s Word. I hope this helps some of you even just a little bit!