Thursday, November 17, 2005

Wrestling with the Text


In looking over some old sermon notes, I came across this little poem I had written in response to struggling with a fairly difficult passage- one where I really wrestled to understand its meaning and application, but in the end found it to be very rich and especially pertinent to our situation. Here’s the poem:

“Gems to share have I,
But not with the glib passerby.
Come wrestle, struggle and pray.
Then will I yield light for your way.”

I am not posting this because I think this is especially fine poetry but because it is an expression of my soul in learning to wrestle with the text. We are so accustomed to hurry, and we can’t get an extension on sermon preparation- “Sorry folks, the sermon is not yet ready. If you can come back tomorrow I’ll be ready to preach.” We are pressed for time, but if we would understand the Scriptures, apply them to ourselves and be ready to preach them to others, we must take time to wrestle, struggle and pray.

3 comments:

Mark said...

I thought you spelled it "wrastling!"

Brother Briggs said...

What was the text?

Ray Van Neste said...

Judges 11-12, the Jephthah story. It raises a number of puzzles including why the judge ends up sacrificing his daughter. Some even try to argue he did not do this , but that is a stretch. In the end, I am convinced by the discussion in D. Block's commentary that this is a negative story straight through. I think it is a picture of the Paganization of the People of God, with the people of God seeking to serve God according to pagan means- very pertinent to us today