Do you know what I never read? The instructions. I loathe reading instructions when it’s time to put something together or get a new electronic device going. I usually just dive in and figure it out and most of the time, I can do it without reading.
One exception to my no instructions rule: board games.
I read all the instructions for board games.
I want to know how to play the game correctly, ya know? And I will fight you if you try to lead us in the wrong direction because you didn’t read the instructions and you don’t know what you are talking about.
Regardless of whether I like them or not, the instructions are available for a reason. Very often, taking the time to read them makes assembly, set-up, or play of game easier, faster, and less frustrating.
The Word of God, as it comes to us in scripture, is different than board game instructions, of course. It’s a little more nuanced, requires a bit more interpretation, was written in ancient languages, has a complicated and important context, often has layers of meaning, and hopefully is inspired in a way that board game directions usually are not.
And yet, as we read the words of scripture, noticing what they say and don’t say, interpreting their meaning well, learning how we might apply them to our current context and lives, we very often find gracious guidance and inspired instruction for living and loving.
2 In days to come
Â Â Â the mountain of the Lordâ€™s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
Â Â Â and shall be raised above theÂ hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
3Â Â Â Many peoples shall come and say,
â€˜Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
Â Â Â to the house of the God of Jacob;
that he may teach us his ways
Â Â Â and that we may walk in his paths.â€™
For out of Zion shall go forth instruction,
Â Â Â and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
4 He shall judge between the nations,
Â Â Â and shall arbitrate for many peoples;
they shall beat their swords into ploughshares,
Â Â Â and their spears into pruning-hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
Â Â Â neither shall they learn war anyÂ more.