|Vol. 16 No. 2 February 2014||
Given the lack of quality in today’s toys and with three children, I find myself often discarding broken toys and other items. When a toy, or most any other item for that fact, breaks, it is usually of little or no value. Broken things are simply garbage in most cases. However, God has the awesome ability to use broken things, which would be rendered garbage to us, and use them to accomplish His will. Consider:
God used broken pitchers to defeat Israel’s enemies. After decreasing the size of Gideon’s army to a mere 300 men (Judges 7:2-7), Gideon gave instructions as to how Midian would be defeated. Interestingly, this defeat involved breaking the pitchers that they were carrying (Judges 7:19), which allowed their lights to be shown brightly. A broken pitcher is of little value to humanity, but when God is behind it, it makes the victory possible! Sometimes our “vessels” need broken to show that the light within can shine (Matthew 5:13-16). “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10).
God used a broken heart to bring a man back to himself. After King David committed adultery, deception and murder, he continued living like nothing ever happened (cf. 2 Samuel 12). After Nathan’s bold sermon (2 Samuel 12:1-7), David’s heart was broken (2 Samuel 12:13; Psalm 51). That broken heart was a penitent display of David’s remorse for his sins. God can use broken hearts! In fact, broken hearts over sin are what God requires (Matthew 5:4; 2 Corinthians 7:10). How broken should our hearts be given the multitude of flagrant sins so prevalent in our society today (homosexuality, abortion, drug abuse, alcoholism, etc.)? No matter how broken, God surely, “…healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3).
God used a broken body to save the world! It is common to hear an older person opine about the state of their “broken down” body. In fact, most of us realize that a broken body is not as useful in some ways as it used to be (2 Corinthians 5:1). However, the Almighty used the broken body of His Son to accomplish the one and only redemptive plan for humanity. (NOTE: We refer to Jesus’ broken body as per 1 Corinthians 11:24; however, Scripture is clear that His bones were not broken, John 19:36; Psalm 34:20.) His broken body of upon Calvary’s cross changed the world forevermore! Death upon a cross would normally be looked at with contempt and shame, but to the spiritual mind it is a display of the power of the infinite God we serve (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Don’t discard it because it is broken. Bring it to God; He uses broken things! “Bring Christ your broken life, so marred by sin, He will create anew make whole again…” Amen.
Jesus, in an attempt to teach the unbelieving Jews of His day, declared, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” (John 5:39). Sadly, many of the Jews who encountered Jesus had no idea who He really was. Had they been real students of God’s Word, they would have recognized the Son of God and obeyed Him. It is quite obvious that they were destroyed due to their lack of real Bible knowledge (cf. Isaiah 5:13; Hosea 4:6). A lack of Bible knowledge is dangerous, not just for the Jews of old, but for us as well.
Searching the Scriptures is done for varying reasons. Some search the Scriptures to try to find errors in God’s Word. Others search the Scriptures to merely win an argument at work. Still others search the Scriptures to find an answer to some problem that they are facing. While it is true that searching the Scriptures should be a part of the Christian’s life, what is the proper motive for such? Why search the Scriptures?
Firstly, search the Scriptures for God’s approval. Paul reminded his son in the faith to “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 emp. added). The goal of any Bible study is to seek God’s approval. Searching, knowing and applying God’s Word enables one to shun temptation and stop sin from taking hold (Psalm 119:11; Matthew 4:1-11). How could we ever expect to be blessed by the Author until we have honestly searched His Book?
Secondly, search the Scriptures for the assurance it brings. Real conviction and confidence comes from knowing God’s Word. The Psalmist of old knew this assurance, “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (Psalm 37:31). Although we may not always apply it, God’s Word brings about a special kind of wisdom, which is able to help us soar above the enemy (Psalm 119:98). God’s Word brings assurance for us to speak truth even before those in authority (Psalm 119:46). Those who diligently search God’s Word will have a real defense for their faith (1 Peter 3:15).
Thirdly, search the Scriptures to apply them. It is of little value to know the Book, but not to apply it to everyday life. God is not impressed with hearers only (James 1:22; Luke 6:46). Applying the Scriptures to daily life causes one to flourish (Psalm 1:1-3). Sadly, some search the Scriptures like they would the daily newspaper; they skim the headlines, read what they find interesting, and then they discard it to never remember a thing they read. The Scriptures should change our attitudes, our ambitions and our actions! “But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:25).
Great care must be taken that we, unlike the Jews of Jesus’ day, search the Scriptures for the right reasons. Like the Greeks of old, we too “would see Jesus” (John 12:21). Searching the Scriptures with an honest and open heart will help us to do just that, “…for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Revelation 19:10). We implore you to search the Scriptures for the approval of God, for the assurance it brings and to apply them to your life!