Living by the Book
Six Clues to watch for in Scripture
1. Things that are emphasized.
2. Things that are repeated.
3. Things that are related.
4. Things that are alike.
5. Thinks that are unlike.
6. Things that are true to life.
Things That Are Emphasized
1. Amount of Space
â€œA book can emphasize something by devoting a large portion of space to it.â€
â€œWe can see that in Genesis. It has fifty chapters. The first eleven cover the creation, the Fall, the Flood, the tower of Bable, and other details. All those major events are compressed into just eleven chapters. By contrast, the writer devotes chapters 12-50 to the lives of four individuals: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph.â€ â€“ Howard Hendricks, Living by the Book
2. Stated Purpose
â€œAnother way the biblical writers may emphasize their points is by telling us straight out what they are up to.
â€œ[In Proverbs] Solomon launches that fascinating collection of wisdom sayings by telling the reader why he ought to read the book.â€
Read Proverbs 1:2-6
What reasons does Solomon give as motivation toward reading Proverbs?
(a) To know wisdom and instruction
(b) To discern the sayings of understanding
(c) To receive instruction in wise behavior
(d) Righteousness, justice, and equity
(e) To give prudence to the naÃ¯ve
(f) To the youth knowledge and discretion
(g) A wise man will hear and increase in learning.
â€œA third way to emphasize something is to give it a strategic placement in the material.â€
â€œâ€¦in Genesis 2, God places Adam and Eve in the garden â€˜to cultivate it and keep it,â€™ the text says (2:15). Then in chapter 3 the couple sin, and God drives them out of the Garden and curses the earth (3:17-24). That order becomes important when we talk about work, because some people believe that work is a part of the curse. But the order of events in Genesis disallows that interpretation.â€
4. Movement from the lesser to the greater, and vice versa
â€œThese are special cases of what weâ€™ve just looked at in terms of order.â€
â€œIn the life of David, 2 Samuel 11-12 records what are probably the most crucial events of Davidâ€™s life â€“ the murder of Uriah and his sin with Bathsheba. These chapters form a sort of pivot to the book. Everything before leads up to them, everything after goes down after them.