Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
Vehicle repair is quite specific, regardless of whether it is a car or a forklift. There are specific things that you must be aware of and/or use. If there is a specific bulb recommended by the manufacturer, you should use it. Does your vehicle or forklift require DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid? Use the right one, there is a difference between the two. The same can be said of hydraulic fluid and gear lube. Use the right materials, as specified by the manufacturer.
The Bible makes some pretty specific statements in it. However, there are times when those statements get screwed up. There are two statements in particular, which virtually mirror each other, that get messed up rather regularly. One is from the book of Deuteronomy and the from the Apocalypse, also known as Revelation. Here are those passages:
Deuteronomy 4:2 “You shall not add to the word that I command you, nor take from it, that you may keep the commandments of the Lord your God that I command you.”
Revelation 22:18~19 “I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.”
Yes, I am quite aware of the fact that the second passage pronounces a curse upon those who add or remove from the book of prophecy. Ironically, that is actually my point. There is a specific command and an implied command. The specific command is in Deuteronomy, while the implied command is in Revelation. The command is the same for both, specific or implied, do NOT add to the word. However, if we take a moment and thing, we may have to reconsider how we look at these two verses.
To start with, they are taken out of context when used. In fact, the one is overlooked in favor of the other. What do I mean? Typically, the book of Deuteronomy is not used in many churches and the Apocalypse is only used when discussing prophesy, save for 22:18, which is used to argue against other religious writings.
It is said that scripture interprets scripture. I believe this is true. Thus, from my point of view, context is king. That being said, let us consider carefully the context of these two verses. In Deuteronomy, Moses is giving a seconding telling of the law to those of the children of Israel who are to enter the promised land. Moses is warning them against adding anything to the commands of God that he has given them. There is no great mystery here. Nor should it be any great mystery that somebody would see a need to record the accounts of the history of Israel from that point forward. Thus, it would seem that the command in Deuteronomy 4:2 is specifically in regards to the Law of God as given to Moses.
In like manner, the warning in the Apocalypse is rather unique. Again, it would seem more reasonable to presume that it is in reference only to one specific book of prophecy, that would be the Apocalypse. It bodes well to bear in mind that the canon of Scripture, as we know it today, had not been set at that particular time in history, thus it is unlikely that it was a warning about adding to or removing from the Bible.
The Bible, from Genesis to the Apocalypse, is a revelation of the history of our world, from beginning to end. It is the answer to why we are hear and how sin entered into the world. It also tells of how God chose to deal with the issue of sin, through the sacrifice of his son, Jesus Christ, upon the cross to atone for all our sins.
The Bible is quite specific about certain things. Likewise, so is the repair manual for a car or a forklift. Both specify what must be done if we don’t want things to go wrong, and what to do when things do go wrong, which they will. However, things are more likely to go wrong when we take shortcuts, or ignore a specific paragraph, and then decide that something else will work. It matters little if we use a wrong part for a repair, or if we decide to change the meaning of scripture to make ourselves feel better, we are bound to get into trouble.
If the manual states something specific, we should follow it. The same is also true of the Bible. However, we should also look at the context used. Otherwise, we are placing ourselves above God and possibly doing harm to others in the process. If something is stated in a specific manner, we need to accept it as written, not change it. Anything else will only lead to trouble.
Incidentally, the picture is merely a specific warning about what to do in case of a fire.