Isaiah 28:9-10 “Whom shall He teach knowledge? And whom shall He make to understand doctrine? Them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breast.
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little.”
If we would grow up into Christ—go on to maturity—this is the path that we must walk.
We are never “zapped”, But the scriptures speak of “growing in grace”, “grow up in Christ”. And these take time and a little effort.
When we first learned to walk as children,….there were a few bumps.
So our Christian walk is a series of lessons, and experiences…..lessons, and experiences….toward the goal the Lord has for us.
Paul said, “I have learned…”and that should tell us that we, too, must learn from Christ, through the Holy Spirit,…..how to, when to, and what to do.
Philippians 4:11-12 “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”
I have never met any Christian that has not suffered defeat…..at least once.
I have never met any Christian that has not battled something….some with terrible battles……some mild….but they would not call it anything but what it is…..a battle.
But our Teacher is the Lord.
And He builds on the foundation of “Come unto Me”(John 6:35)…..our first command.
Then He says, “If any man will…” (Matthew 16:24)
And it is onward from there.
“Precept upon precept”:
Precept means appointed rules, or an authoritative command.
(precepts is used most in Psalm 119:
Psalm 119:4 “Thou has commanded us to keep Thy precepts diligently.”
It is used twenty times, in this psalm. [this is the psalm that every verse but one has a reference to the God’s Word in various forms: law, commands, precepts, etc])
We must realize, that what He says to do, we must do. He is not giving suggestions for our lives…..but He is giving us the authoritative rules to follow, so that we will know the way to go.
“Line upon line”
Line means a cord put together to connect things….and for measuring.
And it is used here to speak of the Voice which has been heard….connecting God’s purpose to His Word…..measuring our response to His Word.
(Psalm 19:4 “Their line is gone out to all the earth, and their words to the end of the world….”. Paul repeats this changing “line” for “sound”, in Romans 10:18)
When Christ was here, the Bible often tells of His “teaching” them. (Matthew 11:1, 26:55. Mark 4:1, 6:2, 6:34, Luke 13:22)
And so He continues to do to us…..teaching us, through the experiences He leads us into.
Sometimes it corresponds to something in His Word,…..something someone else has passed through as well.
Sometimes He leads us into new paths, which are to strengthen and encourage…..not only us…..but others who hear of it.
And I believe it is true, that no one experiences things, the same way….though they go through the same set of circumstances.
(Loss and grief, for instance. Some are delivered from the waves of emotion, which others pass through. Some are brought almost to the edge of an abyss by the loss of someone….yet saved from falling over.)
Each lesson is to bring us…..yes, that is “me” and “you”…..each of us, to a closer reliance on God…..and a firmer grasp on the reality of His presence and power for me.
That is to grow up into Christ.
Ephesians 4:20-21 “But ye have not so learned Christ;
If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus:”
In the battles of life, we need to know what the Lord will do for “me”.
(And on occasion, it is good to make a spiritual inventory of our blessings.
It brings all we are going through into a new focus…..He is able,…..able for me, in this situation;…because He has done great things for me before.)
Paul, writing Timothy:
2 Timothy 1:6-7 “Wherefore I put thee in remembrance, that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.
For God hath not given us the Spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
(“Stir up” here, means to “rekindle” the love, joy, peace, etc of the Holy Spirit within us)
He goes on to say: “….for I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”
“Persuaded” here means “an inward certainty”.
Paul’s ministry was in the Lord’s hands,…..what he had done (even before being saved on the road to Damascus,…..and in the ministry with the Gentiles),…..what he was doing now (in a Roman prison, and before Caesar),….and what he would do (in the death God appointed for him).
Paul was certain His Lord would keep him in all the things he was to pass through; because “He is able”……and because He had.
2 Timothy 4:17-18 “Notwithstanding the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me; that by me the preaching might be fully known, and that all the gentiles might hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom: to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
Paul had heard the precept the Lord had laid down for him, and been obedient. (Acts 9:15-16, 26:16-17)
He had gone to the Jews first…..and when they rejected Christ; gone to the Gentiles…..which was his calling.
He was a Jew of the Jews, a Pharisee of Pharisees,…..yet followed the Word of the Lord,…..and did the work the Lord had given him,…..faithfully, even to Caesar’s household (Philippians 4:22).
God’s Words to us,……what we read, and what we hear,…….should be the authoritative commands of a Lord to His servant…..leading us to connect His Word to His purpose for us…..measuring ourselves and our response, by it….
….that we too, may have confidence that…..”the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom…..
…to Whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”