The Bible is a pastoral book. It does not contain oracles fallen from the sky like a plane dropping leaflets for advertising or propaganda. God did not speak through His prophets into a timeless vacuum. Rather, God spoke into the lives of His people to bring His decrees and wisdom to bear on their lives in specific situations.
God caused these words to be inscripturated, written down that generations might know Him, His acts, His will and His Messiah. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path in a dark and dangerous world, fallen under the dominion of sin. We are not to walk in the way that seems right to us, but are to incline our ear to His revealed and inscripturated Word. God’s Word equips us to stand against the evil one, who deals in lies, distortion and deception.
God’s Word is intensely pastoral and practical. His Word is truth. But more than that it is truth applied. It was given birth in real life situations, in which God ministered to His people.
The practicality of God’s Word is no more evident than in the book of Psalms. While most of the 150 poems of the Psalter do not have historical context, that is where they were birthed. They come to us as songs for all seasons. They chronicle David’s or another writer’s real life struggles, and in so doing give us voice to help us cast our cares upon Him who cares for us.
I make these observations to commend a practice. My guess is that David did not compose a psalm and put it aside. Likely, he pulled it out repeatedly to minister to his weary soul, to calm his restless heart, or to shore up his courage of faith.
There are times in my struggles that the Spirit will bring to mind just the right portion of His Word to address my need. Or, in the midst of prayer God’s Word laid up in my heart will spill out, its truth taking shape at the hand of the Spirit.
Often, I will capture these thoughts by writing them down for further reflection. Not that these expressions rise to the level of Scripture, but they do reflect Scripture and so fashion my thoughts, direct my steps, and nourish my soul in communion with God.
I close with an example of a personal reflection birthed in the womb prayer.
I can handle all things
…Trusting God’s providence
…….that brought it to me
…In Christ’s strength
…….that is perfectly sufficient for me
…For God’s glory
…….that is to be my goal over my comfort and convenience.