"Search the scriptures"

When Moses delivered his divinely inspired law to the children of Israel, he exhorted them to lay up his words in their hearts, and to teach them diligently to their children. The requirements of God were imperative to Moses; and thus he gave forceful expression to these strict demands. He proclaimed clearly, as shown, for instance, in the eleventh and twenty-eighth chapters of Deuteronomy, the blessings which would follow obedience; and he was faithful in pointing out the suffering that would necessarily result from disobedience. The correctness of Moses' prophetic utterances was amply proved, during the centuries that followed, in the checkered experiences of the children of Israel. Humbled by years of exile, privation, and suffering, they experienced from time to time a moral and spiritual awakening; and a period of renewed consecration and obedience followed, accompanied by increased harmony, prosperity, and success.

Such an awakening was taking place, for instance, when the children of Judah rebuilt the wall of Jerusalem under the capable and disinterested direction of Nehemiah. The rebuilding of the wall may be taken to typify the gaining of a more effectual protection against the onslaughts of evil,—a protection which is assured by gaining a clearer and more practical understanding of God's allness and ever-presence. At that time the people, from sad experience, were glad to heed the inspired counsel of Moses, as recorded in the law, and attend to its requirements. They were eager to have the early Scriptures read and explained to them,—a duty faithfully performed by Ezra the priest, and by the Levites who were spiritually qualified to perform this sacred task.

In the measure that one gains the spiritual sense of the Scriptures through pondering the inspired Word, one is enabled to become more truly obedient to God. Much more than a mere intellectual knowledge of the Scriptures is required. Christ Jesus emphasized the value of their spiritual meaning. He was continually expounding them, and imparting to his hearers the clear and uplifted understanding that he himself possessed. Christ Jesus made it plain that diligent study of the Scriptures is necessary in order to gain the true idea of Life, as when he said: "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me."

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June 3, 1922

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