“And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” –Isaiah 32:18
A notable Bible teacher once observed that a smart person is not one who makes simple things complicated, but one who makes complicated things simple. It certainly doesn’t take a genius to make something easy very difficult.
Here a just a few examples of how very simple tasks have been obscured by “great, swelling words”:
Simple: “Pay the bills”
Complicated: “Budget consolidation”
Simple: “No parking”
Complicated: “Traffic flow control zone”
Simple: “Right and Wrong”
Complicated: “Values clarification”
Sadly, many people mistake complicated terminology for real intelligence. It doesn’t take a genius to make easy things hard. There are many who mistake mysterious words for genuine wisdom.
A big complaint from anyone who attempts to read or study their Bible is that it is too hard to understand. “Archaic” words are usually blamed. When there is something that apparently is too hard to understand, the reading and studying unfortunately come to a screeching halt. Let me let you in on the secret that will revolutionize your Bible study.
Are you ready for it?
Write these words down:
Just. Keep. Reading.
The Lord of the Bible is the Master Communicator. He is the Master Teacher. Every time you open His Book, you aren’t just scanning facts or processing words, you are learning and understanding. Follow our opening text as a sample.
“And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation“
The Flesh-Kincaid Grade Level readability scale places this sentence at almost a 9th grade level (8.9).
The Gunning Fog Scale Level ranks based on syllable count from 1 to 20. This phrase scored a 16.93.
The Dale-Chall Scale compares against a list of 3,000 ‘easy’ words deemed most widely understood and rates the text on a scale of 1 to 10, a 5.84.
Now, that’s not bad considering this is 1.) prophetic, 2.) written from the highest Intelligence in existence and 3.) you already have an idea of what He meant.
But do you remember our secret formula for understanding the Bible? Just keep reading:
“And my people shall dwell… in sure dwellings“
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 3.76
Dale-Chall Score: 0.4
Gunning Fog Scale Level: 8.2
God places a simple explanation (with additional details) directly after a relatively difficult revelation of truth. But that’s not the end of the verse. Just keep reading:
“And my people shall dwell in… quiet resting places“
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 4.96
Dale-Chall Score: 0.45
Gunning Fog Scale Level: 8.04
First, you are challenged with a difficult concept. Then it is presented in the simplest terms possible, which gives you an understanding of the current truth, as well as the first one. Then, as a master educator you are given a third definition, which not only broadens your vocabulary (list of words and definitions), it also deepens your grasp of the truth being communicated. God just “gave the sense, and caused them (you) to understand the reading.” (Nehemiah 8:8)
You’ve heard someone at their wit’s end call out for some “peace and quiet” haven’t you? That expression grew from the text we have read just today. How much more hidden wisdom lies in that limitless Book?
See it in action in a more popular verse of Scripture, Isaiah 1:18:
“Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord:
Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
Though they be red
Like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
The pattern is consistent throughout the Bible. Challenge-Explain-Expand. You won’t find a more educational textbook in a college campus anywhere on any of the seven continents.
It awaits man, woman, or child who will just keep reading.
References: Ruckman, Peter, Ruckman Reference Bible 1st Ed. 2009, Appendix 90, "Great Swelling Words," p. 1824 Readability statistics obtained from: Readability Analyzer on Datayze.com
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