And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. (Deut 6:6–7)
The command to teach children assumes an ability to summarize and make plain, at some level, “the whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:27) regarding many different topics.
Other passages in the OT also assume that God’s words are able to be understood by his people:
For this commandment that I command you today is not too hard for you, neither is it far off. It is not in heaven, that you should say, “Who will ascend to heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” Neither is it beyond the sea, that you should say, “Who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear it and do it?” But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (Deut 30:11–14)
The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. (Ps 19:7)
The idea here seems to be that God’s testimonies make even simple people to be wise, and if they make wise the simple, then surely they make everyone else wise as well. A similar idea is found in Ps 119:130: “The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple.” Elsewhere in the same Psalm, the metaphor of a lamp conveys the idea of imparting understanding, namely, how to live in the ordinary events on the “path” of life: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps 119:105). The apostle Peter expressed a similar view of the OT writings: “And we have something more sure, the prophetic word, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts” (2 Pet 1:19).
May God grow us in Christian maturity as we read and obey His Word!
- Bro. Dave