Can You Trust Your Bible Reading? How Do You Read Biblical Narratives?

1 Corinthians 10:11 (ESV)
Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.
An old adage reads, ‘Wise people learn from their experiences but wiser people from their experiences seldom learn.’ What this saying aims to communicate is that we do not have to learn from our own experiences when others have been through similar experiences. Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians, reminds us that the Old Testament Scriptures with its many stories was actually meant to serve as an example to us, they were meant to instruct us. This gives us a glimpse into how we should read Biblical narratives – as examples that instruct us. Thus, the stories and the characters therein serve as a source of encouragement and warning to us in equal measure.
The other very important aspect of Biblical narratives is that many of them serve as types. For example, Isaac is a type of Christ – he was a child of promise just like Christ; he was a ‘miracle’ baby just like Christ; he was the seed of Abraham just like Christ; both their births were foretold by God, etc. The Lord Jesus Himself speaking to the religious leaders told them this, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me…” (John 5:39). The Biblical narratives therefore have much to offer us by way of example and instruction but they do more than that, they point us to Jesus Christ.
Reflections
1. What is your favourite Bible story?
2. What example and/or instruction do you get from the story?
3. In what ways does the story point to Christ?
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