Or do you think God’s word originated with you Corinthians? Are you the only ones to whom it was given? If you claim to be a prophet or think you are spiritual, you should recognize that what I am saying is a command from the Lord Himself. But if you do not recognize this, you yourself will not be recognized. So, my dear brothers and sisters, be eager to prophesy, and don’t forbid speaking in tongues. But be sure that everything is done properly and in order.1 Corinthians 14:36-40
What is the connection here? It’s time for you to do some thinking about it? Do you see how important it is to sort out the linkages or connections to the things that are said? We know that from the interaction between husbands and wives. I am sure you have experienced those times when the conversation you were having took a sudden turn and you lost the thread of connection. What you thought you were both talking about was suddenly no longer true. The topic of the reference had changed and the other person was meaning something totally different. The words they were using related to a totally different topic. We have all experienced it.
Take time to think about this section of 1 Cor 14 in that light. What is Paul meaning here? See if you can follow his train of thought. Go back and put the pieces of the jigsaw together. I have been concentrating on taking the sense units and working with each one of those. I haven’t taken much time to put all the sense units together and draw your attention to the flow. [Sometimes I have but not often]. Communication happens in a block not in discrete isolated units. Doing a bible study at word level – just studying the words individually is not all that much help. Oh yes you can get the dictionary or the lexicon and find out the meaning of words. But in order to communicate you have to put those words together into phrases and clauses; sentences; paragraphs and sense units. The sentences have to relate to the sentences around them. Those sentences are arranged in paragraphs. We were all told at school that we must start a new paragraph with a new thought or a new focus. We were taught to speed read by looking at the first sentence of each paragraph because that is the opening statement of each new idea or thought.
Well don’t forget this text we are reading was once all run together with no word breaks in the writing. We have seen already that there are times when the chapter boundaries have been put in the wrong place. (Blame Robert Estienne for that – See Bible Gem 21). So it is necessary for us to pay careful attention to how the pieces go together.
Take note of where we have come recently:
- Childish (don’t be like children) [1 Cor 14:20]
- Tongues and Prophecy and God using strange tongues (the link to Isa 28-10-11) [1 Cor 14:21-25] – the difficult passage!
- Orderliness [1 Cor 14:26-33]
- Women should be silent in church [1 Cor 14:34-35]
Now this section. Go back and put the pieces together for yourself. Make the logical connections, or make the intuitive connections. Whatever kind of connection you want to make, just make the connections. Work out how the bits go together. Back tomorrow with some more input.
Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll eventually get run over if you just sit there.Ian Vail
Well done is better than well said.Benjamin Franklin