Simchat Torah: The Promise of a Perfect Fit
by Sam Nadler
Simchat Torah is Hebrew for “Rejoicing in the Teaching (or Law) of God.” It is a traditional Jewish fall holiday celebrated at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles, or Sukkot. It is a wonderful opportunity to rejoice in God’s Word teaching on its authority in our lives and its sure promises.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we read “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the servant of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
How do believers grow as disciples of Messiah becoming mature leaders, able to do all God calls them to do? Note the “that” at the beginning of verse 17 indicates the expected result of verse 16. In order that the servant of God may be complete (well fitted, qualified to perform a function) and able to do “every good work.” In other words, everything God calls His servant to do comes through application of verse 16.
The Perfect Source for Discipleship: The Inspired Scripture
What does “inspired” mean? Literally, it is “God breathed.” The life-giving breath of God in written format (1Peter 1:23). “Scripture” means the writings. It is vital to understand “inspiration” only applies to the written Word of God; therefore the written word alone is authoritative (Isaiah 8:20). How much of the Bible is inspired? Fully in all its parts: “all Scripture is inspired.” What about the Scriptures we may not understand very well? They are just as inspired, but we may need to toil as a workman who need be ashamed” to understand how they apply to life (2Timothy 2:15). Notice the relationship between “all Scripture” and “every good work.” In the original language, the words all and every have the same meaning. To the degree you accept the inspiration of every Scripture, to that degree you will find God’s authoritative and life-giving help in every good work.
The perfect system for discipleship: Profitable Scripture
“Profitable” refers to beneficial, useful, and practical; as in 1 Timothy 2:8, “bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things. Just how “profitable” or useful are the Scriptures? Fully and completely in every way. The Scripture is as profitable as it is inspired. If you are not applying it, benefitting, and using it, you may say you think it is inspired, but do you really? There are four steps to gain benefit from the Word:
Teaching: It is profitable for learning how to live life victoriously as well as more formal teaching or doctrine so we can know perfectly God’s character and salvation (Romans 15:4). Do you want to know about prayer and how to pray? How to be a good parent? A good spouse? An honest businessman? The Bible is perfectly profitable for these areas.
Reproof: The Word warns and rebukes us when we are not doing or living as we ought. For example, making a living is important. “He who not work, neither let him eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10) However, God’s Word warns: “He who seeks to get rich will have many problems for the love of money is the root of all evil. (2 Timothy 4:9-10). Scripture reveals God’s deep concern for us in every area of our lives.
Correction: After the Bible warns us when we are wrong, it corrects, amends, and helps us do right in order for us to grow in respect to salvation. We are warned not to be motivated by the love of money, yet we are to be hard working and honest servants to God’s glory (Colossians 2:22-25).
Training in Righteousness: In football, the “two minute drill” is practiced often. Why? Because at the end of the game, players are so exhausted they can’t think straight. If they are trained well they can automatically run plays for the win. Believers need to love when tired or irritated, forgive when wronged, and practice discernment. How? By being “trained by reason of use” (Heb 5:14).
The perfect success of discipleship: Furnished Leaders
When applied, all of these steps result in producing disciples who are “complete and perfectly furnished” to do all God has called them to. For Yeshua said, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them.” (John 13:17) Let us faithfully fulfill the command to “make disciples” who may also one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”