By Sam Nadler
Simchat Torah (pronounced Sim-cot Toe-rah; Hebrew for “Rejoicing in the Teaching [or Law] of God”) is a traditional Jewish Fall holiday at the end of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot). It is a wonderful opportunity to rejoice in God’s Word with teaching on the Bible’s authority and promises. Let’s take a look!
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, it says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, that the man of God be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
How do believers grow as Messiah’s disciples to become mature leaders, able to do all that God calls them to do? Please note the “that” at the beginning of 3:17. This gives the expected result of 3:16: In order that the man (person) of God may be complete (well-fitted, qualified to perform some function) and able to do. How does someone become complete and fitted to the life God called that person to live? By application of verse 16!
The Perfect Source for Discipleship: The Inspired Scripture
What does “inspired” mean? It literally means, “God Breathed”; it is the life-giving breath of God in written format (1 Peter 1:23). “Scripture” literally means “the writings.” It is vital to realize that “inspiration” applies only to the written word of God; therefore, the written word alone is authoritative (Isaiah 8:20). How much is the Bible inspired and “how inspired” is it? Fully, in all its parts: “all Scripture is inspired.” What about the Scriptures you may not understand very well? They are just as inspired, but it may take a little more work (as a “workman that need not be ashamed” 2 Timothy 2:15) to understand how they apply to your life. Notice the relationship between “All Scripture” and “every good work;” “all” and “every” are the same word in the original language. To the degree you accept the inspiration of 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” is a word that 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 part. Please note that the words “All Scripture” modify both words “inspired” and “profitable.” In other words, the Scripture is as profitable as it is inspired. If you’re not applying it, benefiting and using it, you may say that you think it’s inspired, but do you really? If you think a chair is reliable, would you hesitate to sit on it? If you think Scripture is true, your trust should be seen in your reliance upon it as well! Please note four aspects of its profitability. These are the four steps to gain the benefit from the word of God – “for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness.”
It is profitable for learning how to live life victoriously (Romans 15:4), as well as for more formal teaching or doctrine so we can know perfectly God’s character and salvation. Do you want to know about prayer and how to pray? The Bible is fully profitable for instruction in that area. Do you want to know how to be a good dad or mom? The Bible is perfectly profitable for parenting as well.
It warns and rebukes us when we’re not doing or living as is best. For example, making a living is very important, as the Scripture teaches: ‘He who will not work, neither let him eat’ (2 Thessalonians 3:10), but also, ‘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.
After the Bible warns us when we’re wrong, it corrects, amends and helps us to do right. It helps us to improve and grow. At work, it teaches that though you shouldn’t be motivated by greed or the love of money, it does teach that we are to be hard-working and honest servants to the glory of God (Colossians 3:22-25).
Training in Righteousness
In football, they have the “two minute drill” that they practice regularly. Why? Because at the end of the game the players are so exhausted that they can’t think straight, but if they’re trained well enough, they can run the plays automatically and win. So also, believers are going to need to love when they’re tired and irritated. How? By being “trained by reason of use” (Hebrews 5:14). You can pray? Fine; now do it a hundred times so you’ll pray automatically (not “vain repetitions” though, Matthew 6:7) even when you’re under stress (see Nehemiah 2:4 and 6:9 for examples). Therefore, at work when the pressure is on to cheat and lie (‘everybody else does it’), you will be trained and disciplined to honor God in all your ways and for every good work.
The Perfect Success of Discipleship: Furnished Leaders
This results in producing people that are “complete” and “perfectly furnished” to do all that God has called them to do. Let us fulfill the command to “make disciples,” who might also one day hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant!”
Invite a friend to join you as you celebrate Simchat Torah October 1st and 2nd. Shalom!