“there is a grimness and grubbiness to a lot of Scripture”

“There’s a grimness and grubbiness to a lot of Scripture because there’s a grimness and grubbiness to a lot of life.”  Steve Hays

“Devotional Bible Reading” by Steve Hays

Because we ordinarily limit our Bible reading to the most overtly spiritual sections, we tend to have a somewhat unrealistic picture of what all is in the Bible. If we read the entire Bible, we are amazed at how much non-religious content there is–bodily ailments and hygiene in the Pentateuch, military history in the chronicles and court history in those same books, and detailed pictures of social life in the OT prophetic books…The Bible covers pretty much all of life, not only specifically spiritual experiences like prayer and forgiveness of sin and good and evil but also national history, harvest, sunrise, and losing an axe is a body of water… L. Ryken, A Christian Guide to the Classics (Crossway 2015), 68.


On the one hand, some readers are offended by the “unedifying” passages of Scripture. On the other hand, when some Christians only read the edifying passages, it leaves them unprepared for the contrast between their selective reading of Scripture and the world they must confront. There’s a grimness and grubbiness to a lot of Scripture because there’s a grimness and grubbiness to a lot of life. It’s spiritually perilous when our real-life experience fails to matchup with Scripture because we only read the inspirational sections. But the Christian pilgrimage isn’t all hymn singing and 1 Corinthians 13. “
Steve Hays of Triablogue
My bolding and emphasis. 
This is wise to remember when seeking to read through the Old Testament especially, when we come across chapters of issues dealing with hygiene and getting rid of human excrement out of the camp in the desert,  and dealing with mold, and dead bodies, and some of the death penalty punishments and details of the building of the tabernacle and genealogies.
This gives us perspective when we go to our first funeral and see a dead body, or see your beloved family member get Alzheimer’s disease, or have to help your elderly father deal with his bathroom issues, and change his diaper like he was a baby again. Or having to deal with a suicide of someone you love . . .
There are mysteries to this life.  God is sovereign and does not answer all our questions. Many things are answered for us by God in Scripture, but some things remain hidden and are mysterious.
Ecclesiastes 11:5 ESV –
“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.”
“Just as you do not know the path of the wind and how bones are formed in the womb of the pregnant woman, so you do not know the activity of God who makes all things.”

About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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2 Responses to “there is a grimness and grubbiness to a lot of Scripture”

  1. geoaffleck says:

    Good article. I must disagree that He does not answer all our questions however. I think it is better to say that what seems hidden to us is the result of our limitations. And often we find that by digging we see answers we never saw before.

    • Ken Temple says:

      Hi George!
      Thanks for your comments.
      You are right that we are limited.
      I agree that we find answers to lots of things if we dig into the word and study, etc. but some things will remain mysteries in this life. Even if there are mysteries, we must still trust God in the midst of pain and sorrow and mysteries.

      I still think that there are some things that God allows and does that is mysterious as to why.

      Ecclesiastes 11:5 seems very clear on this.

      Also, see:

      Ecclesiastes 3:11-14

      verse 11 – ” . . . yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.” ie, so that we cannot figure everything out and have to leave it with God.

      Ecclesiastes 7:14

      Ecclesiastes 7:24
      “what has been is remote and exceedingly mysterious. Who can discover it?

      Psalm 131
      “Nor do I involve myself in great matters” =
      I don’t try to figure everything out . . .
      . . . or in things too difficult / high / wonderful (mysterious) for me”

      Romans 11:33-36

      Job chapters 38-42:6

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