“This is not a categorical promise, this is a proverbial statement.”He said that certain things in the Bible are “descriptive, not prescriptive.” I like that. I recently came across an example.
(Proverbs 12:21 KJV) There shall no evil happen to the just: but the wicked shall be filled with mischief.If you have read your Bible you know that there are cases of evil coming upon the just. Think of the stoning of Stephen, the scourging and crucifixion of Jesus, and the words of Jesus promising that we will suffer persecution. So we can’t use this as a universal law such as “Thou shall not commit adultery.” It is more an observation of the principles by which God runs His universe.
It also goes along with the tendency of the Bible to make if/then statements. The legalists among us like to ignore the conditional nature of many promises and predictions. A good example was presented in our church service recently. One of our pastors had attended a conference on healing and was sharing some of the things she had learned. She is a wonderful, loving lady who is strong on mercy, helps and service but is often weak in discernment and knowledge. She quoted this verse.
(Exodus 15:26 KJV) And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee.Her point was that God is our healer. Who can argue with that? Not me. But I did find myself rejecting her next statement which was that sickness is not a result of sin in our lives. She claimed that sickness is always just a chance for God to be glorified. She quoted the words of Jesus,
(John 9:2-3 KJV) And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.Sounds good. But let’s go back and look at her original verse. Notice that little word “if” near the beginning of the verse. Than notice the conditions laid down with little verbs like “harken,” “do,” and “keep.” The promise of protection is based on obedience. This is a classic if/then statement. She ignored what was obvious in her haste to proof-text her point. Sickness is not always caused by our sins, but it can be. We ignore that to our potential eternal detriment. Don't make absolutes out of conditionals.
Please people, be honest when you are trying to teach truth. Don’t just listen to some guru and pass on the disinformation. That is a modern word for lie or deception.
homo unius libri