I think you have just expressed what we have all experienced at one time or another. The Bible can be confusing at times for a number of reasons. Let’s look at a few vital guidelines that will help us avoid being confused when studying the Bible.

  1. We must LOOK TO THE HOLY SPIRIT, the Divine Author and Teacher of the scriptures. In 1st Corinthians 2:9-10 we read, “But as it is written: ‘Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’ But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.” One of the biggest mistakes we can make when studying the bible is trying to understand it with our own INTELLECT or HUMAN REASONING. The truth is the whole Bible is “too deep for us” and thus we must allow the Spirit of God, Who inspired men to write the scriptures, to open up the scriptures to us. In verses 12-13 Paul goes on to say, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which THE HOLY SPIRIT TEACHES, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.”
  2. We must be willing to OBEY THE TRUTH that is revealed to us. In John 7:17 Jesus said, “If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the teaching, whether it is of God, or whether I speak from Myself” (NASB). There is a precious promise in these words, for if anyone is sincerely seeking to know the truth, it will be revealed to him IF he is willing to OBEY IT! Another passage that teaches the same truth is 2nd Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the MAN OF GOD may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Notice, it states that all scripture is PROFITABLE for “the man of God.” Who is “the man of God?” Of course it certainly refers to a believer in Jesus Christ, for only a true believer can be a man of God. But the “man of God” is one who desires to “live for God,” one who, as we had just seen, wants to “obey the truth of God” revealed to him in His Word. I once had a woman who was known for being self-centered and unwilling to obey God’s Word at times ask me, “Why did God make the Bible so hard to understand?” I do believe she was a true believer in Christ, but she needed to see that the Bible isn’t going to be “profitable” for one who has no desire to obey it. So we need to make sure our heart is determined to please God by doing His will.
  3. We must LEARN HIS WORD SYSTEMATICALLY. What do I mean by that? I mean we must learn the scriptures “one truth at a time.” We see this truth set forth in Isaiah 28:9-10, “Whom will he teach knowledge? And to whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breast? For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” These verses were actually spoken by religious leaders in Israel who despised Isaiah and his teachings. They mocked him for treating them like little children, as if they needed to be taught slowly and with repetition. But the truth is this is how we are to learn the Bible, “Line upon line, here a little, there a little.” I knew a man who after he was saved was impatient in learning the Bible; he actually wished God would reveal all His truth to him immediately. But the truth is we must learn His word systematically, by taking in small portions at a time. Once we learn one portion we are ready to learn another portion. David said in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” When we walk at night with a lamp (i.e. flashlight), it gives us enough light to guide us “one step at a time.” God’s Word is the same; He gives us the truth we need at the time so we can walk faithfully in this world of darkness for His honor and glory. And the more we come to know God’s Word, the more fit we’ll be for understanding other portions of the Bible. There is a scripture that speaks to this in 2nd Peter 1:20, “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation.” There are various views on what this means, but I believe it is teaching us a valuable principle, which is “we can’t understand any one scripture without the aid of other scriptures.” In other words, “scripture interprets scripture,” and thus the more we know scripture, the more light we will have to help us understand scriptures we aren’t familiar with. We must learn to study a verse in its CONTEXT; its “immediate context” (by studying the verses before and after it) and by the “context of other scriptures in the Bible that deal with the same truth.” (278.9) (DO)