Do you understand what you are reading?

Philip’s question for the Ethiopian reading Isaiah in his chariot is a good one. As I recently started into the book of Job in my devotions I realized I shared his answer: “How can I unless someone guides me?” (Acts 8:31) While I haven’t been reading in my chariot, I have been reading through Job with Derek Thomas’s excellent Welwyn Commentary on Job (Evangelical Press) as a helpful guide. Doing devotions with a good commentary in hand is something I’ve done on and off. Picking it up again I found my resolve to re-engage this practice reinforced soon afterwards in our seminary chapel, with Al Martin highly commending this as a life habit.

What commentaries should you use? One of the best series is The Welwyn Commentary Series by Evangelical Press. These commentaries weave together solid exposition and heart and life application in clear, concise, contemporary language. Simple and direct, substantial yet brief, these are excellent for personal or family use. (Don’t be deterred by the “somewhat garish at first sight” covers; like the bell making Pavolv’s dogs drool, with use, the covers actually elicit feelings of warm appreciation by association with great content). Of course the old classics like Calvin’s Commentaries, the Banner of Truth Geneva Series of Commentaries, and Matthew Henry’s Commentary are tremendous Bible reading assets as well. Any of these shine far beyond the notes in the best study Bibles available.

Prayerfully take up a book of the Bible with a good teacher to help you along in hand. By grace you’ll join in testifying that God is blessing you through the gift of “pastors and teachers” and “equipping you for ministry,” (Eph. 4:11-12) and like the Ethiopian you’ll “go on your way rejoicing.” (Acts 2:39)