The study and reading of the WORD of God (Bible) are a lot like being a geologist
For the novice or uninitiated, rocks can pretty much all look alike. They can be so ordinary and common one may pass right by them, and not giving them a second thought.
For someone who has never read the WORD, and has no interest whatsoever, their minds are made up. To them, Old books like rocks are boring, dead things! This is totally unlike the geologist. That person keenly looks at rocks and minerals. To them, they are the building blocks of the universe. They are clues that unlock mysteries of how things were formed on the earth. Through the magnifying glass, the geologist eyeball sees the ancient past and how it fits into the geomorphology of the present day.
To repeat, for someone who has never read the WORD, and has no interest whatsoever to do so, their mind is made up. So they never bother to look and observe such things. They continue on with life, for that is a much more noble pursuit. Dead words, historical fantasies, and dusty old Bibles do not have much application to the present day in their view!.
But the geologist and the Bible student, they find an endless variety in what they are observing and reading. The geologist may find a mineral out in the field. They will hurriedly bring it back to the gem lab. They cut a thin section of the mineral with a band-saw. They are then able to see the crystalline structure through a stereoscope. The colors, the formations, and designs begin to come into view.
But to someone who has no interest in reading the Bible, it may appear like a thunderegg
It is a rock that is dull, ordinary and plain looking. Nothing to suggest it has any value whatsoever!. But to the geologist, this is only the skin that covers a beautiful mineral. The Bible student reads the WORD in the same anticipation. They are like rock-hounds. They prepare to search for gems out in the field. They set the coordinates for their search patterns. They strap on hiking boots. They carry a mineral hammer.
“Again, the kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which when a man has found it, he hides it, and for the joy of it goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field” (Matthew 13:44).
What is written in the Bible may appear on the surface to be rather common. But the Bible student knows underneath that print there is a vast beautiful treasure. It contains wisdom, truth, and love. A treasure so valuable, it is priceless. To find the key to unlocking it is like looking at a prism reflecting light into a visible stream of endless colors.
When the geologist is back in the lab, they can then compare their finds with known references. These are constants that will help identify the subject they have found in the field. Instruments like polarized light microscopes can identify such properties as refractive index, birefringence, interference colors, and extinction angles. Further analysis with a transmission electron microscope has the capability to identify chemical composition. All these tools can classify a mineral to its basic identity.
Such is the study of the WORD to a serious Bible student
We have known reference materials we can use to aid us in our studies. Bible commentaries, dictionaries, interpretations, and encyclopedias. This is foundation work done by previous masters and lifelong scholars. As the saying goes..”Do not forget the floor we walk on is the ceiling of those who have gone before us”.
And as the geologist uses the transmission electron microscope to see 10 million times beyond human eyesight, the Bible student must depend on the Spirit of God to give them illumination upon the mind to see the inner spiritual meanings of the WORD.
“For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing apart of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).
So, the person who has no time to look at rocks, much less a historical book is missing the point. The geologist and the Bible student both know how to find gems and treasures contained within seemingly dull subjects.