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NIV is used unless otherwise noted.

Things That Cause Stumbling: The Unknown

Great peace have they who love your law, 
and nothing can make them stumble. 
Psalm 119:11

I was robbed! These are the words I heard my youngest daughter, Ashley, shout after playing a game of monopoly with her sisters. It had been several years since they had played, and they thought they knew the rules. So, when Ashley was sent to jail, her sisters agreed she had to stay there until she rolled doubles on the dice. They also told her she could not collect rent while in jail. Round after round Ashley stayed in jail and lost, in her estimate, hundreds of dollars. Later the girls read the rules and realized Ashley could have gotten out of jail on the third round, and she could have collected rent the entire time. Their lack of knowledge caused Ashley to lose the game. 

Lack of knowledge often leads to erring, or stumbling. Jesus said to the Sadducees, who should have known God’s word: You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God (Matthew 22:29). When you or I do not know God’s word, we are prone to stumble. We develop wrong thinking, we pursue a path contrary to God’s will, or we sin in countless other ways.

Psalm 119 mentions many benefits gained from knowing and obeying God’s word. Because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong pathThe unfolding of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple…Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me (Psalm 119: 128, 130, 133). These three verses mention just a few of the benefits gained: hatred toward sin, power to resist sin, understanding and direction.
How well do you know God’s word? Have you perhaps developed wrong thinking or pursued a wrong path because you have not diligently studied the Bible? In daily life, whose words impact you more—the words of God or the words of men?

Lord, help me diligently study Your Word that I may walk according to truth, not error.

Jan Burkhart

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