Day 203: When Your Bible Study isn’t “Deep Enough” (Isaiah 28:9-10)

9 “To whom will he teach knowledge,
    and to whom will he explain the message?
Those who are weaned from the milk,
    those taken from the breast?
10 For it is precept upon precept, precept upon precept,
    line upon line, line upon line,
    here a little, there a little.”
Isaiah 28:9-10

Through the Bible: Isaiah 28-30

 Isaiah 28:10-13 seems to be people expressing frustration at a teacher that isn’t “going deep enough” for them. Verse 9 basically says, “Who does he think he’s teaching— infants who have just been taken from the breast?”

So they look down their noses at what they think is too simplistic a message: “It’s just precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.”

I’ve been on both sides of this. I’ve left a church because I didn’t think I was being fed. I’ve been a pastor who has had church members wish we could get into deeper stuff on Sunday mornings. I’ve been a curriculum editor for a Christian publisher, and the number one complaint with our material was that “it just didn’t go deep enough.”

But what do we mean when we talk about a deep Bible study? Is it historical or cultural insights you had never heard before? Is it Greek and Hebrew word studies? Is it challenging application? Regardless of how you define depth, you can rest assured that the Bible itself is more than deep enough.

St. Jerome, who first translated Scripture from Hebrew and Greek into Latin, said, “The Scriptures are shallow enough for a babe to come and drink without fear of drowning and deep enough for theologians to swim in without ever touching the bottom.”

The Scriptures are shallow enough for a babe to come and drink without fear of drowning and deep enough for a theologian to swim without ever touching the bottom.


Here’s the thing: we will never be educated beyond our level of obedience. These people in Isaiah’s day talked like they wanted more meat, but they weren’t applying the simple message they had already heard.

Friends, we are doing The Bible Recap because we love going deep. We love the meat that Tara-Leigh Cobble and her team puts on the plate for us every morning. But learning how to parse a Greek verb nine different ways will never be a substitute for acting in obedience to the simple truths we already know. Please don’t ever feel like you’ve “graduated” from the foundational truths.

One of my favorite Psalms is 131. The entire Psalm is just 3 verses (my kind of Psalm!) Here it is:

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; 
I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me. 
But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; 
like a weaned child is my soul within me. 
O Israel, hope in the Lord from this time forth and forevermore.” 
Psalm 131:1-3 ESV

I pray for that every day. Let the simple truth of your word calm and quiet my soul. Let me not be occupied with things too marvelous. I hope in the Lord.

Author: James

I pastor Glynwood Baptist Church in Prattville, Alabama. I read a lot, write a little, and drink lots of coffee. I have three callings in life: surrender to Christ, be a husband to Trish, and be the best father/grandfather I can be. Everything else is an assignment, because everything else can be done by someone else.

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