You can’t interpret personal suffering and societal brokenness without remembering that God is not satisfied with the world as it is. The Creator – who made this world and rules everything in it and who is the definition of goodness, wisdom, love, and truth – has promised to one day make all things new.
We Confuse Ourselves Focusing Only on the Here and Now
What in the world is a hermeneutic?
You might be familiar with the term if you took any classes at a seminary or if you study the Scriptures with commentaries.
But hermeneutics isn’t a discipline that should be reserved just for academic Christianity. No, hermeneutics is something we all use in our everyday, street-level walk with God.
So, what in the world is a hermeneutic? In a word: interpretation.
Hermeneutics is the science of interpretation. We each carry around our personal life hermeneutic; that is, our particular way of making sense of life.
Most significantly, our hermeneutic is what gives direction and motivation to our behavior. For example, if I believed that achieving X led to happiness, then I would pursue X. If I concluded that consuming Y resulted in cancer, then I would avoid Y.
“I Was Envious of the Arrogant”
In Psalm 73, we discover that the writer Asaph has a defective hermeneutic. It’s a dysfunctional perspective that you and I carry around sometimes, too.
Everywhere Asaph looked, it seemed as if the bad guys were winning. The arrogant, proud, and lawless appeared to thrive, living with wealth, health, pleasure, and ease.
It didn’t make sense. How could a just and holy God allow the wicked to prosper and the righteous to suffer? Asaph began to wonder if it was worth obeying the Lord. He became so embittered that he was like a beast before him (read the entire Psalm, but see verses 21-22 specifically).