What should be our focus as we read the scriptures? Consider these thoughts from John Calvin:
Not to take too long, let us remember here, as in all religious doctrine, that we ought to hold to one rule of modesty and sobriety: not to speak, or guess, or even to seek to know, concerning obscure matters anything except what has been imparted to us by God’s Word.
Furthermore, in the reading of Scripture we ought ceaselessly to endeavor to seek out and meditate upon those things which make for edification.
Let us not indulge in curiosity or in the investigation of unprofitable things. And because the Lord willed to instruct us, not in fruitless questions, but in sound godliness, in the fear of his name, in true trust, and in the duties of holiness, let us be satisfied with this knowledge. For this reason, if we would be duly wise, we must leave those empty speculations which idle men have taught apart from God’s Word concerning the nature, orders, and number of angles. I know that many persons more greedily seize upon and take more delight in them than in such things as have been put to daily use.
See what Calvin’s doing here? He’s trying to show us that our focus, when we read the bible should be on the big, central truths of the scriptures, and those things which can be “put to daily use.” He points out that this was how Jesus himself taught:
But, if we are not ashamed of being Christ’s disciples, let us not be ashamed to follow that method which he has prescribed. Thus it will come to pass that, content with his teaching, we shall not only abandon but also abhor those utterly empty speculations from which he calls us back. (Calvin, Institutes, 1.16.5)
In every age, there’s always a temptation for Christians to get sidetracked by pursuing very peripheral (and often weirdly speculative) things that kind of have to with the bible, but are only weakly related to the central truths of God and creation and redemption–in other words, the big truths of the gospel. To be direct, the internet, and YouTube in particular, have made it very easy to waste a lot of time looking into things that claim to be related to the bible but have no value at all in understanding God, trusting and spreading the gospel, and living the Christian life. Ever found yourself more interested in things like aliens or conspiracies than the person of God or the meaning of the cross? Let’s not get sidetracked!
In other words, let’s major on the majors.