The word understand means to perceive the meaning of; grasp the idea of; comprehend. A second definition is to grasp the significance, implications, or importance of. Another definition is to regard as firmly communicated.

One learns people through the heart, not the eyes or the intellect.
Mark Twain

Nothing can be loved or hated unless it is first known.
Leonardo da Vinci

These thoughts are taken from the book Here a Little and There a Little. The author is Pauline Cain Hatcher. Often when we try to grasp something we need to pay attention. At the time, the subject may be too deep in meaning and difficult for us to understand. Some people might grasp the meaning easier than others. Everyone needs to pay closer attention.

We read in Psalm 119:34," Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. "

Mark 4:9," And He said to them, He who has ears to hear, let him hear! "

The Scribes and the Pharisees were diligent readers of the law. They studied each letter literally.

On day these religious leaders picked a quarrel with our Lord. Christ's disciples had plucked some ears of corn and rubbed them between their hands. According to Pharisaic interpretation, to rub an ear of corn is a kind of threshing, and, as it is very wrong to thresh on the Sabbath day, therefore it must be wrong to rub out an ear or two of wheat when you are hungry on the Sabbath morning. That was their argument. They brought their version of the law to the Lord.

The Lord's reply is found in Matthew 12: 3-7, " Have ye not read?...Have ye not read?...If ye had known what this means... "

He is telling them that even though they had read, they did not understand what they were reading.


We are to understand what we read, or otherwise we read in vain. The eye glances but the mind never rests.

The righteousness of your testimonies is everlasting; Give me understanding, and I shall live.
Psalm 119:144(NKJV)

Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand?
Job 26:14(NKJV)

To do evil is like sport to a fool, But a man of understanding has wisdom.
Proverbs 10:23(NKJV)

Wisdom is found on the lips of him who has understanding.

The soul does not light upon the truth and stay there. There is an interior reading. Unless we understand what we read, we haven't read it.

You will never get what you do not understand, nor find guidance for your life out of what you do not comprehend.

Proverbs 4:7," Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom: And in all your getting get understanding. "

Have you ever noticed a worm? A piece of wormwood shows the diligence of the worm. We should be as the worm, boring our way into the innermost studies of the word of God.

We are to understand what we read or otherwise we read in vain. The studying of the Holy Scripture ought to be a reverent, learning time. The Lord God is speaking to us in the Bible.

When Philip asked the Ethiopian eunuch whether he understood the prophecy of Isaiah he replied, " How can I, unless some man should guide me? " Then Philip went up and opened to him the word of the Lord. This is found in Acts 8:27-33.

Many people may not possess the knowledge to grasp something quickly. Certain descriptions may be beyond my range of knowledge.

I Corinthians 13:11," When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. "

When we have lost something, we will search the house over. In the same way, we need to diligently study and search for the truth found in the word of God. When we are children, we don't understand why our parents have the rules they have until we are older.

James 1:22-25 is a description of how, as we embrace God's teachings, our comprehension will be increased.


When we read the words in the Bible, but don't take the time to search it, we are not following the commandments of God.

In II Timothy 2:15 we are told," Be diligent to present yourselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. "

Read the Bible and it will comfort you. Search it and you will grow strong in the Lord and in His power.

Discussion and Study Questions:
(1) What should we know about understanding?
(2) What can I do to understand God's teachings better?

Copyright 2007 Linda Lawrence