Photo that has nothing to do with the post: One of my cats chilling in a mess.
In case you aren’t familiar with Matthew Henry, he was a noncomformist Christian who wrote a Bible commentary of great detail and depth but which is easy to read, at least for me. The flow is good and he doesn’t bog me down with words I don’t know, even though he was born in 1662.
“Noncomformist” is a bonus word that I like in general, though its meaning is broad. I shy away from writers who have a specific affiliation with one denomination or another.
Here is a sample of Matthew Henry’s commentary, this one being on Hebrews 12:1-11, the first two verses of which say: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
12:1-11 The persevering obedience of faith in Christ, was the race set before the Hebrews, wherein they must either win the crown of glory, or have everlasting misery for their portion; and it is set before us. By the sin that does so easily beset us, understand that sin to which we are most prone, or to which we are most exposed, from habit, age, or circumstances. This is a most important exhortation; for while a man’s darling sin, be it what it will, remains unsubdued, it will hinder him from running the Christian race, as it takes from him every motive for running, and gives power to every discouragement. When weary and faint in their minds, let them recollect that the holy Jesus suffered, to save them from eternal misery. By stedfastly looking to Jesus, their thoughts would strengthen holy affections, and keep under their carnal desires. Let us then frequently consider him. What are our little trials to his agonies, or even to our deserts? What are they to the sufferings of many others? There is a proneness in believers to grow weary, and to faint under trials and afflictions; this is from the imperfection of grace and the remains of corruption. Christians should not faint under their trials. Though their enemies and persecutors may be instruments to inflict sufferings, yet they are Divine chastisements; their heavenly Father has his hand in all, and his wise end to answer by all. They must not make light of afflictions, and be without feeling under them, for they are the hand and rod of God, and are his rebukes for sin. They must not despond and sink under trials, nor fret and repine, but bear up with faith and patience. God may let others alone in their sins, but he will correct sin in his own children. In this he acts as becomes a father. Our earthly parents sometimes may chasten us, to gratify their passion, rather than to reform our manners. But the Father of our souls never willingly grieves nor afflicts his children. It is always for our profit. Our whole life here is a state of childhood, and imperfect as to spiritual things; therefore we must submit to the discipline of such a state. When we come to a perfect state, we shall be fully reconciled to all God’s chastisement of us now. God’s correction is not condemnation; the chastening may be borne with patience, and greatly promote holiness. Let us then learn to consider the afflictions brought on us by the malice of men, as corrections sent by our wise and gracious Father, for our spiritual good.
In case you’d like to read more of Matthew Henry’s commentary, one place I highly recommend to find it is on Bible Hub, a free site for some helpful Bible study tools. In a search engine, type in whatever passage of Scripture you are wanting, add the words “Bible Hub” to it, and “commentary”, and you’ll find the pertinent sections from his studies there.
Alternatively, you could buy the books, but I’ve become fond of internet tools myself, and my bookshelves all but bleedeth from the weight of many bound pages of thought, so I have to curb my purchases in that regard.
Of course, Mr. Henry is not God, and his writing is not Scripture. His words are merely assists in helping me understand the Bible from the vantage point of one man who has studied it. No man, nor any organization of humans, has all the answers, but I do believe the Word of God to have all I need to know for where I need to go.
As 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says:
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.