Have you ever tried to find out how much etoll gantries cost? I thought it would be pretty easy, only to find that after trying a good few webpages plus the SANRAL site, it’s not so easy. I could not find the section from which you get onto the N1 via the R21 to Benoni. Every other part of the etoll system was displayed, but not that one.
After some time, I called SANRAL, and the lady told me they don’t have the information I want. She said that I need to visit their webpage, hit the etoll button, scroll down on the left and find where I can enter where I get on the N1 and where I get off the R21. After much struggling, I found what I wanted. The information is there … somewhere … but if you don’t know where to look, you can’t find the information. It’s then that you need someone like the SANRAL lady to help you.
I believe it is our Christian duty to pay taxes and etolls are taxes. Remember, Jesus said, when asked about paying taxes to the Roman Government:
Mt 22:21 he said to them, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”
In the mind of God, we His people, need to pay taxes to help the government do what they are supposed to do and to pay tithes to help the church of God do what it is supposed to do. I know many say the government or the church wastes “our” money … but that is their responsibility before God. They will account to Him … both the governing authorities and the church leadership. Our responsibility is to obey! In Jesus’ day, there were “bridge taxes and road taxes” … today, we call them etoll taxes.
Sometimes, the Bible can be like the SANRAL site … you don’t know where to look for what you want. It is there … somewhere in one of the chapters of the 66 books of the Bible … somewhere … and you need help to find it … someone like that SANRAL lady showing you where to find what you want. There are various ways to find what you want in the Bible.
First, you can speak to a Pastor, Christian worker or mature Christian. This might sound like a short cut, but when you urgently need some form of guidance, help from these people could be a quick and helpful relief. However, let me offer a little advice … just because someone is a Pastor, Christian worker or mature Christian, does not mean they will be able to steer you to the correct Biblical information for your specific need. I would suggest that the person you approach needs to be one who fulfills 2 Timothy 2:22:
2Ti 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. 25 Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.
“Able to teach” of verse 24 is no good without all the other attributes from verse 22-26.
Second, you can attend Church and Bible study regularly. Where Church attendance is key … the Pastor Teacher needs to be one who “opens up the passage to the understanding of the people”. We call this expositional preaching. Without this, the Bible will not be understood correctly and application could be done incorrectly. The advantage of Bible study meetings or groups is that you are able to ask questions, pass comments and query certain points you may not understand or agree with. Again, the “Teacher” needs to be schooled in doctrine and theology.
Tit 1:9 He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
Taking sermon notes and Bible Study notes is always a great idea. “Writing is remembering”.
Third, you can purchase a Study Bible with a topical index. Such a Bible has extreme value because you could search the index for a specific topic bothering you and not only will you find the relevant Bible passage, but will find a short explanation of the text.
Fourth, you can purchase a Bible dictionary and a complete commentary on the Bible. These two books are needed books for every Intentional Christian. In the Bible dictionary, you will find lengthy explanations of just about every possible doctrine and theological issue. Each passage is careful to provide healthy interaction and explanations, providing accurate Biblical direction to develop one’s understanding of life (including work, marriage, sex and sexual orientation, family, state, life, death, murder, abortion, personal responsibility and accountability), behaviour (including morals and ethics), worship (be it church and day to day living under God’s reign), spirituality (including the inerrancy, inspiration and authority of the Bible, heaven, hell, punishment), sin and holiness, God as the only true living God, other religions, etc. The complete Bible commentary explains verses and passages in greater depth than the study Bible.
Fifth, you can read the Bible for yourself with a pen and paper at hand. To me, this is still the very best way to get answers to your questions. It might take years as you read and re-read the Bible cover to cover each year, making notes of doctrines and teachings that jump out at you. I would suggest to you that the Bereans were close to this method of Bible reading and intake, for we read:
Ac 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
We all need help finding directions from Scripture. I hope these suggests work for you and they do for me.
Dear God, thank You for the Bible and people You raise up to teach us. Help us to read and study Your Word for ourselves so that we will, together with the other teaching we receive, be prepared for all of life, for service and, eventually, for heaven. We ask this in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.