Scripture contains many "types" of writings, and just as you need to choose from all the food groups when you eat, you want a well-balanced spiritual diet. Identifying the type of writing can also help us with the interpretation and application of Scripture.
Last week we looked at promises, but as you read, you'll discover many more. I'll give you an overview here, and in the coming weeks, we'll look at each one in a little more depth.
Facts and information – These are often the "boring" parts (like the genealogy lists), but they form the background and framework into which the other stuff fits. They also remind us that God isn't giving us a fairy tale. He gives us a true account of His dealings with real people, rooted in time and place. Sometimes, the events haven't happened yet.
Commands – The Bible is sometimes unfairly judged as a book of "don'ts", but the "do's" are far more prevalent.
Guidance – These are more subtle than the do's and don'ts, and are often more figurative. The book of Proverbs and Jesus' parables fall into this category.
Warnings – Closely linked to the "don'ts" are the cautions and consequences. Sometimes, these are easily identified with words such as "beware", "take heed" or "watch". Other times, there is an implied warning in a bad example.
Prayer and praise – In these, the writer talks to God, either about his situation (prayer) or about God's greatness (praise). You find these in the Psalms for sure, but they show up all through the Bible.
Did I leave any out? Do you find you prefer one food group?