Hang it on a Hook: What Corrie Ten Boom Does with the Hard Parts of Scripture

I found a fantastic Read the Hard Parts tip in my pursebook this week. I always keep a small paperback book in my purse so I can pull it out and read it when I’m stuck waiting somewhere. A small non-fiction book works best since it’s easy to pick up where I left off since I read it sporadically.

Anyway, my latest purse book is Marching Orders for the End Battle by Corrie Ten Boom. Corrie Ten Boom hid Jews in her home during World War II. She ended up in a concentration camp. She survived the war and went on to literally travel the world speaking and sharing the gospel.

After living through two World Wars and watching Communism rise to power, you can understand why the end times was on Corrie Ten Boom’s mind. Her little orange book Marching Orders for the End Battle is a collection of her reflections and thoughts on different Bible verses pertaining to victorious living during the end times. The book feels like she came over for tea and you just started discussing what you read that morning and she throws in some life experiences that the verses reminded her of. One chapter doesn’t really build on another.

End Times Bible Reading: The Ultimate Hard Parts of Scripture

When I ask someone what parts of the Bible are the hard parts, nine times out of ten, they will mention an end times passage. Revelation, Daniel, Ezekiel are all head-scratchers. The judgment sounds scary. If the experts can’t agree on what they mean, who am I to try to understand them? Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who doesn’t get it and if I was really spiritual it wouldn’t be a hard part to me.

But Corrie Ten Boom didn’t understand all the hard parts either. She describes in her book what she does when she comes across a hard part of Scripture:

What I do not understand of the Bible, I do not throw away, but hang on a hook, as it were. Later I read or hear more about it, and then, when I understand it, it is added to my knowledge of God’s word, and I just take it off the hook.

Corrie Ten Boom said that’s how she ending up understanding Ezekiel 38. When she read Matthew 24 and Luke 21, then she understood the Old Testament prophesy.

Hang it on a Hook

I love that word picture of “hang it on a hook.” That reminds me of our coat rack. We have a coat rack or coat tree by the door for us to hang things we need to keep accessible. Our jackets, purses or bags, sometimes neck ties end up there. When we need them, we can grab them quickly since they are at the ready.

Hanging the hard parts of the Bible on a hook keeps them accessible. That’s why it’s important to read them even though they are hard. If you never read them, you won’t have them at hand when the explanation comes up.

We like our Bible reading times to result in awe-inspiring worship. Warm fuzzies or accessible truths. When you read the hard parts, your Bible reading might end on a cliffhanger of “what did that mean?” The passage is hanging on a hook, waving there, taunting you that you don’t have a place to put it away permanently since you don’t really know where it belongs.

It’s okay to have a coat rack stuffed full of Bible passages that you don’t understand right now. At the right time, as you continue to read Scripture and hear sermons on God’s word, the Holy Spirit will bring to mind what you have read before. Then you can take that Scripture passage off the hook and hang it in the closet with a hanger in the place where it belongs.

What hard Scripture passage have you had to hang on a hook lately? Have you ever had the experience of being able to take a hard part off the hook?

If you want more info on Corrie Ten Boom’s life, you can read her story in The Hiding Place. For younger readers, I recommend The Torchlighter’s series biography on Corrie Ten Boom written by my author friend Kaylena Radcliff. You can check out Kaylena’s other writings here and she is fun to follow on Instagram. 

(Note: These book links are affiliate links to Amazon. If you purchase through these links, I get a small percentage of the price.)

AuthorRachel

Rachel Schmoyer is a pastor's wife and mom of four. Her writing has been featured in Light From the Word, The Secret Place, The Quiet Hour, and Thriving Family Magazine.

20 replies to Hang it on a Hook: What Corrie Ten Boom Does with the Hard Parts of Scripture

  1. Great insight from her book! I would love to learn more about her life.

    • It was a great little book. Although I’ve listened to a Focus on the Family Radio Drama about her life, I’ve never read anything else by her. The Hiding Place is on my to-read shelf for this year.

  2. Kalimera, Rachel! I always have a book at the ready. As a matter of fact, I have a few piles of them throughout the house so I can grab one on-the-go to read while waiting somewhere, or just read as the desire to do so strikes me at home. Right now, I’m actually reading through 6 books!

    One hard Scripture passage that I’ve had to hang on a hook lately as I search the Scriptures and other Christian writers/leaders for clarification is 2 Timothy 2:25, ESV: “God may perhaps grant them repentance.” I’m trying to understand why God sometimes does not permit a sinning person to do what is right.

    I have had the experience of being able to take a hard part off the hook, and one was Genesis 3:15, ESV: ” I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” I understood that God promised to send a redeemer, Jesus Christ, who would destroy evil, but I didn’t understand that the reason for His doing so was also included here — to restore His covenant relationship with His people!

    Thank you letting me share. have a lovely day!

    • What a great insight into Genesis 3:15!

      As far as 2 Timothy 2:25 goes, I’d have to really study it more to be sure, but I do not think the picture is of people who want to do right and God won’t let them. People in their natural, sinful state never want to do right.

      Paul is giving Timothy instructions about how to deal with false teachers. NIV renders the whole verse as: ” Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,”

      I think the “God may grant them repentance” is Paul telling Timothy not to write anyone off. From our human perspective, we don’t really know who will come to God in repentance during their lifetime. Some of the awful false teachers that Timothy was interacting with needed to be dealt with gentleness and as Timothy instructed those who are teachable, he should do so with gentleness so as maybe to build a relationship with them since there may be a point they would come to Christ and then they could remember Timothy, the loving and patient Christian who explained to them God’s way even when they were enemies of God.

      I love that Paul is saying this verse since I imagine that no one would ever have thought that he would come to Christ back in his Pharisee days! What a great example to not write anyone off. The Holy Spirit has the power to transform lives.

      • Thank you, Rachel, for your explanation. I now understand that I should never assume that people who are caught up in false teaching are irretrievably lost, and I should continue to lovingly and gently speak the Truth of the gospel of Christ to them while praying for the Holy Spirit to move upon their hearts so they may come to know and accept Christ.

        I do have another hard part of Scripture that is somewhat similar that I hope you can help me understand: 1 Samuel 2:25 “If someone sins against a man, God will mediate for him, but if someone sins against the LORD, who can intercede for him? But they would not listen to the voice of their father, for it was the will of the Lord to put them to death.”

        I understand that Eli’s sons had grievously sinned against and profaned the LORD and refused to hear Eli’s warning. Does this verse mean that their hearts were so hardened that they could not repent, that their heinous sins against the LORD were so great that God hardened their hearts and withheld/denied His grace that leads to repentance? Is the story of the doom of the house of Eli telling us that it is possible for a believer to sin so long and so grievously that God will not grant repentance? Also, could this story represent a prodigal or an apostate who has fallen away from the truth and the Lord for so long, and continued in grievous sin against Him, that there is no returning to Him?

        • That’s a tough part. I’ll dig into it and let you know. Thanks!

  3. Wise…

    I read both Matthew 24 and Luke 21 just now. Lots to think about and consider. But the main thing is stay focused on the Lord no matter when the end comes.

    • So true! And to rest in the knowledge that when the end comes, Jesus protects His people. You won’t get lost in the shuffle. We have Noah, Lot, the Israelites in Egypt, all as examples of that.

  4. Yes, I always try to have a book with me. Inevitably, when I don’t have one along for the ride is just when I need one. A book travels with me to sporting events for all those time outs and time between games and other such events. Mind you, I am happy to talk with whatever students and others that come my way, but a book is handy if that doesn’t happen. Students will comment from time to time about my book, curious as to why I would bring a book to a game. Hey, why bring that phone? 😊

    Why not create an actual “Read the Hard Parts” hook and jot down a passage or reference and hang it on that hook. It could be an opportunity to refresh your mind about them as you could take a peek at those hanging, a way to keep your mind engaged in thinking on them. If you hang index cards you could add a note on the back as you gain more clarity.

    • I got this book at that big used book sale in Harrisburg that my mom and I go to every spring. I am definately going to be on the lookout for more small books. It’s been great to read these little ones by great, classic authors. Hmmm….I like your actual Read the Hard Parts Hook idea…or a clipboard? I think that’s what Julie Dibble said she was going to do. What about one of those baskets that you hang on a hook? For index cards? I’m going to let that idea simmer. Or you can be on the look out for a cool hook while you are yard saling.

  5. Rachel, what a gem! That little book from Corrie Ten Boom. And I join you with loving imagery. Thank you for this post. Have a blessed rest of your Monday.

    • Thank you so much Julie for reading! Yes, I love the imagery, too. I found that to be true throughout this little book that she paints imagery in just a few simple words. You would love it. You have been gifted with that same ability!

  6. O I am ashamed, I am Dutch but I have never read this book. Would it exist in Dutch? I wonder. Yesterday I listened to your video (while I was ironing some clothes) and it gave me fresh new insights. Kind regards from your European sister in Christ.

    • Thank you so much, Aritha, for watching and for commenting. I often watch and listen to books or podcasts while I am doing housework, too. I don’t know if this book would be available in Dutch. That is a good question. It seems very old, but I wonder if it would be available since it is Corrie Ten Boom. I never really thought about it until now, but your country has such a rich heritage of Christianity!

    • Aritha, ja, het boek staat en Nederlands ook. Het heet ‘De Schuilplaats.’ Heel mooi verhaal. 🙂

    • Aritha, ik weet niet als ‘Marching Orders’ in het Nederlands is, maar het boek over Corrie en haar leef bestaat wel in het Nederlands ook. Het heet ‘De Schuilplaats.’ Heel mooi verhaal. 🙂

  7. This is such a great insight, Rachel! It really clicked when you said “If you never read them, you won’t have them at hand when the explanation comes up.” So true. Thank you for sharing.

    • Great! I’m so glad this was helpful! Thanks for reading and commenting.

  8. I love the “hang it on a hook” idea!

    • I know, right? It gives me a great picture about it being okay to leave ideas hanging.

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