I like mysteries. I like to read mystery novels, and watch mystery movies. I like to pick up on the subtle 'clues' along the way to try to determine 'who dunnit' before the plot is actually revealed. I knew that Dr. Nichols murdered Richard Kimble's wife in the first 5 minutes of the movie, way before Tommy Lee Jones did.*
I do that sometimes, too, when reading my Bible. Something I read will strike me as obscure, or unusual, like a 'clue' to something I need to know. And so I'll do a little 'digging' to try to learn more, and sometimes I uncover a nuance that speaks directly to me and/or a situation I am dealing with.
I read the other day that there's actually a name for that! Midrash. In Hebrew, it means to search out, and it's a Jewish tradition that invites deeper exploration of Scripture. Judith Kunst (The Burning Word) describes it as reading the Bible "not for what is familiar, but for what is unfamiliar, not for what's clear but for what's unclear... Midrash views the Bible as one side of a conversation, started by God, containing an implicit invitation... to keep the conversation going." Nothing in the Bible is there by accident, so Midrash motivates us to take the oddball verses or inconsistencies and, with God's help, to try to discover why they are included in His Word. Often, I take my queries to Bruce, or to our kids, and we continue the conversation, bouncing ideas off one another or sharing our thoughts.
Proverbs 25:2 says, It is the glory of God to conceal a matter; to search out a matter is the glory of kings. Sounds like Midrash to me.
*(Uh, hope you've already seenThe Fugitive; if not, sorry I spoiled the ending)