John Owen on the beauty and depth of Scripture:
I. Every thing in the Scripture is instructive. The apostle’s arguing in this place is not so much from the thing spoken, as from the manner wherein it is spoken. Even that also is highly mysterious. So are all the concernments of it. Nothing in it is needless, nothing useless. Men sometimes perplex themselves to find out the suitableness of some testimonies produced out of the Old Testament unto the confirmation of things and doctrines in the New by the penmen of the Holy Ghost, when all the difficulty ariseth from a fond conceit that they can apprehend the length and breadth of the wisdom that is laid up in any one text of Scripture, when the Holy Ghost may have a principal aim at those things which they are not able to dive into. Every letter and tittle of it is teaching, and every thing that relates unto it is instructive in the mind of God. And it must be so, because, —
1. It proceeds from infinite wisdom, which hath put an impress of itself upon it, and filled all its capacity with its blessed effects. In the whole frame, structure, and order of it, in the sense, words, coherence, expression, it is filled with wisdom; which makes the commandment exceeding broad and large, so that there is no absolute comprehension of it in this life. We cannot perfectly trace the footsteps of infinite wisdom, nor find out all the effects and characters of it that it hath left upon the Word. The whole Scripture is full of wisdom, as the sea is of water, which fills and covers all the parts of it. And, —
2. Because it was to be very comprehensive. It was to contain, directly or by consequence, one way or other, the whole revelation of God unto us, and all our duty unto him; both which are marvellous, great, large, and various. Now this could not have been done in so narrow a room, but that every part of it, and all the concernments of it, with its whole order, were to be filled with mysteries and expressions or intimations of the mind and will of God. It could not hence be that any thing superfluous should be put into it, or any thing be in it that should not relate to teaching and instruction.
3. It is that which God hath given unto his servants for their continual exercise day and night in this world; and in their inquiry into it he requires of them their utmost diligence and endeavors. This being assigned for their duty, it was convenient unto divine wisdom and goodness to find them blessed and useful work in the whole Scripture to exercise themselves
about, that everywhere they might meet with that which might satisfy their inquiry and answer their industry. There shall never be any time or strength lost or misspent that is laid out according to the mind of God in and about his Word. The matter, the words, the order, the contexture of them, the scope, design, and aim of the Holy Ghost in them, all and every one of them, may well take up the utmost of our diligence, — all are divine. Nothing is empty, unfurnished, or unprepared for our spiritual use, advantage, and benefit. Let us then learn hence, —
(1.) To admire, and, as one said of old, to adore the fullness of the Scripture, or of the wisdom of God in it. It is all full of divine wisdom, and calls for our reverence in the consideration of it. And indeed a constant awe of the majesty, authority, and holiness of God in his Word, is the only teachable frame. Proud and careless spirits see nothing of heaven or Divinity in the Word; but the humble are made wise in it.
(2.) To stir up and exercise our faith and diligence to the utmost in our study and search of the Scripture. It is an endless storehouse, a bottomless treasure of divine truth; gold is in every sand. All the wise men in the world may, every one for himself, learn somewhat out of every word of it, and yet leave enough still behind them for the instruction of all those that shall come after them. The fountains and springs of wisdom in it are endless, and will never be dry. We may have much truth and power out of a word, sometimes enough, but never all that is in it. There will still be enough remaining to exercise and refresh us anew for ever. So that we may attain a true sense, but we can never attain the full sense of any place; we can never exhaust the whole impress of infinite wisdom that is on the Word. And how should this stir us up to be meditating in it day and night!
— From John Owen’s Commentary on Hebrews, volume 1 (verse 5b), pages 168-170