Does God expect us to infer principles from the Bible? Or, as many people believe, is it just to be used as a rule book?
Consider a simple example (1 Cor. 9:9-10): "For it is written in the law of Moses, [Dt. 35:4] 'Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treadeth out the corn.' Is it for the oxen that God careth, or saith he it assuredly for our sake. Yea for our sake it was written ..."
Now that the Holy Spirit through the apostle Paul has set us straight, we understand that the application of this Old Testament scripture provides authority for us to pay gospel preachers.
But that is not the point of this article. We are interested in the reasoning process that God expected of his people and that the apostle Paul expected of the Corinthian Christians. He expected them to understand that the literal interpretation of this Old Testament scripture, while totally binding, was secondary.
It was not that God did not care for the oxen. Of course He did! Otherwise this law would never have been given. God cares and looks after all of his creatures (Mt. 6:26; 10:29). However, He cares for us infinitely more. This is assumed to be known. So the concerns that he has for His creatures demonstrates emphatically the concern he has for us. Finally, if He has this concern, so should we!
This is a lot to get out of Dt. 35:4. Read it again (above). But Paul was not appealing to his direct inspiration in this reasoning process -- he was appealing to this Old Testament scripture. And, he was chastising them (read the context) for not seeing this principle and being able to apply it to the issue at hand (e.g., the support of those who "proclaim the gospel."
God gave us brains and He expects us to use them to their full capacity to His glory. If the bible had to provide a rule to deal with every conceivable circumstance, the world would not be able to contain it. Abbreviated it would look like one of our law libraries.
Instead, He gave us a very concise body of literature which thoroughly furnishes us unto every good work (2 Tim. 3:16). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, it is written in the best possible way to communicate to us. The rest is up to us.