I don’t read the Bible like I should. I mean, not every day, not in an organized manner, and not as long as I should when I do read it. I was admitting this to the Lord while driving this morning and asked him a couple of questions.
First, why don’t you make me want to read the Bible more than I do? And second, why should I read it more, anyway?
I was a little surprised that he answered me right away, although he does that often enough that I shouldn’t have been surprised. Here’s how the conversation went.
“Think about language. Like English, your own native language. What is it?”
Hmmm. Okay, what is it?
“It’s a container by which information in one mind is transferred to another mind.”
Okay, I get that.
“By reading scripture, information in God’s mind is transferred to a human mind.”
Okay, I get that, too. But we don’t need to continually read the Bible for that, do we? Can’t we hear your voice and know your mind without reading the Bible over and over? (Meaning, I’ve read it quite a few times in the past, isn’t that enough?)
“Yes, but the Bible is not only a container, it’s a step above a container. Without the Bible, you wouldn’t be able to tell if the words you hear come from God’s mind or some other mind. Would you?”
I guess not.
That was the end of the two-way conversation but the beginning of a longer meditation.
I have read the Bible many times in my lifetime, in several versions. Not all the way through, Genesis to Revelation in any set plan, but when studying a particular subject, particular book, or particular person. And while I do remember a great deal of what I have read in the past, I don’t have total recall. Wish I did. From time to time I have to look up some verse in a concordance to remind myself where it is.
Usually when I sit down to read a chapter or so, I find myself getting sidetracked within just a few verses. A couple of months ago I decided to read Daniel all the way through but found that practically impossible for me. Names, places, times – there were way too many fascinating temptations to do research, look up cross-references, other passages, other books.
I’m not sure I have ever finished reading the book of Daniel, not completely. Somewhere along the way I wound up in the book of Matthew, then Revelation. Once in a while I go back to Daniel and read a little more.
And along the way, having the author comment on what I’m reading is like having Shakespeare by my side to explain his plays, only much, much better! Sometimes the Holy Spirit will nudge me to read something specific, or just tell me point blank where to find a verse.
This morning as I meditated, I reminded myself of all that and decided, it’s worth reading the Bible for that experience.