Learn to love the word of God
We’re three months into the new year, and if you’re doing the Chronological Bible Reading Plan that Pastor Gregg recommends, you’re right in the middle of the book of Numbers. That means you made it through the reading of all the laws in Leviticus (hooray!) but the list of genealogies in Numbers can seem just as daunting of a task. So, what is your response to these Old Testament books? Is it just to power through until you get to a story you’re familiar with? Are you just trying to tread water until you get to the New Testament? Is that the way we should treat the inspired word of God?
While Bible reading plans are a great tool for accountability and can help us to stay on track, if we’re not careful, it can turn the reading of Scripture into a legalistic ritual where we are simply checking off a box. I’m not suggesting that you stop you’re reading plan (I’m doing one myself), but it would do us well to ask ourselves what we are getting out of it.
Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the Bible, is a love poem dedicated to the word of God. Each stanza is filled with heart-felt emotion for God’s instructions, commands and precepts. In verse 16, the psalmist writes, “I will delight in your statutes. I will not forget your word.” And then later in verse 97 we see him declare, “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” It’s not just in the Psalms. The prophet Jeremiah cried out, “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart” (Jeremiah 15:16). Of course, we don’t take the phrase “ate them” as literal. It’s quite humorous to think of Jeremiah finding a scroll and chewing on the parchment. We understand this to be a metaphor for how the prophet viewed the word of God. It was sustenance, it was life-giving, it was enjoyable.
The high school students have just started a new bible study based on a book by Nate Pickowicz called “How to Eat Your Bible,” and it is based on this metaphor. It is my desire that our students will learn to love the word of God and desire it as much as a person would desire food. I want our students, and me for that matter, to recognize that Scripture is meant to be savored, yes, but also ingested for its sustaining qualities. We need to enjoy reading our Bible as much as we do it out of necessity.
Please pray for our students as they work their way through this book, and I would recommend picking up a copy for yourself. Let us all learn to desire and devour the word of God together this year.
Soli deo gloria,