Why is it that the Bible can seem so overwhelming? If it’s so important and so crucial to my walk with the Lord, then why does it have to be so hard? How is it possible that it can seem so boring?
I personally believe that the Bible itself isn’t the problem, but that it’s our approach to it. I use the word study a lot when referencing the scriptures. When I went to Bible College, we “studied” the Bible. We were memorizing stuff, learning the history of the divided kingdoms, and impressing ourselves with all the knowledge we were gaining. Knowledge that the Bible itself says “puffs up”.
Think with me for a minute.
The Bible gives us all kinds of great advice on how to approach it and oddly enough “studying it” is not on the list.
When you go to Psalm 119, which is the longest chapter in the Bible, it is actually about Gods word. Read through that and see if you can find the word study. We are commanded to keep, obey, consider, learn, neglect not, rejoice, meditate, long for, be consumed with, trust in, and seek the Word. But not one time are we told to study it.
Joshua was admonished to let not the Word depart from his mouth, to keep it.
David said that Gods Word was a lamp for his feet.
Jesus referred to the Word as “seeds” in his parable of the sower.
I could go on but there are multiple pictures, images and descriptions of the Word and how we’re to handle it.
But keep looking and you’ll only find the word “study” around 4 times depending on the translation less. Reducing it to studying it seems to miss the point
John 5:39 Jesus admonishes the Pharisee’s about studying the Word looking for eternal life and missing the point that Jesus was the one that the Word they were studying was pointing too. Read it in context. He is not giving them a ringing endorsement for that approach to the scriptures.
2 Timothy 2:15 Is the clarion call to study the Word. It’s one that I’ve leaned on and quoted before. Except that the original Greek word isn’t study. It’s “spoudazo”. It means to be diligent, to exert yourself. It’s usually translated as “endeavor” or “diligent” and only once translated as study.
Solomon did say that he studied the word but in Eccl 12:12 he says that study makes you weary. Anyone who has fallen asleep studying for a test can give a hearty amen!.
John says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was God and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Jesus is the Word. If I’m looking to build my relationship with my wife, the last thing on my list is to “study” her.
My approach to the Bible is looking for Jesus. Whether it’s in the types and shadows of the laws, the genealogies, or the prophecies He is there. Jesus himself said it all pointed to him. When He encountered the two disciples on the road to Emmaus it says that He took them through the Word and showed them how it all pointed to Him. And I love this part; it says “there eyes were opened”.
Finding Jesus in the Word opens your eyes. Let’s look for him. And as we do, we’ll continue to be blown away by Him, and grow in our love for Him.
My prayer is that when we get through this series, that you’ll have a new appreciation for just how amazing God is. So join me as we learn how to NOT study the Bible. Let’s not make this semantics, let’s approach the Word as the Word itself tells us to approach it.
Monday night at 7:30pm at Journey Ecclesia.