This morning as I read from the Old Testament I was reminded of an interesting experience I had years ago… I had been reading in Chronicles in the Bible and was frankly bored… “This person “begat” that person, and that person “begat” another person, and that person, “begat” yet another person… (and the names were weird – really hard to figure out and pronounce!) I found myself saying to the Lord in kind of a prayer-question, “Why on earth did you put this stuff in the Bible, anyway, Lord? It’s really boring!”
Well, I was pastor of a church in North Dakota at the time and had to travel to Fargo that day to call upon someone who was in the hospital. I got into the car, turned on the radio to a Christian station, and would you believe… the very first words I heard were these from someone speaking on a Christian program!… He said, “I was complaining to God about all the “begats” in the Bible one day, and I heard God say this to me: ‘If I cared enough to include the names of those people as a part of My plan in My word, I care about you!’”
I was dumbfounded! Hey it really happened! And I’ve never forgotten how God answered my question that day!
This morning this is what I read in Deuteronomy 31: Moses commanded the Levites as they were preparing to enter the “Promised land”… “At the end of every seven years… when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place the He will choose; YOU SHALL READ THIS LAW BEFORE ALL ISRAEL IN THEIR HEARING. Assemble the people, men, women and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns that they may hear and learn to fear [i.e. reverence] the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear [i.e. reverence] the Lord your God, as long you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” (From Deuteronomy 31:9-13)
The whole thing – Every bit of it! What seemed interesting and uplifting and even what didn’t! And that reminded me of something Apostle Paul declared…
“From childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. ALL SCRIPTURE IS INSPIRED BY GOD AND PROFITABLE for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man (or woman) of God may be complete, equipped for every good work!” (2 Timothy 3:15–17 ESV)
Makes a good case for reading the entire Bible through, doesn’t it? It also reinforces the importance of systematic Bible study – study of the entire Bible – all of it… for EVERYONE in our churches, it seems to me. Might be a good idea to read that 2 Timothy 3 passage again, slowly and reflectively, don’t you think?