The Achille’s heel of Bible readers

If you’re still at it, you are to be commended. If you’re not, I want to encourage you to get back with it. What am I talking about? I’m talking about something many of us were encouraged to do when we saw Norma Chasco’s record of annually reading through the Bible.

I have to confess it had been awhile since I had systematically read through the Bible in a year, and I hadn’t done so chronologically, so I decided that would be the way to go this time. I really enjoyed reading through Genesis again. The chronological Bible I’m using then took me to Job, and it’s always good to read of his struggles, the poor counsel that he was given by well-meaning friends, and God’s answer to the question of suffering. I then actually enjoyed pondering afresh the laws that are recorded in Exodus.

Then came Leviticus and Numbers, the Achille’s heel of Bible readers. Even a blending of the two books to maintain the chronological flow didn’t help much. The repetition, the detailed instructions, and the lists of names can cause even committed eyes to glaze over.

If you are still on target for 2017, you’ve made it through the toughest part. You may, however, be feeling a tad guilty for skimming through some passages of God’s Word. My pastoral advice to you is to get over it. Get over the guilt, and just get over the passage. I really don’t think every word in the Bible demands our undivided attention and thoughtful meditation.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s all there for a reason, and it’s all important. It just may not be necessary for us to deeply ponder every passage. Then again, pondering can come even after skimming.

That realization came to me when reading about the offerings brought by the twelve tribes at the dedication of the tabernacle. After reading the list once, I really didn’t read it carefully eleven more times. In fact, I started wondering why Moses didn’t simply say ditto, they all gave the same things. Then I realized God may not have wanted anyone to think He appreciated their offering any less than anyone else’s.

So even if your eyes glaze over, and you find yourself skimming, just keep going. Besides refreshing your memory, you may discover something you never saw before, or even better, gain a new insight into God’s love for us.

God Bless, Rick

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