A Puritan Pastor prayed this passage of Scripture daily before he began his Bible reading. It’s a passage that I’ve prayed for perhaps 25 years now when I begin my morning Bible study. I ask God to forgive me of any known and unknown sin in my life. Further it is important to humble ourselves so that a lack of faith, poor attitudes or prejudice would not hinder our ability to see and listen. It’s also led me to pray that God would give me insight, discernment and help to carefully observe what I am reading from God’s Word.
Cities, rivers, fauna, animals and mountains are important to the story as well as the people. You discover that God loves cities as well as gardens. The city of God, Jerusalem is to be far different in culture and virtue especially as distinguished from the city of Babylon. But we find then as today people live in the constant tug between Jerusalem and Babylon.
The stories of people in love and war, construction and destruction, wisdom and folly all pull us into the story of God’s love and grace.
Most of all the presence of the unseen and holy God! That is until you get to the gospels and Jesus reveals what God is like! Then the book of Acts, the unseen God manifests himself through the visible body of Christ the Church. Then the epistles filled with how to apply doctrine to our lives. For all of those critics of doctrine, life issues in the Scripture are first addressed by doctrine and then we are shown how to apply that doctrine to our lives.
Here are some questions that Dr. Howard Hendricks wrote that I use in my reading that help me see the wonderful things in God’s Word.
- Is there an example for me to follow?
- Is there a sin to avoid?
- Is there a promise to claim?
- Is there a prayer to repeat?
- Is there a command to obey?
- Is there a condition to meet?
- Is there a verse to memorize?
- Is there an error to mark?
- Is there a challenge to face?
I hope this post helps to make your Bible reading fruitful and enjoyable. Do you have some questions you would add to that? What are some questions or life issues that you are dealing with? What book of the Bible are you reading now?