October 2023 Column
Delight In His Word
Searching The Bible
Have you ever read the Bible and felt like you were reading it just to “go through the motions”? Or because it seemed like the “right thing” to be doing? Can you remember a time when the Bible in fact was really exciting to you? Perhaps when you were fresh in your relationship with Christ? Or maybe it was just this last month? Last week? Today?
I’ll never forget when I was seventeen, early in my walk with Christ, and searching eagerly through the Bible with one of my best friends in his basement just to look for Bible verses that would encourage us. We would pick out any portion of the Bible and read it just to see what it said. Those were exciting times! Since then, I have certainly continued to find joy in reading and studying the Bible. But also, there are times when it may not feel as exciting or seem like the number one activity that I wish to do that day. Can you relate? In the first chapter of Psalms we find something very fascinating, and I believe, encouraging for us as well.
In verse two of the psalm it reads, “but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night” (NKJV). The word translated as “law” is originally the Hebrew word “torah.” The concept of torah meant not only specific laws but also the first five books of the Bible written by Moses. Since other parts of the Bible, like the entire New Testament, had not yet been written when this psalm was recorded, we may extend the concept of the “law” spoken of in Psalm 1 to include all of God’s Word.
Now, think about this: the psalmist describes a person who finds God’s “law” or His Word to be a delight! Not only that, but out of their own personal desire they are meditating on it day and night! First, we discover here that God does not expect us to read the Bible simply out of a sense of obligation or because it’s the “right thing to do.” Instead, he wants us to be desirous to read it out of our own free will. And he wants us to enjoy it! There is indeed something genuinely enjoyable about searching the Bible that He wants us to discover. Second, we see that it must in fact be possible for us to get excited about the Bible!
You may be thinking, is it really possible for me to get that excited about the Bible? Let us first view the person being identified here in Psalm 1:1-3 as none other than Jesus. Read these three verses while picturing them as a portrayal of Jesus Himself. He perfectly executed what is described when He was here on earth living inside the realm of our human experience. We don’t need to feel discouraged if we don’t see ourselves perfectly matching this description; we only need to look to Jesus! And because He accomplished this, for us, help from Him is available in order to grow more and more excited about His own Word!
Questions for Discussion
Certainly, there may be times in life that seem to drive us to the Bible more than others. Experiencing a difficult moment such as the loss of a loved one or a very intense challenge at work. Or to thank God for something amazing that happened by reading one of the Psalms of praise. But no matter what mood or circumstance we may find ourselves in today, we can be assured that God both wants us to willingly find delight in His Word as well as know that help from Him is available in order to experience that delight.