Sometimes confession is good for the soul. So here goes.
I began reading the Bible on a daily basis when I was in high school. That was more years than most of you have been alive. I still read through the Bible each year. My goals is to read four chapters each day. Even though I’ve been a teacher and student of the Bible for about five decades, here are a few things I’d like to confess.
1. There are vast parts of the Bible that I don’t understand.
2. There are even larger parts of the Bible that I’m not interested in. For instance, can anyone explain to me why there are intricate details in Genesis explaining to us how the ark was built? We’ve been told there’ll be no more flood. Will me need those plans again?
3. I wade through most of the prophets fighting sleep. I have a most difficult time understanding what is being said. Forget the teaching and principles–I would just like to figure out what the author is saying.
4. I love the books of the Law–the first five books of the Bible. I cannot understand why we, Christians, have rejected the dietary laws. The things the Hebrews were told NOT to eat are the scavenger animals. We do know what scavengers eat. They dine on other animals that are dead or their excrements? What seems flavorful about any of that?
5. I love reading the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles but I almost dread reaching the epistles.
6. Revelation is a total mystery to me. I’ve given up trying to understand it. I read it for two reasons. I’m promised a blessing if I do. Additionally, I assume that if I’m really familiar with the book, when it is fulfilled, I can say, “Aha, that’s what God meant when he inspired John to pen that.” During those important years, I don’t want to caught unaware.
7. Even though I find the prophets and the epistles complicated and difficult to understand, I’ve gained my greatest understanding of God from the writings of these prophets and apostles.
8. The Psalms are some of my favorite chapters to read because most of them have fewer than 20 short verses.
9. I find some passages of the Bible so funny that I laugh out loud.
10. I find some passages of the Bible so emotionally compelling that I weep openly each time I read them.
11. The story of the cruxifixion is emotionally exhausting for me to read. I force myself to read and meditate on Christ’s suffering. Otherwise, I have a tendency to guard my heart from the pain of Jesus’ sacrifical gift of love.
- A good friend who is searching to find a relationship with the Lord by reading the Scriptures, told me the other day, “Each time I open the Bible there is a new revelation of God’s love when I’m finished. But during the process, I struggle more than I take pleasure in what I’m reading.” As much as I love God’s Word and depend on the scriptures for help, assurance and peace, my heart echoed her sentiments. As often as I’ve found revelation in God’s word, I’ve also experienced the inner struggle of simply opening the pages.
Have you found this struggle during your daily devotion time? What parts of the scripture do you work to understand? What parts of the Bible have been the most comforting for you?