DO WE NEED BIBLE READING RULES?
Someone has said, "The Bible is not read because it is not enjoyed; it is not enjoyed because it is not understood; and it is not understood because it is not rightly divided." Rightly divided, as in giving to each their equal share. Like the Old Testament offering, a portion went to God, another to the priest, and a third to the one sacrificing. You don’t give to one what distinctly belongs to another. All the Bible is for us, but not all of it is to or about us.
Many, I find, are slaves in the reading of their Bibles. Sometimes Bible teachers lay down hard and fast rules for a person’s quiet time that in return become a law to the recipient. I've heard such nonsensical statements as: "Every Christian needs to read their Bible through three times a year"; "You ought to mark your Bible from Genesis to Revelation"; The time to read the scriptures is very early in the morning." The aforementioned is fine for some, but not all. One size doesn't fit all.
The man who works midnights is not in any shape to have early morning devotions. The young mother, with two or three to look after would have a tough time reading so many chapters a day. The visually impaired have difficult time enough reading, much less marking. And those with terminal maladies find it almost impossible to fit some ritualistic, man-made system into their suffering lives! The truth is, other than a daily meeting God in his Word, there is no cut and dried way to read your Bible.
A.W. Tozer stated that there were times he spent days, even weeks, on one scripture or portion before moving on in his Bible reading. Brainard said he read till his heart burned. And that late, great missionary statesman, Oswald J. Smith, made it a point to make sure he turned a page a day in his reading of the old Book. Most certainly, we all agree we should read the Bible, like any other book, from cover to cover. But we do not all agree as to the method. Therefore, let’s give each a little elbow room.
It’s not how many times you've been through the Bible, but how many times it’s gone through you. And the question for sure is not, "Do you mark your Bible?" but, "Are you marked by your Bible?"
I close with two quotes from Andrew A. Bonar in reference to the Bible: "May we be able to spread our Bibles on the Mercy-Seat, and read them by the light of the cloud of Glory"; "Keep a grape of Eshcol beside you, and moisten your parched palate with it when you can."
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Revelation 11:17 "Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned."
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