The Purpose of Reading Scripture
By Megan Blum
(Megan and her husband, Chris, lead the prayer ministry at the Short North Congregation)
This morning I opened my Bible to read before starting my day, and heard the Lord speak a beautiful word…
What’s the purpose of reading Scripture?
Are we seeking to gain knowledge and wisdom about our God?
Are we seeking to gain the knowledge and wisdom of our God?
Are we reading because we believe Scripture is the means through which the mouth of God speaks directly to us?
As long as the latter is our purpose for reading, does it matter how we do it? If we believe the Creator and God of the universe has seen fit to speak to wretched man through Scripture, our hearts will “rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory,” (1 Peter 1:8c) and that glory is unto God! Why let the focus be on how when it should be on Who? There’s freedom in the how if we’re seeking to draw near to Him because He’s already drawn near to us!
If we are in the Old Testament, we have the joy of seeing the story of the Gospel and the love of God unto a deeply adulterous people (…us). Our God is not constrained by time, so the death and resurrection of Christ has been for all peoples at all times. Where better to hear the voice of timeless grace, mercy, and justice than the Old Testament?
If we are in the New Testament, we have the joy of seeing the Gospel through Christ incarnate and His ascension in glory until the time appointed for Him to return. The promises of old fulfilled at the perfect time; the heart of Christ caring for the glory of the Father above all else; continued promises we long await to come to fruition.
The Bible tells one story “in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Peter 4:11b)
He has spoken to us in the eternal, unshakeable, and unchangeable Scripture and through His very Spirit. And yet, how long have I yearned to hear the truth, for which my soul aches, flow from His mouth? I’ve spent years believing the purpose of reading Scripture is to gain the wisdom and knowledge of and about God. But to treat the Word with the full reverence and awe I would treat the audible voice of the Lord calling my name is to experience thick darkness dissipate and strongholds lift by the might of His right hand.
Now, as I open my Bible or recall Scripture to mind as though my life depends on it, there is renewed gratitude, joy, and life in my soul. And rightfully so!
This is the reality of Eternity here and now.