Saturday, November 15, 2014

Christianity and the Importance of Reading - Part 2

In both the Old and New Testaments reading is commanded, encouraged and expected. In Deuteronomy 17 we find that the king of Israel is to write for himself a copy of the Word of God and then read it every day. The goal here is quite interesting. Verses 19 and following tell us that the purpose is so that he may learn to fear the Lord his God and be careful to observe all the words of the law and the statutes. The purpose furthermore is so “that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left.”

So here we see the intended power of the Word in the life of the king if he would read it every day of his life. How much more so for us as Christians to be faithful readers of the Word of God.

In Deuteronomy 31:11ff we find that all Israel is to come to appear before the Lord. At that meeting the leaders “shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Gather the people together, men and women and little ones, and the stranger who is within your gates, that they may hear and that they may learn to fear the Lord your God and carefully observe all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land.”

In the next part of this series we’ll look at a particular instance of this happening and we’ll focus on what took place and then think about whether people of our culture would be comfortable in that setting for that length of time.

What I find intriguing in the passages we looked at today is that the Scripture has a profound effect on people as they read it or hear it read. It tends to keep us faithful to the Lord, fearing Him and learning to observe all of the things He commands of us His children.

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