"Those who read fast reap no more advantage than a bee would by only skimming over the surface of the flower, instead of waiting to penetrate into it, and extract its sweets."~ Madame Jeanne Guyon ~
"Those who read fast reap no more advantage..." Isn't that so true? When we read the Bible qickly without looking for meaning, do we really get anything from it? Probably not.
To understand the Bible and its passages, we need to dig deep to the treasure that is "buried" in and among the pages. The Bible is God's Word - full of wisdom, grace, peace, forgiveness, eternal life, and truth; this book is about our Salvation and the only one who can give it to us - Jesus the Christ! John 1:1 tells us "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (NASB). Isn't it amazing? The Bible is about Jesus from the very first words in Genesis, to the very last in Revelation.
Studying the Bible is a must for every Christian. Simply skimming over the top, letting the words flow by us will not help us to grow in our walk with Christ. It is so easy (and often tempting) to just sit and read just to say that we got our Bible reading done for the day. It takes more than a casual glance for God to reveal something He may want us to learn or remember. In all honesty, reading without searching for life application doesn't do much for us. We need to grow in our walk with the Lord, and part of that growth comes from a deeper reading of Scripture.
Part of deeper reading involves meditation. Now, the meditation I am referring to is not the meditation practiced in some cultures where one relaxes with closed eyes and has some sort of mantra to repeat. The meditation I refer to is in reference to a deeper thinking. When we meditate on Scripture, we think about it, mull it over, think how we can apply it to our daily life. This is what we do to help us grow in our walk.
I know I'm not perfect - I have been known to just skim and glance over the Bible. And to be honest, that does absolutely nothing for me. It almost leaves me feeling - empty. I walk away with nothing from that "reading". When I sit and read, digging deep, praying before I start (asking God to reveal something He wants me to know or be reminded of, etc.), meditating on the Word and how I can apply it to my life; when I live the Word, then I come away feeling more fulfilled. The struggle or temptation so many of us face is thinking that it's ok to just skim over what we are reading and count it as our time spent with God. I need to stop that - I need to take the time to get into the Bible, to really dig deep, and learn and grow with the Lord.
I am not only interested in the life application of the Bible. I'm interested in the who's, the why's, the how's, the when's, the where's...I like learning about the archealogy, the geography, the people and their customs, etc. I know that stuff isn't necessary to grow in my walk, but I enjoy that sort of thing none the less - and sometimes it can make the stories, etc. a little more interesting.
So, my prayer is that I will take the time I need to dig deeper into the Word, to not skim over the top, and use what I learn (what God reveals to me) to help my growth and walk as a Christian.