Another Saturday. Another study day. Another day of being blessed by great friends and challenged by great books.
Today I’ve been making my way through a rather epic book called ‘The Hermeneutical Spiral’ in preparation for writing my essay on the song of Hannah in 1 Samuel 2. It’s a great book (please don’t let the long title put you off!) and it actually offers some really thought provoking and helpful ways to read the Bible and understand both the context and the application. (And it definitely makes me approach the Scripture humbly and prayerfully!)
But my real challenge for today was found in the introduction of this book.
The author is making reference to the fact that many people don’t put that much effort, time, or resources into reading the Bible and have lots of excuses… ‘The Bible can just be surface read’, ‘Commentaries are confusing and expensive’, ‘It takes to much time and effort to understand all the history and stuff’… You know the kinds of excuses? I know I do! I know I’ve made them. Many people don’t read the Bible each day, and even when we do, we can get confused, distracted or do it half-heartedly.
Now hear me out… I get this… But the author makes the challenge of how we approach our hobbies. He makes it clear that the Bible should be more than just a hobby.
And that’s his point.
Think about how much time, effort, money and zeal we put into our hobbies? If you are learning how to play golf, or surf, or knit, you buy the materials. You practice. You read magazines on the topic. You talk to other people about it. You spend your days off practicing it. You… Invest. Not because you have to, but because you want to.
And reading the Word, and understanding the Word, and applying the Word… It should be more than just a hobby.
And as I read that challenge, I remembered those words in Psalm 119.
Verses 33 – 40.
Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfil your promise to your servant, so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread, for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life.
Because the author of that Psalm just loves the Word. They completely love the statutes of God. It is more than a hobby, it is life. It is more than an add-on-extra, it is everything.
And that’s worth time, and effort, and study… And whatever else it takes.
Because it’s more.
That’s my prayer today. That my love for the Word would grow. That my love for God would grow. That my sensitivity to hear Holy Spirit speaking would grow. And that in that, I would grow closer to Him.