Published Mar 21, 2023
In full-blown pandemic times, memes came out inspired by a teacher’s experience giving a test in which she asked, “Who killed Goliath,” a question obviously related to the Bible. In an effort to help the students, the last three letters to the 5-letter word were given, “_ _ V I D” -to which a student answered, “Covid,” rather than “David.”
Of course, memes often offer a lighthearted, humorous approach to very real issues. Among many other matters, this meme humorously sheds light on and gives us a way to think about the realities of a huge lack of what once was assumed to be basic biblical knowledge and understanding. This huge lacking is the present condition for so many people today, particularly young people.
While it’s no surprise to hear about the decline of biblical literacy, it is, however, helpful to understand that this is not a new phenomenon. Every generation can have a tendency to forget the Word of God or not even know it. In the book of Deuteronomy, before the Israelites were going to go into the Promised Land, Moses mentioned to them several times to “be careful not to forget the Lord,” (6.12) and to keep the commandments of God “on their hearts” (6.6), talking about them with their children, etc. Moses so often reminded them to not forget because they were so prone to forget not only the commandments but God Himself. Clearly, some things haven’t changed too much. We are so prone to forget the Word of God and how important it is for us to be consistently hearing from God. Sadly, we can think that we’re fine just going to church when our lives are not in a crisis; but once that crisis hits, we often realize the importance of what we could have been doing the entire time.
When it comes to reading the Bible, the Word of God, and knowing and understanding it, it’s helpful to be aware of these three realities:
1. It’s never going to be easy
We live in a time and culture that loves when things are easy. The issue comes when we begin to believe that things like spiritual things shouldn’t be hard. The truth is that since we have an enemy who is intent on destroying us, and learning Biblical truths is an affront to him, there will likely often be obstacles or distractions to keep us from reading and learning it. As we continue in a habit of reading, our discipline and our desire to read and learn grows, but it won’t necessarily get easier to do it. Walking with Jesus is life-giving, and He is our Comforter, but I think we often forget that the Christian life is also a battle that we must get ready for every day. I know this may not sound very encouraging, but it’s better to understand the reality, so we know what we’re facing and aren’t surprised when it gets hard.
2. …but it’s not impossible.
Now, I also don’t want to give the impression that this is something impossible or something we must do in our own strength. By no means! We have the Holy Spirit who helps us as we read the Bible to understand what it says. Another truth I’ve come to realize is that I need God to continue to help me love and obey Him. We are dependent on Him, and this is good! God doesn’t call us to love Him in our own strength but in His. Reading the Word daily to cultivate a love-relationship with God is part of this. Personally, I find that journaling while reading the Bible helps me to retain what I am reading and to ponder on it throughout the day. I can write what I see about God’s character from a passage and even what response I sense He is calling me to have in light of what I have read.
3. You’ll never regret the time spent reading your Bible.
I have yet to hear someone say they regret the amount of time they spent reading and studying the Bible. If anything, people regret that they didn’t spend more time in God’s Word. At the end of the day, or even the end of our lives, we may regret the amount of time we spent watching T.V., sleeping, or on our phones; but we won’t regret cultivating a love-relationship with God by reading His Word.
So, go today and intentionally make time to read God’s Word. Don’t be discouraged if you miss a day; just keep choosing Him in His strength. You won’t regret it.