…his delight is in the Lord’s instruction,
and he meditates on it day and night.
He is like a tree planted beside streams of water
that bears its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
Whatever he does prospers.
I find that whenever Christians read Psalm 1, they say to themselves, “Yes! That’s what I want! That’s who I want to be! I want to meditate on God’s word daily, and be like that strong, beautiful, flourishing tree!” I’m convinced no Christian reads this and says, “Na, that’s a load of rubbish!”
But, then what happens? Do we delight in God’s word? Do we meditate on it day and night? At worst, no. At best, we struggle. Why is that? Because we are fickle, distracted and sinful people, who don’t give God’s word the regard it deserves. For this we need to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness and help!
But another reason we often don’t meditate on God’s word day and night, is because we don’t know it well enough, and we don’t know how to get to know it better. Sometimes God’s word feels big and too hard to understand on our own, so we just don’t bother. Again this is something we need to repent of and push through! But as well as that, I’ve found that sometimes just a simple tool can help us immensely in our personal Bible reading.
The Bible project is one such tool. You can check it out at www.thebibleproject.com
There you will find that the Bible Project describes itself as “Visual storytelling meets the Bible”. Their mission is “to show how the Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.” And let me say that so far they have done a good job of this! How do they do this? By creating 5-10 minute videos that simply and helpfully summarise the structure and message of each book of the Bible.
So, for example, if you’re reading the book of Ephesians (like we are in church and gospel teams at the moment) you can watch the video for Ephesians to help you to get a grasp on what the book is all about and how it fits together. This will help you as you then step through the book verse by verse, to be able to better understand what you’re reading!
So whenever you start reading a book of the Bible at home, watch the Bible project video for that book to give you an overview of the book as a whole. You can also print out the visual summary of the book and keep it in your Bible, so you can refresh your memory each day and remember where you’re up to in the book.
I’ve just started reading Numbers, and I found it really helpful when the video pointed out that it’s all about the rebellion of God’s people in the wilderness, and how God both brings judgement, and shows mercy. And it’s helping me as I step through the book to know that it has 3 sections, set in 3 different places along Israel’s journey, with their travel story between each section.
So give it a go! You might not find all of it helpful, and perhaps you might not agree with everything the video says, but I think you will definitely find the following:
• That they help you get excited about reading God’s word.
• That they cause you to be confident to tackle God’s word.
• That they prove to be a helpful tool in you understanding and appreciating God’s word for yourself.
As we read God’s word and meditate on it day and night, may God make us like the person who says this in Psalm 119:72:
Instruction from Your lips is better for me
than thousands of gold and silver pieces.