The Bible: “A Lamp Unto My Feet”
Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the Heavens (Psalm 119:89)
Meditation: The God Who Speaks To Me
The Importance of Scripture
1. Read Deuteronomy 32:47. Where were the Israelites? What were they getting ready to do?
2. How does Moses refer to the Word of God in Deuteronomy 32:47? What does the term “life” mean here? Is it similar to Jesus’ comments in Matthew 4:4? How?
2. How does the idea that the word of God is our life, according to Deuteronomy 32:47, relate to what Jesus said in John 6:63?
Meditation on Scripture
1. Read Joshua 1:1-9. What is God telling Joshua to get ready to do? What are some of the things God promises to do for this new leader?
2. What is Joshua’s responsibility in Joshua 1:8? How does a person meditate on Scripture?
3. What is the goal of our meditation according to Joshua 1:8 (cf. 1 Samuel 15:22-23)?
4. What is God’s promise to us if we meditate and obey (cf. John 15:7-8)?
The Nature and Purpose of Scripture
1. Read 2 Timothy 3:16-17. How does Paul refer to the Bible (i.e., the OT and by inference the NT)? Does this apply to all Scripture or just to those parts I like?
2. According to 2 Tim 3:16-17, what functions does the Scripture have in my life? How are they different, yet related to each other?
3. What is the goal for which God gave Scripture to the church according to Deuteronomy 29:29 and 2 Tim 3:17? How should this affect my Bible reading?
4. How does what Jesus prayed in John 17:17 relate to 2 Timothy 3:16-17?
5. What is our responsibility according to 1 Thessalonians 2:13? Note the hostility mentioned in the immediate context?
6. What does true belief look like according to James 1:22-25? Why do you think James refers to God’s word as “the perfect law of liberty”?
7. According to Romans 15:4, what is another reason Scripture was written? Do you experience this when you read God’s word? How does this relate to 2 Timothy 3:16-17?
8. Read Psalm 119. List some of the qualities and functions of the word of God. How important was the Word of God to the Psalmist? How important should it be to you and me as Christians claiming to know and love the Lord?
9. Read John 5:39-40. To whom does the word of God ultimately point? How does this relate to 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and other verses you looked up in this section?
Meditation: What Does This Mean for My Life?
A Reading Program
Have you ever thought about a reading program for Scripture? There are several different approaches. If you were to read 3-4 chapters a day you could read the entire Bible through in one year. However, some people have decided that this is too much to do at one sitting (say, for example, 30 minutes in the morning). They have instead thought of reading just a Psalm or some smaller unit of Scripture. This is perhaps the better choice and most people should opt for something along these lines.
But there is yet another choice—one that is more helpful for those who are more zealous and for those who sustain a teaching ministry. The Old Testament can be read in larger chunks each week as you have time. The NT, on the other hand, can be read repetitively. The point here is to take a letter of the NT, such as Galatians, and read it through at one sitting. Do this each day for a month or so. At the end of that month, you will have an understanding of the whole message of Galatians and chances are, you will not forget it, at least not as easily. Verses that were once obscure, will become clear in the light of their immediate and remote contexts. In any case, you can do this for all the books in the NT, breaking up the longer books and letters into smaller, manageable units. For example, Matthew could be broken up into four units of seven chapters each; Revelation into two units of seven and one of eight, or two units of five and two of six. Read each unit once a day for thirty days. This means that at the end you will have spent about 120 days in Matthew. At this rate you can finish the entire NT in about 3 years. But…and this is a big difference, you will probably understand what you read and you will be inclined to remember it too! How cool is that?
We can hear Scripture read or preached. We can read it for ourselves. We can also memorize it so that we can have it available at any instant for meditation, evangelism, spiritual warfare, and encouragement. Though memorization requires effort, perseverance, and a plan of attack, the benefits are enormous and well surpass the investment. The reader is encouraged to check out the scripture memory program we have at the Biblical Studies Foundation.
Reading to Hear God’s Voice
Our primary posture toward God’s word is the same posture we should have before him. As Isaiah says, God esteems the one who is contrite in spirit and who trembles at his word (Isa 66:2b). We are to come before him in humility, open to receive, and wanting to receive instruction, correction, rebuke and encouragement. Let the word of God read you and speak to your needs. Through meditation ask God to show you his will in his word. He will do it.