Delights And Disciplines Of Bible Study

Day 1 of 4 • This day’s reading


 Why Study the Bible?

Since there are so many good books to read these days, both classical and contemporary, why should we take the time to read and study an ancient book like the Bible? A bestseller for years, it has been translated into many languages and is available in a variety of editions, but it is still an ancient book about ancient peoples that was written in three ancient languages—Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Many people respect the Bible but don’t read it, and many who do read it don’t always understand it. Further, those who do understand it don’t always obey it as they should.

Why should we study the Bible? We know that God commands us to study His Word (2 Tim. 2:15), and we know we must obey that command, but there are other reasons. I’ve listed several of them below, but note this is not an exhaustive list and that these are not noted in order of importance.

We Should Study the Bible Because of What the Bible Is

Let’s look at some of the word pictures that describe the Bible in the Bible. The Bible is compared to gold and honey. “The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb” (Ps. 19:9–10; see also Ps. 119:103). The Lord said to the prophet Jeremiah, “Is not My word like fire … and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jer. 23:29).

The Bible is like a lamp: “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105; and see also v. 130 and 2 Pet. 1:19). The Bible is like food for the inner person. It is milk (1 Cor. 3:1–3; Heb. 5:11–13; 1 Pet. 2:2), solid food (Heb. 5:11–14), bread (Matt. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and honey (Ps. 19:9–10).

God’s Word is also a mirror (James 1:23–25). This is a very important metaphor that I will say more about later. In His parable of the sower, Jesus compared the Word to seed (Matt. 13:1–9, 18–33). Paul wrote about the cleansing power of the “water by the word” (Eph. 5:25–26), a metaphor Jesus also used in the upper room (John 13:10; 15:3). Keep in mind that water for washing represents the Word of God, while water for drinking represents the Spirit of God (John 7:37–38). The Word of God is also a sword (Eph. 6:17 and Heb. 4:12). In fact, when the people heard Peter preach at Pentecost, they were “cut to the heart” by the Word of God (Acts 2:37).

The Bible is rich in metaphors and similes that convey precious truths that we need to know. Understanding biblical imagery is one of the keys to accurate interpretations.