Have you ever encountered such sad words? Some of the most heartbreaking in all of the Bible. Which ones? Check out Psalm 78:32–‘Despite all this, they still sinned; despite his wonders, they did not believe’. And these–‘They did not keep God’s covenant, but refused to walk according to his law. They forgot his works and the wonders that he had shown them’ (Ps. 78: 10-11).
Here the pile grows larger–‘ Yet they sinned still more against him, rebelling against the Most High in the desert. They tested God in their heart by demanding…’ (Ps. 78: 17-18). Unfortunately, their grim description continues unabated–rebellious…forgetful…ingrates…flatterers and liars…testing and provoking their God. Enough already. Can’t take any more of this. When you think things can’t get worse, then they do.
Such sad words. Old Testament people–such downers and no-accounts. Unlike me. I’m so smart. I imagine I can get away without paying attention to Jesus in my life. That I can push Him to the exit as I take center stage. The show’s lead. Make room for… me! I’ll make life’s decisions. Even when they fall apart, slipping through my fingers, I still think I’m so stinkin’ clever. Now who speaks such sad words?
I’ll tell you when my turn-around begins. It’s a challenge by some friends to read my Bible from cover to cover in a year. All of it. Don’t skip Leviticus or Chronicles. Not just a few familiar psalms. Or New Testament only. ‘All’ means all.
I quickly discover that it’s hard to miss God’s point when you’re in His Word daily. Listening to Him at least part of the time. Ears perked when not distracted by all kinds of tech stuff. Eyes on Jesus when not deflected by myriad temptations. So, I challenge you, as I was, to start getting serious about time in God’s Word. A holy habit as regular as eating three square meals a day.
Start, determined to see it through to the end. From Genesis to Revelation. In whatever order. Doesn’t matter. Just cover it all. Then I defy you to stop. Please don’t! I did early on, but I don’t recommend it. Not at all. Big boo-boo. But, for decades now, I’m determined to, well, you know–stick to it. Daily. Year by year.
But if you’ve been tardy or negligent, just start over. Pick up where you left off. For sad words will be transformed into His good Word, that carries you through the most difficult of times. Try it. You’ll like it. I have. And still do.
Thank you, Jesus, for being my Word of Life. Amen.