I remember many years ago when I first started reading the Bible from front to back, getting a little bored reading certain books of the Bible – like Leviticus and Deuteronomy in particular. There just wasn’t enough action or movement. It was a bunch of laws that seemed impertinent to me. Even as I read it, my mind would start to wander in every other direction. It was hard to concentrate on the words I was reading.
At other times, I remember reading the Word and had a hard time imagining what it must have really been like living in those times. It was like too far away and the lifestyle, the culture, was so radically different from my own, that it was hard for me to relate. It also seemed as if those people in the Bible lived in a different world and had no idea of the struggles and sins we deal with today.
When that happens, it’s then we might find ourselves using the Bible just as a tool to encourage and inspire us rather than to bring us to repentance and back into a right relationship with God. You and I can miss a tremendous amount of truth in our walk with Jesus if we just focus on what we want and like instead of having to take a good hard look at our own lives and bring them into subjection to our God.
Those thoughts rumbled through my mind today as I read this from the Word…
“What happened to them is a warning to keep us from wanting to do the same evil things.” 1 Corinthians 10:6 CEV
Our minds can take us places we would otherwise be unable to physically go. In this one verse, the writer is describing for us one of the benefits of reading the Word. As we read the Old Testament, and even some parts of the New Testament, we should keep one eye on them and one eye on ourselves, knowing that “what happened to them is a warning to keep us from wanting to do the same evil things.”
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: When you read the Bible, do it with a mind fully engaged in what you’re reading. See it in High Definition and hear it in Surround Sound. Let it touch your spirit, your inner person, realizing that God included true accounts of good and evil for a purpose – to keep us from doing the same evil things. All of these true life events weren’t written in the Bible so that you could feel as though you would never fall into a certain sin, but to warn you to keep away from it. Isn’t God good all the time? Open your Bible – read all about it!
As I read Your Word, speak to me. Speak to me about our relationship and what You desire from me. Thank You for giving me a warning of what to stay away from. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen
Mark was Spiritual Director for VdC from 2016 to 2019. He's written many of the devotions, especially the Devote and Affirm series, found on this website.