Read Psalm 1:1-3
1 Oh,the joys of those who do not
follow the advice of the wicked,
or stand around with sinners,
or join in with mockers.
2 But they delight in the law of the LORD,
meditating on it day and night.
3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
and they prosper in all they do. (NLT)
Reading the Bible is a bit like going on a long train journey. We occasionally ‘stop off’ at a verse and give it some brief consideration. It is a short stop. At other times,we pause to linger over a text and meditate on it deeply. It is a longer stop. Each is part of the landscape of our life in the Word. So we need to avoid the tendency to believe that every passage we read is going to leap out the page at us and nail us to our seats. Or the tendency to skim the Bible so as to get on with everything else we have to do.
But since it is God-breathed Word we are reading,then ‘something’ will happen. It is just that we let God determine just what that will be. In terms of the train journey illustration,we need to make some stops along the way and not see our time in the Word as an express journey to be completed as soon as possible.
The stops we make at various texts will cause those texts to live in us,to nourish us. We will become like fruitful trees with a hidden but sure source of nourishment according to the psalmist. We can never delight in the Word or have it dwell richly in us if we rush it. Not every journey in Scripture will involve lengthy stops along the way,but each journey is an opportunity to stop along the way to catch something of the God-given scenery. And so it will be in our Bible reading as it is in our train journeys: getting there is half the fun.