by Tim Hall
Reading the Bible is so simple. Why should we take time to do it?
Sometimes I shake my head in disbelief as I consider what happened to ancient Israel. These people were the beneficiaries of incredible blessings from God. But still they turned away from the Lord to serve idols. How could such a thing happen?
Isaiah helps us understand the problem. In chapter 40, the prophet exhorted the people with these words: “… Lift up your voice with strength, lift it up, be not afraid; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’” (Isaiah 40:9)
“Be not afraid,” he wrote. But why would the people of God be afraid?
The land of Israel was constantly harassed by enemy nations. Located in a strategic spot just north of Egypt, Israel was envied by many. God had given Abraham’s descendants a fertile and prosperous land, and other people wanted it. That’s why Israel was afraid.
But should they have been afraid? Isaiah speaks to that question in verses 28 and 29:
“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength.”
His message to Israel was simple: God gave you this land, and he is able to defend it from your enemies. Why don’t you believe this, Israel? Have you not heard?
That’s precisely our problem most of the time. When worry or fear grips our hearts we should ask ourselves, “Have we not heard? Have we not known?” God’s promises are extended to his people today just as they were extended to Israel.
For too many, however, those promises are shrouded in darkness. They haven’t been to the Word in a very long time. They’ve forgotten the power of the One who called them.
Bible reading sounds like the most mundane activity in the world. When we have so many exciting activities from which to choose, why should we make time to read such an old Book?
Sadly, most don’t make the time. And as a result, they haven’t known and they haven’t heard about God’s power and might. Their failure to read and meditate on God’s word is exactly the reason why their lives are filled with fear and worry.
What strength comes to those who spend time reading their Bibles! We are reminded of God’s past actions and comforted by his promises of help, both in the present and in the future.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).