by Mike Benson

He was faithful in his attendance.

He was a top student—the kind every Bible school teacher longs for. He was a gifted and disciplined pupil. As a boy he managed to memorize all of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and could quote all four accounts, without a break, in one sitting.

Little Nikita regularly made his way to Sunday school in his home town of Kalonovka, Russia. The local priest offered him candy as an enticement to not only attend, but memorize.

Decades later, as the leader of his country, he continued to cite those very same passages he had once repeated in his youth, but this time from an entirely different context.

The once ardent Bible wiz-kid quoted the Scriptures out of avarice and with a spirit of atheistic reproach. Sure, he quoted the Bible, but not because of his love for the mind of God, but because he needed fuel to attack anyone who espoused faith.

Yes, that pug-nosed, rambunctious little boy who learned the Word was none other than the former Communist dictator, Nikita Khrushchev.

THOUGHT: It is one thing to be able to quote the Scriptures—even Satan could do that (cf. Matthew 4). It’s another thing entirely to have a strong desire for that which the Word teaches.

“Now all the people gathered together as one man in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate; and they told Ezra to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded Israel… Then he read from it in the open square that was in front of the Water Gate from morning until midday, before the men and women who could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law” (Nehemiah 8:1, 3).

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