Do you ever sit down and open a set of architects drawings and read them for enjoyment? Have you have opened the local phone directory and started reading the names to relax? No. Neither have I.
Unfortunately this is the way some people approach their reading of certain parts of the Bible. I am currently reading through the description of the Tabernacle given to Moses. You could say these are God’s architectural drawings for the building of the Tabernacle, and even worse for most men, it seems to cover interior design too.
But is that all this is about? And later when I reach the lists of names, is that just like a phone directory?
If that were the case then why not skip those bits? Why do we need to know about cubits, curtains and sockets?
Well, when you read carefully, and when you read devotionally, you will see that this is not just about architecture or just lists of names. Each element of the tabernacle featured for a reason. Each name in a list demonstrates what John MacArthur describes as a “Genealogy of Grace”.
I encourage new believers to start with certain books of the Bible, such as John, or Ephesians. But if we are to grow in grace and knowledge then, if we are able, we must read every book, chapter, verse and word.
Here are just two reasons to keep reading:
- Hidden Treasures
Sometimes there will be a treasure hid among a list. There will be a name you recognise and connect with another story that adds depth or understanding. Among the curtains, and types of materials used, you see the Holiest place, and you remember the description in the New Testament of that curtain of separation being torn when Christ died on the cross. Or perhaps you read something you have read a thousand times before, but on the 1001st time the chapter or verse opens up like never before. Sometimes you have to dig for treasure.
- Habit Forming
If you determine to read every book, chapter and verse it begins a good habit – that of daily reading God’s Word. If you start to skip verses and chapters you establish a habit of skimming through passages and in so doing you will miss many blessings. You have also established a habit of judging what God should and should not have included in His Word. Just imagine this thought process when you break it down. You read a few verses, figure there is nothing in it for you and so move on to the next chapter. In essence you have said, “Why did God include this in the Bible? It doesn’t need to be there. God got it wrong. I am smarter than God.”
So, let me encourage you keep reading, every book, every chapter, every verse and ever word. It will be worth it.