As I was about to pick up my Bible to read yesterday, an interesting thought occurred to me: What if I were as deliberate about reading Scripture and thinking through what I read as I am when I read a book that I know I will be writing a review for later?
Whenever I start a new book, I always am thinking about what I do and don't like about the book, certain points or paragraphs that catch my attention, and what I would say about it in a review. Sometimes I even keep notes as I go along, if it's a larger book, so it's easy to compile them into a review later.
So why not do that with the Bible?
Sad to say, there are certain portions of the Old Testament that I don't get quite as much out of as, say, the book of Philippians. I have caught myself reading just to read. I'll get my five chapters in, close the book, and go on my way, without taking away anything from it to get me through the day.
So I decided I'd try real hard to stay focused and glean something from the Weeping Prophet. The Lord was very gracious, because my five chapters for the day included chapters 31 and 32. Just listen (er, read) what encouraging reminders God gave me in the midst of a doom-and-gloom book:
"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers...But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. ...I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." (31:31-33, 34b)And then a beautiful prayer from Jeremiah, praising God for His goodness, His glory, and His greatness!
"Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who has made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. You show steadfast love to thousands, but you repay the guilt of fathers to their children after them, O great and mighty God, whose name is the LORD of hosts, great in counsel and mighty in deed, whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of man, rewarding each one according to his ways and according to the fruit of his deeds." (32:17-19)I think I'm going to better enjoy the rest of this book, and will be better prepared for "the sequel", a/k/a Lamentations.
That said, I give it a 5-star rating.