Bibles can be read too much
I’d like to propose that bibles can be read too much. In other words, you can waste time reading bibles, and bibles can be given too high of a place in a believer’s life.
Many teach that the more time you spend reading bibles, the stronger your relationship with God will be. Spending time reading bibles is equated with spending time with God, and knowing your bible is equated with knowing the Truth.
But we can know the scriptures but not know the Word of God, Jesus Christ.
This is precisely what was demonstrated by the Pharisees during Jesus’ time on earth.
The reason many like the concept of the scriptures as the ultimate revelation from God is because it is concrete and understandable (or so they think). When people lack the faith to experience relationship with Jesus in their own lives (which can often be something that is not by sight), they turn to bibles to rely on the written records of the experiences of other people and thus miss out.
Of course, the scriptures are good and God speaks to us through them. But part of the reason for that is because some people spend tons of time reading them. God works with what he’s got. When people expect to encounter him especially when reading bibles, that’s when they will.
People only experience what they expect.
I used to believe that I could only encounter God when I prayed, read bibles, or sang worship songs. Consequently, those were about the only times I in fact did consciously encounter God. But when I began to believe that I could encounter him anywhere and everywhere, I began encountering him in every facet of life, whether I was drinking coffee, working, or watching a movie.
What about the Bereans? Weren’t they more noble for searching the scriptures?
Go read Acts 17:1-13. The Bereans that were written about were Berean Jews who knew the OT well. The reason their searching of the scriptures was noble was because they were confirming that Jesus is the promised Messiah according to the scriptures, not because studying the scriptures has merit in and of itself. It doesn’t even say that they kept studying after confirming that Jesus is the promised Messiah. The OT foreshadowed the coming of the Messiah. The Bereans correctly used the OT to discern whether Jesus really was the Messiah. Thus they were “more noble” than the Thessalonians because the Thessalonians didn’t do that but rather got jealous and tried to abuse Paul.
If you, like many, have at some point said, “I just don’t feel like reading the bible,” I don’t blame you. After reading the same thing hundreds of times it is normal for people to not want to read it again. But when people are told and believe that bibles have divine properties (e.g. that it is living, breathing, and active (Hebrews 4:12), which is actually a reference to Jesus), they will continue reading it despite their feelings, telling themselves, “I just need to persevere and push through my emotions.”
I encourage such people to learn to trust their feelings and emotions, which are not independent of God.
Where would you like to encounter him today?