“And further, my son, be admonished by these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is wearisome to the flesh.” Ecclesiastes 12:12
I’m sure my 15 year old (Jonathan) was thinking something similar to this when we began our school year today. The stack of books that he is expected to read this year is quite daunting. It’s not anything unusual. Most students his age are expected to read and study a similar amount. And the next year there will be a similar stack. And the next year and the next until he reaches an acceptable level of education.
He will learn all kinds of wonderful things. He will learn more about Algebra, one of my favorite subjects. He will learn more about God’s wonderful creation as he studies Biology. He will study about the history of our great nation. His skills in writing will be challenged in the hope that he will be able to express his thoughts in an effective manner.
Now compare this stack of reading to the most important book in his possession. There it is in the picture all by itself. It’s not a very large book. In fact, his history book is larger and it covers far less years. Some parts of this book can be challenging but most of it is easily understood by the average reader. This book is full of amazing stories about real people who lived extraordinary lives. It is full of wise sayings and gives the guidelines for living a full and blessed life. This book was written by 40 authors who wrote as God inspired them over 1600 years. It gives the history of mankind, gives us a glimpse into the character of God — who He is and what He wants from us. Best of all, this book tells us about how we can spend eternity in heaven.
So the question must be asked… Why do we find it so difficult to read this book?
Why do we find it difficult to read more than a few verses at a sitting?
Why is it easier to read books twice its size and filled with empty stories of made up people in made up places doing made up things?
Why do we choose to fill our minds with twaddle compared to the beautiful words that reveal to us the mind of God?
If we truly believed that God is the Creator and that Jesus is His Son and that they are preparing Heaven for us and that Hell is real and that this book tells us all these things, we would not only find time to read this amazing book but we would find it difficult to spend our time doing anything else.
As Jonathan begins his journey into the wonderful world that is the 10th grade, I want him to spend much time with this amazing book…the Word of God…the Bible. Encouraging him to read it regularly, to put the truths found in it in his heart and to meditate on it throughout the day will be my primary focus.
Let us all give the Bible first priority among the books we choose to read. The time spent will always be a blessing. Let us all strive to be like the Bereans, searching the Scriptures daily:
“These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” Acts 17:11