Once, while doing some street outreach, I asked a lady if she read the Bible. “Yes,” she said, “Many years ago, I read it from cover to cover.” “Do you still read it?” I asked. With a face registering surprise she said, “Why would I do that? I’ve read it once and that’s enough!”
The lady asked a great question. Why, having read the Bible, should anyone read it again? Surely once is enough? Or is it?
I’ve read through the Bible dozens of times. Each time I read it, I’m changed. So when I re-read it, I’m not the same person as when I last read it. That is, each time I re-read the Bible I’m reading it from a new perspective.
Remarkably, because the Bible “is alive and active” (cf. Hebrews 4:12), every time it’s read, the reading is never quite the same as the previous reading. That’s because the Bible is like an onion. When we re-read it, we peel back a layer. Then, as we peel back a layer, new insights are discovered, new depths are plumbed, and new vistas revealed.
“It is the glory of God that hides the word, and the glory of the King that seeks for the word” Proverbs 25:2 (Aramaic Bible in Plain English).
Reading the Bible once is not enough. Nor is it enough to read it seven times or seventy-seven times. I know from first-hand experience. It’s only when we re-read the Word again and again that it opens up to us. In fact, the Bible reveals its secrets only to those committed to a lifetime of re-reading.
There are other reasons for re-reading the Bible …
- Faith needs to be constantly strengthened by the Word (cf. Romans 10:17)
- Understanding needs to be continually cultivated through reflection on the Word (cf. Psalm 119:130)
- Spiritual maturity mainly comes through a life-time of interacting with the Word (cf. Hebrews 5:13-14)
- Fruitfulness flows out of ongoing engagement with the Word (cf. Psalm 1:2-3)
- Growth in reverence and obedience requires reading and reflection on the Word throughout one’s life (cf. Deuteronomy 17:19)
While these are all good reasons for re-reading the Bible, the main reason for re-reading the Bible should be to connect and stay connected, with Jesus. For re-reading the Bible is an out-and-out necessity for the ongoing health and growth of our relationships with Him.
© Scripture Union Canada 2019