Search The Scriptures
By Fred Mitchell
Our Lord repeatedly challenges His hearers with questions which, while assuming that they read the Scriptures, also assumed that they did not know the meaning of them. To the inquiring lawyer He said, “How readest thou?” (Luke 10:26). And to many he put the pointed question, “Have ye never read?” charging some of the leaders of the day with the words: “Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God” (Matt. 22:29). Philip the Evangelist, joining the Ethiopian Chancellor of the Exchequer, asked his distinguished listener, “Understandest thou what thou readest?” (Acts 8:30).
Surely the discovery and teaching of the plain meaning of Scripture is a paramount need of the day. There is blessing in reading Scripture. But the real meaning and power and joy is reserved for the careful student, and it is here that so many of us fail.
I was once privileged to handle two of Mary Slessor’s Bibles. It is said in her biography: “Her own reading of the Bible was done early in the morning, as soon as it was light, generally about 5:30 a.m. when she took a fine pen and her Bible and turned to the particular book she was studying. She underlined the governing words or sentences as she went along in her endeavor to grasp the meaning of the writer and the course of his arguments. Sometimes it would be three days before she would leave a chapter, but she did not leave it until she had some kind of idea of its purpose, and then she filled the margins with her comments and became her own commentator.” The two volumes I handled were full of pungent comments showing deep insight into the meaning of God’s Word.
Holy Scripture is not a book for the slothful. It means hard work, but it yields great joy. Bible reading, if formal and superficial, may be a bore, but real Bible study will never be so. Once you have tasted the joy of first hand Bible study, nothing less will ever satisfy again.
The Lord is asking us Christians: “Understandest thou what thou readest?” “How readest thou?” We who are young must be diligent and we who are older and have become negligent of our Bibles must recover the joy of Bible study. The Book demands something better than a careless reading.
– From Life Indeed.