The Book of Great Riches
Not a fan! When I was a young man, reading was not something I would ever consider doing as a choice. I was not the best reader in the world. I sometimes had to read assignments “one paragraph at a time” audibly, and then re-reading that same paragraph several times to grasp any semblance of meaning. Needless to say, when one’s ability to grasp concepts from an article or book takes that many attempts to “get it”, the joy of reading is not ever present.
By the time I arrived at seminary, I began to read more and enjoyed the material I was assigned to read. Even the scholastic or classical documents on theology were intriguing. Topics that I had longed to understand were now the very things I was assigned to study for a class. Reading became an adventure. Each trip to the library or each exploration of a new chapter in the textbook was like mining for a precious gem. The words were like paving stones that provided the way to discovery of some aspect of life that had long fascinated me.
To my great delight, that same quest for understanding made the Bible an open book and not a challenging text that I struggled to grasp. The chapters connected to the writer’s desire to convey clear aspects of faith’s importance. The Old and New Testaments begin to fit together in meaningful ways. The overarching truth of the revelation of God’s Holy Word lodged in my mind and soul.
Learning to study Scripture did not answer all of my questions. In fact, the more I studied, the more I had questions that I longed to uncover the answer in the Bible. However, now with each journey into its cavernous truths, I come away with an insight that I did not have before. It may take days to find the original answer to what I am seeking to discover. That is no longer frustrating. The search provides so many good and powerful life applications that just making the journey into the Word of God has its own rewards. I never come away from an intense study empty handed!
An unknown writer said, “This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler’s map, the pilgrim’s staff, the pilot’s compass, the soldier’s sword, and the Christian’s character. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure.”
The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
8 The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is pure, enduring forever.
The decrees of the Lord are firm, and all of them are righteous. (Psalm 19:7-9).