Why Should I Study the Bible?

My father’s Bible sits on a shelf in my office and reminds me daily who I am.

Even though he has been dead for thirty years, he is a silent witness to me. Inside that old, worn KJV Bible, you would find underlined passages and notes from several of his sermons.

When I open it before me on my desk, it is as if he is leaning over my shoulder, breathing into my ear,

“Darrell, keep studying the Bible it will show you how to live.”

My own first preaching Bible was a KJV Scofield Reference Bible that my Aunt Vula bought me when I went to college. I wore it out and eventually had to have a new cover put on it.

It sits up there on my shelf next to my dad’s Bible and it, too, is underlined and marked up as a history of hours pouring over the text.

Years ago I moved away from the KJV (that’s King’s James Version–a translation of the Scriptures from 1611 that was the most popular translation until well into the twentieth century). For a long time I used the NIV (New International Version).

Now, depending upon the audience or the purpose, I will use a variety of translations.

In previous weeks, in this spiritual journey we are taking together, we have focused on meditation, prayer, and fasting.

The big issue here today, as we focus on the study of Scripture this week, is “Why should I study the Bible?”

We learn from Psalm 119.11 that Scripture helps us to be obedient to God and from 2 Timothy 3.16 that Scripture will correct us and instruct us. God’s word will impact our lives, if we read it and study it.

There are numerous Scriptures that remind us of our need to study Scripture and I will look at many of them in my “Three-Minute Bible Studies” this week here.

For now, how about some practical reasons for studying the Bible?

First, the Bible tells great, interesting stories!

The Bible has every imaginable story in the human condition. You like any of the innumerable crime dramas on television? Check out Cain killing Abel over jealousy, or Jael driving a tent peg through the head of Sisera, or an angry mob stoning Stephen to death.

Sexual intrigue? There’s Jacob’s decade long pursuit of Rachel, all of the Song of Solomon, or the time Jesus rescued the woman caught in adultery.

Overcoming adversity? Try God’s people wandering in the wilderness, defeating enemies, or overcoming their own failures.

Next, the Bible wrestles with the nature of God and what it means to be human.

Who is the God who rescues his people but readily destroys another?

Who is the God who gives up on his people and sends them into captivity, only to redeem them and bring them home?

Who is the God who loves a rebellious humanity so much to give his only son for them as a sacrifice?

What makes us so selfish and manipulative? Why are we so deceitful? How do we have such capacity for great love?

Finally, the Bible challenges the life we choose to live.

What happens when we live our life as we choose? What choices can we make in our lives? What does it mean to follow Jesus?

The Scriptures are rich in what they have to offer us. Each of us would benefit from sitting down and studying the passages above.

How about you give it a try?

Click on one of the references above, read it and study it, and ask what it means to your life.

Let’s study scripture together.