God knew that his chosen people, the nation of Israel, would some day want a king to rule over them. They would eventually want to be like their neighboring nations that had kings. So God spoke through Moses and gave instructions on what a king should do. And sure enough. That’s what happened. The Israelites asked for a king, so God gave them the desire of their hearts. It’s obvious that the kings either deliberately disobeyed or forgot or ignored the instructions God gave them. There was one command that would have made all other commands easier to obey. By the way history has been written, it is apparent that these kings chose not to perform this one daily task. If all of the men who eventually became king over Israel would have followed this one simple command, history would have been written in a totally different way. But here we are. Sure. It would have taken time out of their busy royal lives, but there are always things and people and events that can distract us. We must stay focused on obeying God’s commands, every one of them, so that our lives will be free from sin.
The command God spoke through Moses was that the king must copy for himself the Law of God onto a scroll. And he should do this in the presence of the priests. He should then always keep that copy with him and read it every day as long as he lives. Imagine if each Israelite king would have read God’s law every day of his reign. And by copying the law in front of the priests meant that they could instruct him in the meaning of the words he was writing.
When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel. Deuteronomy 17:18-20
It’s a known fact that we learn by writing down the information given to us. What better way for the king to know the commands he’s to follow than by writing them down. That simple task would familiarize him with the laws. And then when he would read them each day, he would have a written reminder of how to lead his nation to follow God. It doesn’t seem a difficult command to follow. Does it?
Now imagine. If all the presidents who have ever been elected to lead our great nation would have written out every single word of the Bible in front of a noted theologian each day. Imagine that they would have then read it daily. Imagine how different our country would be. Imagine how different their decisions would have been. Imagine what evils they could have prevented. Imagine the good this country could have done. Imagine the actual freedom the citizens of this country would experience. Also. Along with a good conscience and truthful speaking and righteous acts committed by these presidents, there would be dissenters. Not only dissenters from within the nation, but foreign dissenters. No. Not everyone will agree with the teachings of the Bible. But everyone doesn’t have to agree with it in order for it to be true.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. Psalms 119:105
We have a choice each day. To read or not to read the Bible. Let’s take a stand and open the Word of God and apply it to our lives. It’s also not a bad idea to get a pad of paper and pen and write it out in longhand. Writing with pen and paper seems to be a dying art, but imagine the learning that would take place if we committed to spending time in God’s Word each and every day. If we are committed Christians, then it should already be a habit we follow. But if not, then today is the best day to start. Open the Word and read it. Write it down and even commit it to memory.
I’ve made the decision to read my Bible through every year. I’m on my third year of doing this. Each year I read it, I find things that I’ve forgotten or overlooked or ignored. Or perhaps certain passages of Scripture didn’t jump out at me in previous readings. I find that I’m learning new truths each time I read the Bible. And I love that. The Bible is full of many types of literature, so it is never dull. It gives commands on how we should live. It provides prophecies that have been fulfilled, as well as others that are still waiting to happen. It’s not only historical, but it is full of references of how our life will continue after we pass from this earth.
At some point in his reign, King Solomon stopped his daily practice of reading Scriptures. And it became obvious during his reign that something had changed. Oh. But first. He was never perfect. His priorities changed from pleasing God to pleasing himself. He grew very wealthy. He denied himself no luxury. He married many, many women and had a multitude of concubines. And he began worshipping false gods that his many wives worshipped. They and their worship of false gods pulled him away from the One True God.
We too must be very cautious. If we don’t maintain a regular habit of reading the Bible, we may get caught up in practices that ignore or deny God. Isn’t it true that if we don’t stay in touch with our friends, we think of them less often. They aren’t as high a priority as they once were. We tend to forget about them. The same goes with our relationship with God. If we don’t spend time with him every day, we will find excuses to ignore him. He will stop being a priority in our lives. Let’s not do that. Too much is at stake.
And then what happens if a friend confronts us about something we don’t want to hear? Do we avoid them? Unfriend them? Do we make them less of a priority because we don’t want to hear uncomfortable truths? Do we treat God the same way? If we read something in his Word that convicts us, do we continue reading or set the book aside and never open it again? Do we tell ourselves that we aren’t really a bad person and those words must be meant for someone else?
Our life on this earth is short compared to eternity. We think seventy or eighty years is long, but they go by very quickly. And if we haven’t made a habit of reading God’s Word and spending time with him, we won’t recognize his power and authority. Let’s open the Word of God and make it a daily habit. Then let’s see what happens in our lives.
For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12