It was part of Job’s argument in defence of his claim to a clear conscience that in addition to leading a morally unblemished life, he valued God’s Word ‘more than his necessary food.’
But this bible reading plan made me remember the astonishing accusation made by a reformed pastor at a conference I was at a couple of years ago – that the single biggest thing that reformed people needed to do was read their bibles more, because, apparently, there is this trend for people to read nothing but the gospels and the psalms and a bit of Isaiah!
Obviously, nobody’s ever been guilty of reading their bible too much, but can it really be true that people who supposedly adhere to the ‘sola scriptura’ principle, and part of whose confession states that the Holy Spirit makes ‘the reading of the word an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, to salvation,’ could be so lax as to leave vast tracts of said scriptures untouched and unread on a regular basis?
(Actually, that’s not part of the confession, that’s part of the Shorter Catechism, but the confession states that ‘the grace of faith … is the work of the Spirit of Christ in their hearts, and is ordinarily wrought by the ministry of the Word,’ and that God calls his people, ‘by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ,’ which comes to the same thing.)
If these are the effects which the Word can have, ie when the Holy Spirit chooses to bless it for those purposes, surely it makes sense to pay close attention to its entire contents in the hope that at least some of it would sink in for the saving and strengthening of our souls. Especially when the scriptures (a) have the property of being perspicuous, clear, and meaningful to the reader, and (b) contain everything that the Father and the Spirit know is necessary for our salvation, there can be no valid reason for neglecting them.
Obviously it would make a world of difference if it was as easy to put these grand suggestions into practice as it is to write them down: but the fact remains, there’s no valid reason not to put them into practice.
‘Thy words were found, and I did eat them, and thy word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.’ Jeremiah 15:16
‘The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.’ Psalm 19:7-8