If you sing the words “I just nod” to my sister right now, she will automatically grow incredibly frustrated. I was looking at a list of the best and worst music videos of 2010, and a song beginning with those lyrics had made the “best” list with a video for a song from his new solo album.
I watched the video and at first, was largely unimpressed. The article had lauded the video as “a perfect picture of what a futuristic 2010 should have looked like,” and I just wasn’t feeling it (I still disagree with that description, actually). But I thought the tune was catchy, so I watched it again, and it seemed a little cooler. Then I watched some behind-the-scenes video (I love that sort of thing) and was fascinated. Then I watched the video/listened to the song a ridiculous number of times a day.
Unfortunately for my sister, who doesn’t like the song to begin with, and therefore won’t watch the video, the artist also posted an acoustic version of the song, which I loved just as much and listened to it over and over. The final sum of the number of “listens” in a two-week period is probably very alarming. The more I listened, the more I noticed, and the more I wanted to listen.
I’ve found that the same principle applies to reading the Bible. (The difference between the Bible and my much-repeated song, however, is that the former is the word of God, who knows each of our hearts. It is written to speak to us.) A lot of times we read something and completely forget about it- you often can’t just read a passage once and gleam everything you need from it. A few years ago, I read through the whole Bible- Genesis to Revelation, and before that, having grown up in the church, I was already fairly familiar with a number of passages. In the years since that straight-through reading, I have found a surprising number of passages that I either didn’t remember or didn’t fully appreciate at the time.
For example, we know about a lot of the parables Jesus told and the miracles that He did through the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But what I didn’t recall, until someone else pointed it out to me again, was the last verse of John reads, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
This past summer, I decided to reread the book of Acts after a friend and I chose to lead a Bible study on the connection between a quote that shows up in both Acts 13 and Habakkuk 1. While I was reading through Acts 13 with her, I realized that I didn’t remember much background for why Paul was in this random place giving a long, but incredibly encouraging speech. As it turns out, Acts reads just like a story. When I got to the end, I commented that I felt like I had just finished a cliffhanger and was excited to continue on into rereading Romans.
It was definitely to my benefit to read both books again. I walked away from Acts with two new favorite verses:
“So keep up the courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as He told me.” – Acts 27:25 (This is Paul talking to his shipmates, after telling them that the boat they were on was going to be destroyed, but all of the people on board were going to survive.)
“I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me- the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” – Acts 20:23,24
I suppose, then, that my challenge to you is to reread a book of the Bible that you haven’t visited in a while. You can put yourself on a schedule if you want (I didn’t- I just read a little every day). You never know what God might open your eyes to this time. =)