Have You Ever Read The Bible?
My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge…. Because you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your children. Hosea 4:6
When Henry Allan Ironside was just two years old, his father died of typhoid fever and left the family destitute. His mother was forced to take in sewing to provide for the two little boys who were left without a daddy. Money was always tight, but biographers tell about the occasion when there was nothing to eat. Henry’s mother, nonetheless, set the table and poured water. The two little boys and their mother sat down, and in spite of the fact there was no food on the table, they bowed their heads to give thanks to God for, at least, the water. But no sooner had they finished their prayer when a resounding knock at the door brought them to attention.
A man who owed Mrs. Ironside some money was standing there with a bushel of potatoes. He asked if she would accept the potatoes instead of the money. God used this to meet their immediate needs. Though money was scarce, Mrs. Ironside yet gave to her two sons what money cannot buy–a spiritual heritage which included a thirst for God’s Word.
At the age of nine or ten, Harry, as he was known, heard someone tell how he had made it a practice to read the Bible through every year. He decided to try it. The more he read, the more fascinated he became with the narratives of Scripture. At the age of 14, he “caught up with himself” as he described it. He had completed reading the entire Bible, not once, but 14 times, a feat that few adults have ever accomplished.
And what became of the teenager with a thirst for a knowledge of God’s Word? Had you lived a century ago, you probably would know the answer, for Harry Ironside became known as H. A. Ironside, one of his day’s most prominent preachers, and his name was affixed to over 100 books, mostly commentaries on the Book he had so grown to love. Thousands of men and women were mesmerized by the grasp of Scripture that this man had and listened spellbound as he related the Scriptures in simple, ordinary language.
Question: Have you ever read the Bible through from cover to cover? “Well, that would take a long, long time,” you may be thinking. Not so long. If you are an average reader, and took just 15 minutes a day to read, you would read four to five chapters a day, and in eight months, you would read the book through from Genesis to Revelation.
“I look upon it as a lost day when I have not had a good time over the Word of God,” so commented George Mueller, who was a busy, busy man, yet found time to read the Bible through more than 100 times.
According to the Bible Societies, whose primary task is to distribute the Bible to as many people as possible, there has never been a time when the Bible was more readily accessible to men and women. Yet an ignorance of this grand book is often only multiplied by the number of versions a person has. Have you looked up the different Bible versions lately? You may be amazed at the number of offerings which are geared to specific groups –the Adventure Bible for Students, study Bibles for women and so forth; Amazon alone sells over 40,000 varieties.
Why bother reading this Book? Among the many reasons, consider this: No other book in the world will introduce you to God. If you want to know Him, read the Book. As J. I. Packer said, “A little knowledge of God is worth far more than a great deal of knowledge about Him.” Remember, just 15 minutes a day will put you through this book in a year. It’s well worth your time.
Resource reading: Psalm 119: 15-20.