You wake up in the morning, get your favorite cup of caffeine or a glass of orange juice, wander slowly to a comfortable chair, and pick up your Bible.
You sit still for a few moments, trying to orchestrate a coherent thought or two about what you are about to do. You then offer a brief prayer for understanding, open your Bible to the spot you bookmarked the morning before, and begin reading.
You read for 10 or 15 or 20 minutes or more. Perhaps you begin thinking about similar truths elsewhere so you read another passage or two, or check your concordance for how a word or concept is used elsewhere.
Satisfied that your task is complete, you close your Bible, get on your knees and pray for a time, and then get up and go about the remainder of your day.
But is that all there is to the reading of the Word of God? Is there nothing more? If you do not think of what you have read at any other time in the day, have you really read? And if you do think of what you have read, how should you think about your reading?
In the richest section of Scripture about Scripture, Psalm 119, the psalmist not only expounds the character and richness and power of the Word of God, but he also exemplifies how we should respond to what we take in as we read.
While reading this psalm this morning, I wrote down all the different ways the psalmist responded to the Word of God — what he did with what he read. While this list is likely not complete, it does offer insight into all the different ways the psalmist thought about Scripture. Notice as you look at the list that these principles divide into “actions” (e.g., believe, keep, meditate on, observe/obey) and “attitudes” (e.g., account as worthy, delight in, esteem, love, regard, treasure). Here is a lesson for us as well: as we read, the Lord desires not only our obedience of His Word, but also a delight in and valuing of His Word.
After you have read the Scriptures today, it might be worth taking a few more minutes and thinking about one or more of these principles, and how you can use them to apply to what you have read (e.g., what should I not forget? what should I obey? how should I worship the Lord? for what can I give thanks? who can I tell what I’ve read? what should I weep over for not keeping?).