I am a note taker. Studying intensively, highlighting important sentences, and applying advice to my everyday is a way of life for me. I studied and highlighted my last Bible until it was worn and frail, so recently I purchased a journaling Bible. The clean, unmarked pages stirred in me a new excitement to dig into the Word. I decided to start a year-reading plan through the Bible. I thought about each sentence, took notes throughout every chapter, and uncovered a unique understanding of the Old Testament.
While I don't find the first books of the Old Testament entirely enjoyable to read, Genesis and Exodus are solid books with many beneficial details. However, I can say, once I got to Leviticus, a part of my heart sighed. Twenty-seven chapters of who-knows-what awaited my attention. Out of boredom and lack of understanding, I found myself skipping over some of the words. I quickly fell into a check-off perspective, just reading through the chapters to complete the task for the day. This absence of joy left me discouraged in my attempts to seek the Scriptures. I had no motivation to continue on. By chapter eight, I realized I was unaware of the details the previous chapters held. I only noticed how Leviticus remained dull, bloody, difficult to understand, and seemingly irrelevant to me. Overall I wanted to avoid it.
With the decision to read through the Bible in a year weighing heavy on my mind, I contemplated my motives. If I'm just skipping through the reading and not digging deep into its meaning, is it worth my time? This book of the Bible had to be good for something, but I didn't know how to find the purpose behind the words.
I asked myself...
"Am I seeking hard or hardly seeking?"
These chapters burdened me and I dreaded reading them each morning. I treated the Bible as a trail mix, choosing my favorite parts and avoiding anything different. I think we'd all agree that we would prefer Psalms over Leviticus, but after praying, the Lord convicted me with the confirmation of how important every book of the Bible is. By quickly moving through this book of the Bible and only choosing to read what I see as helpful, I'm ignoring all that God has said is valuable. A great analogy for that would be if you were to eat candy for every meal, yet skip the nutrients. It may be satisfying and fun for a day, but you'd be lacking what you really need and depriving yourself from what you were created to eat. It's the same way with the Bible.
We need to pray for eyes to see what these tough Scriptures mean. We need to pray for an understanding heart and a desire to seek. Should the fear of reading Leviticus or any other daunting book hold us back from learning what it means?
2 Timothy 3:16-17 states,
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
If it's in the Bible, it's relevant to us. I encourage you not to let these hard books of the Bible scare you away from reading. Just take it one verse at a time and STUDY. Meditate on a verse a day, memorize a short chapter, or journal your thoughts and questions on what you're reading. If you diligently seek the Lord, the effort will not go to waste. Keep praying for wisdom, seek His joy, and dwell in His presence. The understanding and desire will come.