Don’t worry about ‘going overboard’ with the Bible
When it comes to eating, there are certain foods that I cannot get too much of. I have never complained, for instance, of “too much bacon” in any dish set before me. In an infinitely more significant way, I have found the same to be true about God’s word, the Bible. I have never spent too much time in the Bible. I have never heard a sermon or read a book that was based too much on the Bible. I have never obeyed the Bible too much, nor relied too completely on its promises and comforts.
When Moses died, just before the people of Israel were to enter the promised land, the Lord raised up Joshua to fill his shoes a daunting challenge for Joshua, to be sure! Consider these words of encouragement that God gave to Joshua: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8.
The command to Joshua was that he not neglect the written scriptures. As we go through the stages of life, we engage in various interests that come and go. We may be into exercise for a number of years, or devote certain years to study, or to pursue a certain interest or hobby. Engaging in the Bible is a pursuit that must never be neglected, at any point of life.
The command was, further, that Joshua “meditate on it day and night.” His involvement with God’s written word was not to be superficial, nor was he to limit it to a small part of his schedule. Meditate. Day and night. These words challenge us to be very serious about the place of the Bible in our lives.
Of course, it is obvious that the Bible does no good if the reader does not actually take what he reads and put it into practice, to “be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Do not miss that little word, “all.” You and I have no right to pick and choose what parts of the Bible to follow. It is all God’s word; it is all true and right and good.
The challenge is followed with a promise of prosperity and success. This must not be taken in the carnal sense promoted by the “health and wealth” preachers that infect the religious scene with their appeal to our self-interest and greed. God was promising Joshua that he would prosper and succeed in his calling to lead God’s people into the promised land, not that he would become rich. True prosperity in life is not measured in bank accounts and health reports, but in virtue, in good works, and in accomplishing the mission that God has for each of us in this world. For this, you and I need the Bible.
So do not worry about “going overboard” with the Bible. When it comes to God’s word in our lives, there is never too much.
Rev. Richard C. Klueg is the Pastor of the Baptist Church of Northville.