A little while back, I decided that I wanted to read through the whole Bible. No schedule, no obligation, no finishing date, just me reading straight through, as much or as little as I wanted, finishing when I wanted.
I started in Genesis, and was happily reading along. Then I hit the middle of Exodus and things started to get rough.
It must have taken me several months to get through Leviticus and Numbers. I struggled, often simply skimming the tedious passages of Hebrew law just for the sake of having “read” them so I could move on.
And then, as I began Deuteronomy, I decided to try and find passages that I could apply to my life, even when it seemed like there was nothing. And guess what? I found tons of them! Little tiny nuggets of truth that could mean something to me.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
Guess what? This verse applies to all of Scripture, not just the things that seem like they directly apply to us. These verses apply to Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy too.
There will always be something to learn from the Bible, but you have to be actively engaged in reading, looking for the connections and lessons. You can’t just skim.
Something that has helped me with this is starting to write in my Bible, underlining things and jotting my thoughts in the margins. I love going back and looking at things I’ve written, and it helps me to stay focused on reading.
So, don’t give up on the hard passages of Jewish law. Just because they’re challenging doesn’t mean they aren’t worth reading. There’s always more to learn! And when you find those things that apply to your life, you will discover that the reading is much more enjoyable.
This post was originally published on my old blog, Me, You, and God, on June 4, 2015.