I love reading the Old Testament. Probably because I love history, and the O.T. is the history of Israel with all its glory and disgrace mixed together. But how can I apply these stories to my life? Can they make a difference in me?
I’ve reached the book of Nehemiah. If you’d asked me a few days ago what my takeaway from this little book could be, I might have suggested Nehemiah’s commitment to prayer, his organizational skills, his gift of delegating. All good things.
What I found in this morning’s reading exceeded my expectations. In chapter nine I discovered (not for the first time, since the margins of my Bible are filled with notes) an extensive catalogue of the characteristics of God.
I’ll give you some examples. God is:
– eternal (v. 5)
– glorious (v. 5)
– creator (v. 6)
– faithful (v. 8)
– righteous (v.8)
– merciful (v. 9)
– just (v. 27)
– patient (v. 30)
I’ve only listed a few of the characteristics I found, but even these are enough to remind me of the greatness of the God I follow, and how essential Bible reading and study is to my faith. Nothing is wasted. Every one of the sixty-six books is important and beneficial.
As writers, we read all the time. I suggest that our most important reading each day should be from the Word of the One who has called us to be his pen in this time and place.
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work”
II Timothy 3:16.