Have you ever been sitting in church trying to listen because you know you are supposed to, but wondering how you can find anything interesting in the passage of scripture being read that day? Perhaps you are asked to turn to the book of 1 Chronicles and you hear “so and so begat so and so.” There is a long list of names that seems to go on and on. Or maybe you find yourself in the book of Ezekiel in a chapter describing someone taking the measurements of a city. Suddenly you begin thinking about the weather outside or the plans you have for the coming week. You are convinced that this time there isn’t a personal message for you, and you excuse yourself from paying attention.
This is easy to do. Sometimes grownups are guilty of doing the same thing. But there is very good reason never to take the Word of God for granted whether you are listening to it, reading it yourself, or hearing it preached. Do you remember the verse spoken by the Lord Jesus when He was being tempted by the devil in the wilderness to turn stones into bread? His answer to the devil was, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). “Every” would be easy to overlook in that sentence, but it holds a great promise. It means we can know there is value in every passage of scripture.
The last word in that verse is extremely important as well. Note that it says “out of the mouth of God.” Stop for a moment to think about whose word it is. Could any words from the God of heaven be a waste of time? Do we dare to think He is not making a wise choice for us at any time in what He is saying? We would never actually say so, but an uncaring response could look like that is what we believe. In John16:12 Jesus tells His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” The Lord knows just what words we need at any given time. We can trust that they will not be too much, too little, or not the right thing. He chooses wisely and perfectly.
Remember too, that you may not see the purpose of His Word in your life right away. In John 13:7 Jesus speaks again to His disciples saying, “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” Older believers will tell you that many times in their lives the Lord shows them the meaning of something years after they heard it. The Holy Spirit tucked it away in their hearts and later brought it back to their minds in a powerful way. John 16:13 promises believers that “the Spirit of truth … will guide you into all truth.”
It is a great privilege to sit under the reading and preaching of God’s Word. The Almighty God wants us to get to know Him. Although some passages of scripture are less clear to us than others, we can rejoice in His promise from John 6:63, that “the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”