Psalm 119:18, “Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous=
things out of thy law.”
God’s Word is a precious, eternal gift to us, and we should value it as such. It contains the mind of God, the way of salvation, and the blessed hope of the return of Jesus Christ. We should anticipate reading and studying it with great delight. Have you ever heard someone say, “I go to church all the time, and I never get anything out of it;” or “the Bible is too hard to understand;” or “it has to many ‘thee’s and thou’;” or ” I don’t remember what I read.” These are just a few excuses people give that hinder them from receiving the full benefit of the Word of God. The heart of its Author is that we would be nourished, strengthened, and blessed by reading and studying His love letter to us. God alone can open our minds and condition our hearts to receive what He intends to give us.
If God opens our eyes, and we behold wondrous things out of his law, we will enjoy it, appreciate it, and gain from it that which is helpful and practical. We ought to follow the example of David the Psalmist, who was one of forty privileged men used of God to pen the words of the Bible. Even David needed to ask for understanding to know God’s Word. Human intellect and understanding is not enough. We need God’s help to understand the Bible. Notice a few basic helps that will maximize the benefit received from the time and effort you put into studying God’s Word.
Be sincere as you study the Bible.
The word sincere gives the idea of being pure or unmixed. Approach God’s Word without bringing your own preconceived ideas or interpretations. Receive all your light and teaching directly from the Spirit of God. As you read God’s Word, allow it to read you. Acknowledge God’s desire for inward sincerity as David did when he prayed, “Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part THOU shalt make me to know wisdom” (Psalm 51:6). “As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby” (I Peter 2:2).Until we come to the Word of God sincerely, and as a simple child for instruction, we will not experience the growth and development God has for us through his Word. Are you approaching the Bible as a child to receive instruction or as an adult who knows it all? “Better is a poor and wise child than an old and foolish king who will no more be admonished” (Ecclesiastes 4:13).
Be serious about approaching the Word of God.
God’s Word is called the Holy Bible for a very important reason. It is sacred, and should not be abused or misconstrued in any way. A sense of sobriety ought to characterize our reading and study of the Word of God. We are commanded to be sober and vigilant, because our adversary the devil seeks to distort, to disavow, to deny, and to destroy the Word of God. It requires a sober and focused attitude to receive the intuition, insight, and illumination God wants to give us through his Word. Do you casually consider the contents of the Bible, or do you seriously search and study it?
Be submissive to what God reveals to you.
A sincere attitude and a serious approach should always result in submissive action to what changes God points out to make in our lives. If there is a stubborn resolve to remain as we always were, we will not behold the wondrous things or have our eyes opened. This book is like a well of springing water that will provide refreshing nourishment as we submit to it. Jesus pointed out the connection between obedience and understanding the Bible. “If any man WILL do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself” (John 7:17). There must be a willingness to submit to the will of God before He reveals it. Are you submitted to what God has revealed so far?
Many Christians find the forbidden fruit of the world much more attractive and appealing than black and white words printed on a page. Walking in darkness rather than walking in the light can be a result of having a dark understanding of God’s Word and missing out on the light God desires to grant. When the light goes dim, we no longer enjoy the scriptures or their principles. When we have God open our eyes to their value, their practicality, and their purpose in our lives, we will enjoy spending time studying and reading it.