Why do you think people (ourselves included) should read the Bible? We hear that admonition all the time, but what is the goal?
Is the goal merely to gain knowledge? The Game Show Network is offering a new show called "American Bible Challenge" and as part of the promo the host of the show (Jeff Foxworthy) says, "If you don't know your Bible, you haven't got a prayer." So is the goal of reading the Bible simply to gain trivia knowledge, or is there something more?
(Read Jeremiah 9:23-24)
These words of the LORD are offered in the midst of a pronouncement of judgment upon God's people. They are being punished because they have forsaken the LORD and His ways, and have chosen to pursue other gods instead.
Yet in the middle of this long pronouncement there is a call, an invitation from the LORD Himself.
"Let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on the earth,
for in these I delight." (verse 24)
Therefore the goal of reading our Bibles is that we might get to know God. He reveals Himself in His word by His Spirit, and the invitation to read God's word is given so that we might come to know Him.
Jesus also commented on this topic in John 5:39. In a discussion with the religious leaders of His day, Jesus offers this invitation, "You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life."
The purpose of studying the Scriptures and reading the Bible is not to gain information, but to meet God and come to know Him for Who He is by what He has done.
So what do you think? Why do you think people (ourselves included) should read the Bible? Do you agree with my answer, if so how will it change the way you read the Bible?