Take Delight in God’s Word
HAPPY is the man whose “delight is in the law of Jehovah.” Such a man reads God’s Word “in an undertone day and night.” (Ps. 1:1, 2) Do you experience that delight? How can you increase the joy that God’s Word brings you?
Listen as Jehovah Speaks
Do not simply read words. Visualize the situations about which you read. Imagine the voices of those who are quoted. As you read the opening chapters of the Bible, hear Jehovah himself reveal, step by step, what is done in making the earth fit for man. Listen as he tells his Son, the Master Worker, that the time has come to bring the first humans into existence. Picture the scene: Adam and Eve rebel, God passes judgment on them and, subsequently, he ousts them from Paradise. (Genesis, chaps. 1-3) Feel a sense of awe when you read that a voice from heaven identifies Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the beloved, the one sent by God to lay down his life for mankind. (Matt. 3:16, 17) Try to imagine the apostle John’s reaction when he hears Jehovah declare: “Look! I am making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5) Truly, reading God’s Word in this way is a delightful experience!
Continue reading the inspired record, and you will come to know Jehovah as a majestic and awe-inspiring person. You will feel strongly drawn to this One who loves us, deals mercifully with us, helps us if we humbly keep trying to do his will, and shows us how to enjoy success in all that we do.—Josh. 1:8; Ps. 8:1; Isa. 41:10.
The more time you spend reading the Bible, the greater will be your satisfaction as you grow in knowledge of God’s will for you. But the delight will go far beyond that. When your reading provides you the help you need to deal wisely with problems, you will feel like the psalmist who said: “Your reminders are wonderful. That is why my soul has observed them.” (Ps. 119:129) You too will rejoice as you discern from the Scriptures principles that help to mold your thinking and your desires in a godly way.—Isa. 55:8, 9.
The Bible provides moral guidance that shields us from harm and shows us the right way. As we read it, we sense that Jehovah is a Father who knows what problems will result when we give in to imperfect fleshly desires. He does not want us to suffer the terrible consequences that will inevitably come from flouting his high moral standards. He cares about us and wants us to enjoy the best way of life. Our reading of his Word helps us to appreciate more fully what a blessing it is to have him as our God and heavenly Father.
Read the Bible Daily
The psalmist said of the man who reads God’s Word daily: “Everything he does will succeed.” (Ps. 1:3) Yes, despite our imperfections, despite our living in Satan’s wicked system of things, and despite the Devil’s efforts to devour us, regular reading and application of what is in God’s Word will enable us to succeed in everything that involves our relationship with Jehovah.
Since we are under pressure from this old system, absorbing the Creator’s thoughts for even a few precious moments each day can impart strength to us. Some who were imprisoned for their faith had access only to scattered verses that they found quoted in newspaper articles. They clipped these, memorized them, and meditated upon them. Jehovah blessed their efforts because they did what their circumstances allowed in taking in knowledge from God’s Word. (Matt. 5:3) Yet, most of us have far more freedom than that. We should not conclude that quickly reading a Bible verse once a day will, in itself, have some miraculous effect. Blessings will be ours, however, if we adjust our priorities so as to read a portion of the Bible each day, think about it, and put it to work in our lives.
Realistically, our best plans can be disrupted. When that happens, we give priority to the things that really matter. For example, we would not on purpose go without drinking water for a day or two. Regardless of what comes up in our daily lives, then, we should take some time to refresh ourselves with the waters of truth.—Acts 17:11.
Read All of God’s Word
Have you personally read the entire Bible? Some have felt overwhelmed by the prospect of reading from Genesis to Revelation. Hence, many who wanted to read the entire Bible started by first reading the Christian Greek Scriptures. Why? Perhaps it was because they could more readily see how those Bible books applied to them as individuals seeking to walk in the footsteps of Christ. Or perhaps it was because the Christian Greek Scriptures did not seem like so much to read—only a little over one fourth of the Bible. But after they completed reading those 27 books, they turned their attention to the 39 books of the Hebrew Scriptures and began reading and enjoying them. By the time they finished the Hebrew Scriptures, they had established a pattern of regular Bible reading, so they continued, reading the Christian Greek Scriptures for a second time, and they have never stopped. May you likewise make daily reading of God’s Word your lifelong habit.
Is there someone in your family or congregation who cannot read? Why not offer to read the Bible regularly to that person? You will benefit, and he too will benefit as he meditates on what he hears and then applies it in his life.—Rev. 1:3.
In time, you may want to undertake special projects in connection with your Bible reading. Some of these can enhance your appreciation for the relationship between the various parts of the Bible. If your Bible has marginal references, these may direct you to historical details and parallel accounts. They may help you to discern the circumstances that led to the writing of various psalms as well as letters penned by apostles of Jesus Christ. Insight on the Scriptures provides a wealth of background information on people, places, and qualities mentioned in the Bible. Charts draw attention to the fulfillment of Bible prophecies, show which kings and prophets were contemporaries, and give approximate dates for many Bible events.
As you meditate on what you learn, you will understand the reasons why certain conditions developed among God’s people. You will also find out why Jehovah dealt with his people as he did. You will see how Jehovah evaluates the actions of governments, peoples, and individuals. This will give you greater insight into his thinking.
Bible history will become more interesting to you when you visualize the region in which events occurred. Maps of Bible lands reveal the terrain as well as the distances between places. For example, approximately where did the Israelites cross the Red Sea? What was the size of the Promised Land? How far did Jesus walk as he carried out his earthly ministry? What sights did Paul see on his missionary journeys? Maps and geographic descriptions convey details that will bring your reading to life. Where can you find maps of the Bible lands? Some appear in the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. The Insight volumes contain some 70 maps, and there is a map index at the end of the first volume. Use the Watch Tower Publications Index to locate other maps. If these resources are not available, use maps published in The Watchtower to assist you in your Bible reading.
In the Hebrew Scriptures, King David extolled Jehovah, saying: “How precious your thoughts are! O God, how much does the grand sum of them amount to!” (Ps. 139:17) In the Christian Greek Scriptures, the apostle Paul praised Jehovah because He “has shone on our hearts to illuminate them with the glorious knowledge of God by the face of Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:6) David and Paul lived centuries apart; yet, they both delighted in God’s Word. So can you if you take the time to read all that Jehovah has given you in the pages of his inspired Word.