The Bible is too hard to understand!
It was me…whining in my head. And I was a teenager.
Of course, I was reading a Bible written in Middle English, so unless I truly understood Shakespeare, the Bible was going to seem a million miles away. And it did.
It just seemed dead to me—as dead as Shakespeare. To this, I am directly confronted with Hebrews 4:12-13 (from the New International Version):
For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Even in modern English (which if you’re a native English speaker, you really need to be reading it in modern English. It’s hard enough. Don’t make it impossible.), it’s difficult to understand sometimes. It’s easy to be so intimidated by it: our lack of knowledge and other’s apparent mastery of it, that we just don’t read it.
Still, we are held accountable by God for every word in it and our lives fall apart all the while God’s Word sits unread, unstudied, and unapplied.
Jesus said, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it” (Luke 11:28).
We are called not just to hear the word but to obey it. My favorite New Testament book (James) teaches, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says” (James 1:22).
How can we put into practice what we have not heard? How can we put into practice what we have not studied.
The Bible commands us “to do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).
So if we’re not reading the Bible, we’re going to have a VERY difficult time doing this. Let’s be honest (a favorite pastime of mine): it’s going to be impossible.
But as Christians, we know this. So why don’t we read the Bible?
Yep. I said the “s” word. It’s really the only possible explanation that fits all the facts. We either have sin eating up our lives, are trying to avoid dealing with it, or are ignorant to it and are being fed excuses. Think about it:
- “I’m too busy to read the Bible.” – Really? Of all the things we do during the day, there’s not time to read the love story of your Creator and Savior?
- “It’s too hard to understand.” – There’s truth to this; it’s got some tough spots. That said, I’ve learned nothing worthwhile in life comes easy. This is just an excuse that’s got a ring of truth to it.
- “I don’t like it.” – Well…you got other problems than with the Bible.
- “I don’t know where to start.” Being overwhelmed is easy to understand, it’s HUGE book. But start somewhere. I suggest the “Js” of the New Testament (John, James, 1,2,3 John). Get a Bible reading plan or the YouVersion Bible App to help. Remember: if you’re going to eat an elephant, you eat it one bite at a time.
We could come up with hundreds of excuses for not reading the Bible but the bottom line is found in the old expression I’ve heard all my life: “This Book with either keep you from sin or sin will keep you from this Book.”
What are you waiting for? Find the life filled with purpose Jesus meant for you to have!