When he sits on the throne as king, he must copy for himself this body of instruction on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. This regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. It will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. And it will ensure that he and his descendants will reign for many generations in Israel. —Deuteronomy 17:18-20 NLT
How are you at memorizing information? I used to be pretty good at it. Back when memorizing phone numbers was a thing, I had an impressive arsenal of friends’ home phone numbers tucked away in my head and at the ready for chatty phone calls. Part of what cemented them in my brain, though, was repetition. The more I dialed a number (I know … we don’t dial numbers anymore but we used to!) the more it stuck in my head. The same was true with popular songs. I didn’t even try to memorize them. It just sort of happened because they were repeated enough times on my radio for me to remember. It’s actually a proven fact … repetition helps you remember.
I’ve been studying the book of Deuteronomy and was quite stunned to realize that Moses included in his farewell address to Israel instructions for future kings that were heavy on the repetition thing. As a prophet of God, Moses had foreseen that one day kings would rule the people. I find these instructions fascinating. Each king in turn was required to copy for himself on a scroll the instructions Moses was leaving for the people—while the priests looked over his shoulder. Check out the size of Deuteronomy. That’s a whole lot of copying. And he couldn’t cheat with the priests watching. I’m not sure many of the kings actually followed these directions, but here they are.
As if writing it all out was not enough, the king was asked to read it daily. As long as he lived. Wow. Why was this so important to God? I think the answer lies in the importance of repetition for lifelong obedience. This is also important for us. We forget over time if we don’t repeat what we know. I can recall only a smattering of French words, because I never practice speaking French. I can no longer impress you with the recall of my high school friends’ phone numbers for the same reason. It has been decades since I used those numbers. We may think we have read God’s Word and therefore we’re done, but that would be false. Without repetition, we will not have His words clearly in the forefront of our minds. We will lose those words, and when we need them, they won’t be readily on our lips or in our minds to help us.
So, based on this passage from Deuteronomy, here’s my advice on reading and knowing the Bible. Ready?
- Remember His truth by writing verses out. I choose just one verse a day to copy out of whatever passage I’m reading. That verse “sticks” with me much more because I wrote it out and thought about it. It is repeated as I write it—and that cements its truths deeper into my brain and makes it easier for me to recall them.
- Grow in Him by reading the Bible daily. No, I don’t advocate reading the whole 66 books of the Bible each and every day, but read a portion. Daily. Keep it fresh in your mind. Just the act of reading God’s words helps to solidify in your heart and in your life that this Book above all others matters and is worthy of our time.
- Learn who God is by studying what He says. The more we know who He is, the more easily we will follow and obey Him. The more we will absolutely trust Him and be at peace knowing He is with us. That peace and that trust are two of the keys to living a blessed life.
- Realize our humble place by knowing His Word. God is God, and we are not. We are His children and His beloveds, but we have no reason to be prideful. All we have and all we do come from Him. It is actually quite restful to know we that are not in charge nor responsible for running the world.
- Stay close to Him by listening to Him. The daily reading and repetition protect us from veering off course. The last thing I want to do is turn away from the One who made me, saved me, and loves me most. Reading every day keeps me connected to Him. After all, I’m reading His words to me. It’s the way we communicate. I want to be sure I am walking in the way He wants me to walk.
- Guide your family by modeling His words. Daily reading will help the generations that follow. As we model His teaching to our children and our grandchildren, we are giving them the perspective of what matters most. And that is the best way to help them follow God as well. The ripple effect goes far beyond us.
No, I am not a king of Israel. But I am daughter of the King of kings! And if you have committed yourself to Him, so are you! All Scripture is useful to us, and I believe these verses are no exception.
Now. Repeat after me:
Daily reading and recording of the Bible will help us live life to its fullest in Christ.
Let’s do it.
Oh, Father God, over and over in Scripture it is obvious that You want us to study Your Word and learn it and obey it. Forgive us when we put aside what is of great importance to You. Help us to approach the Bible with awe—Your very living words to us! Give us a greater thirst, Lord, for You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
You are loved,
Sweet Selah Ministries
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