Today I read Numbers Chapter 16 and Ezekiel Chapter 16. These seemed like 2 of the most depressing chapters in the Bible. As I near the year’s end, I am almost done with reading through the whole Bible, but it took me not one year but almost five years. The reason I know this is because each time I read though a book of the Bible I record the date I completed it at the top of its title page. I last read Ezekiel in April 2013. However, I have read Romans six times in those years and each of the gospels four times.
I once heard Francis Chan say, “We read the Bible not to finish but to be changed.” Every time I consider that thought, I pause and slow down. Am I trying to complete a schedule or am I allowing God to transform me day by day?
You may notice although I am almost finished, the parts that remain unread are from the middle. When I want to feel a sense of accomplishment, I read one of the Minor Prophets or an epistle. If you want to complete 90% of the books (60/66) of the Bible, you can postpone reading Leviticus, Numbers, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. I am not suggesting you do not take time to delve into these books because Leviticus and Numbers contain many passages foreshadowing the coming Messiah, and two of the most beautiful passages on the New Covenant are found in Jeremiah and Ezekiel. However, if you are at risk of not wanting to pick up God’s word because the day’s reading is in Numbers, change things up and read Joel or 2 Timothy.
I will meditate on your precepts and regard your ways. I shall delight in your statutes; I shall not forget your word. (Psalm 119:15-16) Like the Psalmist, I desire to delight in the Word of God. For me, this means I will not chastise myself for taking so long to read through the entire Bible. Today, whether I meditate on one verse or read 10 chapters, I will mine His word for treasures more valuable than all worldly wealth and for nourishment sweeter than honey.