Dust on the Bible
Recently I came across a song with the above title “Dust on the Bible”. The author of that song went to visit some friends and after chatting about church for a while, he asked for a Bible. These friends had many books and magazines in their house, but a Bible was nowhere to be found. Finally, one of them found one and gave it to his visitor, who was shocked to find it had a thick layer of dust all over it. It was very obvious to him that his friends had not used their Bible for a very long time. Dust on the Holy Word. How is that possible? For a very long time they had excluded the voice of the Lord from their lives. For a long time, they had been without the light of God’s Word. Yes, they were Christians, but their lives were so busy. They had no time to spend with the words of life. They were nominal Christians.
The Precious Word
How is it possible that his friends had not read the Bible for so long, and that they were not ashamed? It was clear they thought it was little more than an ancient book which had long lost its value for present day life. According to them it belonged in a museum because it had no use for their daily lives.
Sadly, they didn’t realise how precious the Bible is, how it gives us guidance for daily life, that it is a book of comfort, that it encourages us and strengthens us from day to day. They had lost that beautiful reality that our Bible is like a road map, unerringly guiding us on the road of life. It guides us like a lantern in the dark. Our Bible is a very precious book. If we don’t realise how precious it is, we might wake up to it when it is taken away from us during times of persecution. I am reminded of a story I read many years ago in a Mission paper about a village in China. There was not one person who owned a Bible in that whole village. But there was one page of the Bible. And that page was so very precious to the villagers that it was passed around from house to house. They could hardly wait for their next turn to come around. This single page was very dear to them, and they were quite excited when it was their turn to have that one precious page in their house.
As Free Reformed Christians we are blessed with many copies of the Bible. Those of us who have been around for a while will have several copies of the old King James version, the NKJV, the RSV and perhaps the NIV as well as the ESV. With all that wealth in our house, are we truly aware how richly blessed we are? Do we use the privileges and opportunities the Lord gives us? God has been good to us and has preserved His Word for us through the centuries. We have more than ONE PAGE! We are richly blessed with having the WHOLE Bible! Is the Bible also precious to us?
The Bible is the most read book in the whole world. It’s not only the most read book, but it is also the most precious book because it contains the Word of God. As David reminds us in Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path”. It gives light on our path in this dark and troubled world. We should make thankful use of God’s Word when He blesses us with such a lamp and light to guide our feet and to light our path.
Regular Bible reading will be a blessing to every believer. Why do it regularly? We eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, don’t we? That daily food is to nurture our bodies. Likewise regular Bible reading is our spiritual food. We can do without food for a while. That won’t kill us. But going without reading our Bible can have disastrous consequences for our spiritual life, for our relationship with our Lord. It will be beneficial to form good Bible reading habits. These days life is very busy but that’s exactly when we need the strength from God’s Word. If you think you are too busy to read God’s Word, just check the time you spend with your mobile phone or on Facebook. Martin Luther was also a very busy man, but he read the Bible through at least twice every year. He said:
“If you picture the Bible to be a mighty tree and every word a little branch, I have shaken every one of these branches because I wanted to know what it was and what it meant.”
Luther was very much aware that the Bible is not just a book of dead letters but the Book of Life, for it contains the gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ. He believed that from Genesis to Revelation the Bible was all about Jesus Christ and therefore he could say with the words of Psalm 119:103 “How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”.
If there are some among us who don’t read the Bible, and I hope there aren’t any, then get the dust off the Bible. And, very importantly, if you haven’t already done that, join a Bible Study Club in your congregation. Studying God’s Word together is very stimulating and discussing a Bible passage together is very enriching.
Let us not allow dust to settle on our Bibles, for that will have disastrous consequences. I am reminded of the very familiar words from Hosea 4:6 where we read:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
These are serious warnings. If we neglect God’s Word, we can only expect serious troubles. Without the light of God’s Word, we will be groping around in the dark and get hopelessly lost. Let us, therefore, memorise these words I mentioned above from Psalm 119:105 and engrave them on our heart: “Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light on our path”.
Memorising various Bible texts or passages that are dear to you is a very beneficial spiritual exercise. I don’t expect us to be like Tom Meyer, who memorises 20 complete books of the Bible.
Tom Meyer (born May 9, 1976), known as The Bible Memory Man, is an American public speaker known for his ability to quote over 20 complete books of the Bible dramatically from memory. His book “The Memorization Study Bible” (2018) is published by Master Books, and specifically facilitates the memorization of the Bible, a popular spiritual exercise.
Chuck Swindoll sums it all up perfectly in his book “Growing Strong in the Seasons of Life”:
I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture… No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will be strengthened. Your witnessing will be sharper and much more effective. Your attitudes and outlook will begin to change. Your mind will become alert and observant. Your confidence and assurance will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified.
From what I hear about the attendance at the various Bible Study Clubs, apparently only a few turn up. Such poor attendance and participation give the impression many of us do not take the study of God’s Word seriously. Of course, some will do it privately at home, but let us not underestimate the value of studying the Bible together. How many of us consciously open the Bible each day with the desire to know God better and more intimately?
If we use God’s Word regularly, we will find rich treasures in the Word. We will find comfort when we are sorrowful. We will receive encouragement when we feel despondent. We will discover the words of salvation, and our hearts will be glad, so that we will break forth into song.
Dust on the Bible