“I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, ‘Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey to your mouth.’ And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my stomach was made bitter.” (Revelation 10:9-10)
In his introduction for Eat this Book: The Art of Spiritual Reading, Eugene H. Peterson (author of The Message) wrote about what does it really mean to read the Bible and how we should read it:
“I have been at this business of reading the Bible ever since I was not much older than Hans (his seven-year-old grandson). Twenty years after I first started reading it I became a pastor and a professor; for over fifty years now I have been vocationally involved in getting the Christian Scriptures into the minds and hearts, arms and legs, ears and mouths of men and women. And I haven’t found it easy. Why isn’t it easy?
Simply this. The challenge – never negligible – regarding the Christian Scriptures is getting them read, but read on their own terms, as God’s revelation. It seems as if it would be the easiest thing in the world. After five or six years of schooling, schooling that the whole community pitches in to pay for, most of us can read most of what is written in the Bible. If you don’t own one and can’t afford to buy one, you can steal a Bible from nearly any hotel or motel in the country (except in Malaysia of course). And without fear of arrest – who has ever been arrested on a misdemeanor charge for stealing a Bible in this fair land?
But as it turns out, in this business of living the Christian life, ranking high among the most neglected aspects is one having to do with reading of the Christian Scriptures. Not that Christians don’t own and read their Bibles. And not that Christians don’t believe that their Bibles are the word of God. What is neglected is reading the Scriptures formatively, reading in order to live.
“Take it, and eat” mean to live the Bible as we read it;
To read in order to live it;
To let God of the Scriptures have a say in everything we are saying and doing.
Are you really reading the Bible?
THINK BIG. START SMALL. GO DEEP. EAT THIS BOOK!