“The Bible is the proper book for men. There the truth is distinguished from error far more clearly than anywhere else, and one finds something new in it every day. For twenty-eight years, since I became a doctor, I have now constantly read and preached the Bible; and yet I have not exhausted it but find something new in it every day.” (Weimar Edition, TR 5, no. 5193)
Luther knew of the boredom and distaste for God’s Word that comes naturally to people, and that Satan uses to keep people away from Scripture. He comments on this at end of a sermon on the Monday after Easter, 1530:
“You should diligently learn the Word of God and by no means imagine that you know it. Let him who is able to read take a psalm in the morning, or some other chapter of Scripture, and study it for a while. This is what I do. When I get up in the morning, I pray and recite the Ten Commandments, the Creed, and the Lord's Prayer with the children, adding any one of the psalms. I do this only to keep myself well acquainted with these matters, and I do not want to let the mildew of the notion grow that I know them well enough. The devil is a greater rascal than you think he is. You do as yet not know what sort of fellow he is and what a desperate rogue you are. His definite design is to get you tired of the Word and in this way to draw you away from it. This is his aim.” (Weimar Edition, 32, 64f)
We are so busy. (We think) We know so much. (We think) We learn so much more every day, especially in our digital era. (We think) Yet,
“The neglect of Scripture, even by spiritual leaders, is one of the greatest evils in the world. Everything else, arts or literature, is pursued and practiced day and night, and there is no end of labor and effort; but Holy Scripture is neglected as though there were no need of it…No one pays any attention to our lament. May Christ our Lord help us by His Spirit to love and honor His holy Word with all our hearts.” (Luther’s Works, 14:46).
I’ve let Luther speak on this subject. But most important is what God has to say. He says so much! A sampling:
- “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Psalm 119:11)
- “The word of God is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to the point of dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow, even being able to judge the ideas and thoughts of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12)
- “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
- Open up the Word…anywhere…and live and grow.
Pastor Stephen Luchterhand