Why I Can’t Wait to Read Leviticus
Lauren Murdoch, February 2017
I grew up with a Bible in my hand. Sunday School, two Sunday services, prayer meetings, Bible camp, Christian school, Christian college. I’d read it all in one setting or another. I’d memorized big chunks. I knew all the key passages and stories. And that was the problem. I thought I knew it all. I didn’t think there was anything left for me to learn in those pages after so many years of sitting through sermons and lectures and Bible quizzes, so I had long since put my Bible on the shelf to collect dust and relied on old lessons and clichéd responses to questions about God when they arose. But in the past year or two I’ve started encountering God in a new and dynamic way, and have realized that much of that head knowledge had never made it to my heart in any life-changing, applicable way. So when Pastor Josh issued an invitation on January 1st to join him in reading through the Bible this year via the Youversion app, my heart responded to the nudge and I took some time that day to explore the app and load the first month’s reading plan.
And I made it out of January. I made it through Genesis. I’m currently deep in the wilderness with Moses and the Israelites after walking through Jesus’ time on earth and the establishing of the church in Luke and Acts, interspersed with the story of Daniel and the occasional psalm. I’ve started reaching for my phone for my daily reading even before the reminder pops up every morning…I can’t wait to get to the next installment of His story. It has become a daily treasure hunt, searching through the familiar landscapes for previously overlooked gold.
And what has kept me going and turned it from a duty to a joy, is the unexpected discovery of answers. Answers to prayers, to questions, to doubts. And what is most amazing to me, the answers come in the most unexpected places…..what I am coming to see, over and over, is that while I didn’t know that the answer to today’s prayer was waiting for me in tomorrow’s assigned reading, God knew. He knew what I’d be reading even before I asked the question or felt the pain or struggled with the issue… and His Word was there just waiting, over and over, for me to remain faithful in my time of study and meditation, to provide answers to questions I had barely started to form into words of my own. Who knew that a verse buried in Daniel would help me understand that God is working out a plan from the first moment I think to pray for help… who knew that the answer to my question about balancing dependence with action would be found a few chapters into Exodus… who knew that a deeper understanding of the power of the name of Jesus was waiting in the pages of Acts? God knew, and as I am simply faithful to open that daily reading and open my heart to what He has to say to me each day, I am able to know Him more, and begin to grasp the idea of Scripture as more than a book, more than a sacred record even, but as Christ Himself, the Word made flesh.
I thought I knew it all, and I have found I know next to nothing. I used to see chapters and verses and history; now I am beginning to see God’s plan and provision for me, in my own unique position in this whole vast universe of time and space. And yes, I am eager to see what answers to my questions about this life in Him He will be revealing to me in Leviticus, and Ezekiel, and Jude, just as I encounter the questions throughout the year. And next January, I’ll start again…. This time with complete confidence that there will be another year of new insight, new treasure, and new answers waiting for me in His living words.
I hope you’ll join the journey if you haven’t already. And hang on tight, it’s a wild ride!
“When I discovered your words, I devoured them. They are my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.” (Jeremiah 15:16, NLT)