ĎTis one thing to read the Bible through; Another thing to read to learn to do. 'Tis another thing, too, to read with delight, And quite another thing to read it right. Some read it with design to learn to read, But to the subject, pay but little heed; Some read it as their duty, once a week, But no instruction from the Bible seek. Some read to bring themselves into repute, By showing others how they can dispute, While some read because their neighbors do, To see how long Ďtwill take to read it through. Some read the blessed book they know not why-- It sometimes happens in the way we lie; While others read it with uncommon care, But just to find some contradiction there. One reads with his fatherís specs upon his bead, And sees the things just as his father said; One reads through others who are not inspired, And thinks it seeks precisely what they desire. Some read to prove some pre-admitted creed, Thus understanding but very little of what they read. And every passage in the book they bend, To make it prove that all-important (?) end.
Some people read as I have thought, To teach the book instead of being taught, Yet many others read with highest purpose given, To learn to do the greatest work of heaven.
Jesus asked a lawyer in Luke 10: 26, "What is written in the law? How readest thou?" Although the questions are similar they are not the same. What is written is true. It is Godís word and completely objective. The reading of Godís word, how we interpret it, what it means to us, can be totally false and subjective. Jesus is basically asking the man if he knows the truth (whatís written) and does he accept it (How is it read).
Our poem above addresses many of the ways men read the Bible. Some read it as a tool to help them to learn to read. Some read it as a duty. Some read it for show. Some read it to accumulate details to win arguments.
The line I wish to focus on reads "One reads with his fatherís specs upon his head, And sees the things just as his father said." The poet is describing a man who approaches the Bible with a closed mind. He will only see what he has already been taught by his dad. Many will never see what is written due to the error in whatís been told.
The Bible is perfect. It is the seed, which can produce eternal life. It can separate us from our sins. The Bible is wonderful.
However, the word of God cannot save us if it sits on a shelf. It needs to be read. It must be read with the proper motives. Once it is read, it must be put into practice. We build our houses on the sand when we hear (read) only. We must do. Do you read with the desire to apply? How readest thou?