It seems to me that virtually all young children, especially boys, are intrigued by dinosaurs. While these behemoths have been extinct for millennia, interest in them seems to be growing and intensifying in these days.
Years ago, our young grandson spent many hours playing with the toy dinosaur trying to figure out how it moved. He loved that dinosaur, but it was a passing fancy.
One of our older grandsons has loved dinosaurs, and all things like fossilized bones, since he took his first breath. Even as a child, his birthday cake was a dinosaur!
He reads about them, he knows how to identify them, he knows what they ate and where they lived, in short, he loves dinosaurs. Now in his teens, he has said that he wants to be a paleontologist and/or archaeologist and I am fully confident that he will succeed in that venture if his interest continues.
As a surprise for a job well done, we took him to Gray’s Fossil Site in upper East Tennessee. The extinct animal pictured above greets you at the Museum and other fossils reveal that shovel-tusked elephants, saber toothed cats, semi-aquatic pot-bellied rhinos are just some of the animals that roamed in the area.
One of the activities that he LOVED was to dig in a tray of dirt and rocks in the hope that he would find a fossil or piece of bone from ages past. Of course, you can’t make that kind of “find” by just gazing at the dirt and rocks. No, you have to investigate it, handle it, look at it with some magnification to determine if you really have a “find” or you have a piece of hard dirt (also a likelihood in East Tennessee).
He had a marvelous time digging and investigating, looking for the fossilized treasures that might be there.
His devotion to dinosaurs and his steady interest and determined study of them is commendable. And, I am sorry to say, that it put me to shame. I’m not referring to my interest in dinos, I am referring to my reading of Scripture.
How do I read Scripture, the Holy Word of the Living Creator God? There are times that I read it and really think about it: but far more often I read it as if it were a novel … picking it up here and putting it down again without thought.
In the Old Testament we read:
For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
When I read Scripture, do I “set my heart” to study God’s Word? Do I look up words so I understand their meaning and context? Do I ask why the Holy Spirit used that specific word when so many others might have been used? Do I think about why this is included in the Holy Writ in the first place? If it was important enough for the Holy Spirit to direct its inclusion in the Bible, what am I to learn from this?
When I read Scripture, do I consider the entire chapter as a unit? Do I think about the chapter in the context of the book as a whole? Do I investigate how this book relates to the overall theme of both the Old and New Testament in Scripture – Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of His people?
The Psalmist said:
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Do I consider the Word to be a light to my path when I read the Bible? Do I look closely at how the text would apply to my life, today? Do I look at the Scripture and focus on what it says, while waiting for the Holy Spirit to speak in that still small voice that is usually drowned out by the television, stereo or radio, and the general cacophony of our 21st Century life?
When I read Scripture, do I expect to hear God speak to me? Do I expect that the Scripture passage will apply to my life? Do I expect that the Word will touch my heart and draw me closer to Him?
I confess that I cannot answer these questions in the affirmative! I am convinced, however, that if I want my life to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, this is how I must read His Word. I must be quiet so that I can study it, focus on it, learn it, listen to it and let the Holy Spirit speak to me.
In the New Testament, we are told to study the Word so that we can teach others.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15. The King James Version translates this verse as follows:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
No matter how you say it, the Christian should study the Bible, carefully read it and investigate what the words are, what the text says, and what it means in our world today.
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3:16-17
Since this is true, then we are in possession of a Book that reveals the God that we serve, as well as His requirements, demands, blessings and curses. It reveals His love and His justice, His holiness and our sinfulness. It is a Book that we should reverence as well as read; it is our heavenly guidebook given by God for our benefit … we would be foolish to ignore it or to treat it lightly!
The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; but you, O LORD, are on high forever.
Father, I confess that I have not read your Word with the intensity and zeal that it deserves. I confess that I have not expected You to speak to me through your Word, and I confess that I have not followed the commands that You have spoken in your Word. Forgive me and help me to understand and accept your Word as I read and study it, and I ask this through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior.