familiarity can be both good and bad.

earlier this week i was reading in deuteronomy 17, where God was giving guidelines for the king. verses 18-20 read:
when he sits on the throne as king, he must copy these laws on a scroll for himself in the presence of the Levitical priests. he must always keep this copy of the law with him and read it daily as long as he lives. that way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of this law. this regular reading will prevent him from becoming proud and acting as if he is above his fellow citizens. it will also prevent him from turning away from these commands in the smallest way. this will ensure that he and his decendants will reign for many generations.
i will admit that my initial thought when i read this was almost laughter. you can just see it, the new king, all pumped up and ready to take the country and the world by storm, and the first thing on his agenda... is homework! {i can almost hear the echo of the royal 'are you kidding me?!'}

but the reasons given here for the king to be intimately familiar with the law are all the best ones possible. to fear God. to stay away from pride. to keep his heart where it needed to be.

when what you are familiar with is living and powerful and life-changing, familiarity is good.

it seems to me that we today need the word of God equally, and for the same reasons. we don't have to copy our own version of the law, given all the resources, both virtual and actual, that we have at our fingertips. bibles are available in every hotel room. i don't even have a clue as to how many different bibles i own myself. {none from hotels though!} and, to make matters worse, every time i log onto amazon.ca, they try to sell me yet another one! if accessibility alone was the key to holiness, i would surely be a saint.

unfortunately, having the word of God near you does not change anything. its power only comes when you open the book, becoming intimately acquainted with its words.

which leads me to the question that has been in the back of my mind for a day...

what are we more familiar with: the book, or what is in it?

in light of this question i cannot get out of my head, i've given myself an assignment. i am writing out parts of the bible, in an effort to become more familiar with parts i have not previously spent a great deal of time. i'm in 2 Peter right now, and i think i'll move into the Johns next.

not that i have any chance of ever becoming king... but with the reasons given here, what will work in the life of a royal, will surely have an impact on mine.


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