Reading and meditating on the Bible is a divine reading. Among various types of reading, there is a 'divine' reading. Divine reading is reading the holy Word of God. The Bible is a holy book. The Bible is the book that was written being inspired by the Holy Spirit. When we read the Bible, we encounter the Holy God. As soon as we open the Bible and read it, we come into contact with holiness. What we come into contact with affects us. When we come into contact with something that is dirty, we become dirty. On the other hand, when we come into contact with the holy, we become holy. The moment we come into contact with the Holy Word and the Holy Spirit, we will reach holiness.
Holiness is beautiful. Holiness is sacred. Holiness is still. Holiness is pleasant. Holiness is fresh. Holiness is fragrant. Holiness is a joy. Holiness is refreshing. Imagine a dirty thing for a moment; it causes you to realize how noble holiness is. Think about an ugly thing for a moment. Think about a dirty and disgusting smell for a moment. The devil is dirty (Luke 6:18; Mark 1:23). A filthy devil seduces and destroys people with dirty pleasures. He destroys the family and the community. He even causes chaos in a nation. Therefore, we must pursue holiness.
You should not hurry in divine reading. You should take a moment to stay little longer before the Word. Speed reading is good for books which give knowledge and information. However, the Bible, which is our spiritual food, needs to be read slowly and deeply rather than speedily. If you hurry to read the Bible too quickly, you will not realize the deep truths contained in the Word. Divine reading is reading that pursues depth rather than speed. We can realize deeper things when we read slowly and deeply. We can also apply enlightened truths in our lives. At that moment we experience the penetration of the Word into our inner being.
The purpose of divine reading is to encounter God in the Bible. God reveals himself through nature and Scripture. Nature is a general revelation. Nature is open to everyone. It does not mean that everyone meets God in nature. The Bible is a special revelation, rather than a general revelation. It is the special revelation that God has prepared for the believers. We can acquire the most excellent knowledge of God through the Bible. Knowledge of God is the most excellent (Philippians 3:8). Knowledge of God gives us eternal benefits. We don’t need the knowledge of the world when we leave the world. On the other hand, the knowledge of God is beneficial not only in this world but also in the eternal world. The knowledge of God gives joy to the soul and leads to eternal bliss.
We come to love God according to our knowledge of God. Knowledge is proportional to love. We can love as much as we know. Also we can understand as much as we love. We can love someone we cannot see. The blind people love families that they cannot see. But they cannot love someone that they don’t know. We should yearn to know God in order to love God deeply. Our greatest interest when we read the Bible through divine reading should be on God. As you read the Bible, meditate on who God is. Read the Bible with special attention to the character of God, the power of God, the wisdom of God, the name of God, and the truth of God. Read the Bible while looking at God’s will, God’s heart, and God’s interest.
The Word of God is the Word of life. It is the Word of power. It is the Word of healing. It is the Word of comfort. It is the Word of renewing. It is the Word that makes wiser. It is the Word of hope. It is the Word that strengthens faith. It is the Word of love. It is the holy Word. That is why we experience a wonderful transformation when we read the Bible. We experience healing and restoration through the Word. We become transformed and mature through the Word. Through the Word, we become wiser and more discerning people. We come to enjoy the favor of being like Jesus while we look at Jesus’ face and His glory through the Word.
We are changed when we read the Bible because we are read by the Bible. It is important that we read the Bible, but it is more important to be read by the Bible. As we are read by the Bible, we can discover who we are and repent. We turn around from the wrong thing and do better the good thing. Divine reading makes us encounter God and encounter ourselves. Through that process, we get to rest and learn. We rest in God’s unconditional love, and we are changed through learning. I pray that all of you may reach resting and learning through divine reading.
Reverend Joshua Choon-Min Kang is the senior pastor of New Life Vision Church, located in Los Angeles. This is one of the weekly letters he writes to his congregation. For the original, visit www.nlvc.org.