We must do more than merely read the Bible; we must allow the Bible to read us. Most any fool can mechanically read the bare words of scripture – the average word in the Bible contains fewer than five letters – but of what use are these words to us if we are not changed and made better by them? David spoke of his regard for the scriptures and added, “In keeping of them there is great reward.” (Psalms 19:11.) Israel’s second king was not content with reading or knowing God’s law; he saw the benefits of applying it to his own life as well.
As we peer through the portal of scripture into the very will of God, we also see ourselves, as in a mirror. As we compare our own reflection with heaven’s perfect will, we see the true self, both as it is and as it may become. We may then choose to go our way, and “straightway” forget “what manner of man” we are (James 1:23,24), or we may wisely become “a doer of the work” (James 1:25), shaping our will into heaven’s form. But in either case, whether we apply God’s word or not, we have been “read” by the Bible, just as we are “seen” by a mirror.
The Hebrew writer observes, “For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.” (Hebrews 4:12,13, ASV.)
May we never become guilty of reading God’s word as we would a telephone book. The Bible must be allowed to pierce us, to discern us, and transform us. We must be both the readers and the ones read.