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‘Enquiring’ of the Bible (not just reading it)

For the word of God is alive and powerful.

It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword,

cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow.

It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Hebrews 4:12

I’ve been re-reading Eric Metaxes’ book, Bonhoeffer. I pass on a quote from one of his letters to a friend, where he speaks of the importance of the Bible:

First of all, I will confess quite simply- I believe that the Bible is the answer to all our questions, and that we need only to ask repeatedly and a little humbly, in order to receive this answer. One cannot simply read the Bible, like other books. One must be prepared really to enquire of it.   Only thus will it reveal itself. Only if we expect from it the ultimate answer, shall we receive it. That is because in the Bible God speaks to us. And one cannot simply think about God in one’s own strength, one has to enquire of him. Only if we seek him, will he answer us. Of course it is possible to read the Bible like any other book,… Only that that is not the method which will reveal to us the heart of the Bible, but only the surface…. Just as these words reveal more and more of the person who said them as we go on, like Mary, “pondering them in our heart,” so it will be with the words of the Bible. Only if we will venture to enter into the words of the Bible, as though in them this God were speaking to us who loves us and does not will to leave us along with our questions, only so will we learn to rejoice in the Bible.

Since I have learned to read the Bible in this way- it becomes every day more wonderful for me…. I try to sink deeply into it (the text he is reading), so as really to hear what it is saying. I know that without this I could not live properly any longer.

I encourage you today to “enquire” of the Bible, to “enquire” of God who is its Author.   Have you spent time today in His Word, not just reading it, but prayerfully listening, as you read, for the Voice of your loving and gracious Father?   As Boehoeffer reminds us, it is alive, and transformative, and wonderful….