III. Read the Scriptures with reverence; think every line you read, God is speaking to you.
I recall reading that Kierkegaard made a similar statement: the Scripture is written to you and about you. I know a man, an unbeliever coming to find out what of “cult” he son had joined. When he listened to the sermon which opened the Scripture and explained it was angry to find out that his son had told the preacher about him. Of course, nothing of the sort had happened — it was because the Scripture was written to him and about him (this story is not uncommon).
Our attitude towards a thing will greatly alter the way in which we hear and understand. There is a reason we wear special clothes at a wedding or an opera. There is a reason people wear school colors when going to a football game.
“The ark wherein the law was put, was overlaid with pure gold, and was carried on bars, that the Levites might not touch it. Ex. 25. Why was this but to breed in the people reverence to the law?”
If this is so, then is there something about how we treat the Scripture affects the way in which we respond. I heard a story of a great Christian scholar who grew up as a devout Jew. In his home, no one ate for an entire day if the Scripture touched the ground. When pastors use stunts to gain attention and preachers are more concerned with their own opinions than God’s Words, is it any wonder if many Christians hold a low view of the text?
“When Ehud told Eglon he had a message to him from God, he arose from his throne. Judges 3:20. The word written is a message from Jehovah; with what veneration should we receive it.”
This is a favorite image of the Puritans:
And, therefore, let us regard it as the word of God; hear it as the word of God; read it as the word of God. A company of profane wretches you shall have, the scums and basest of the people, that will discourse, and to grace their discourse, they must have Scripture phrases; but whose word is it? It is the word of the great God. Eglon was a heathen king, and yet when a message came from God, he arose up and made obeyance, Judges 3:20. We should never read the word but with reverence, considering whose book it is, and that we must be judged by it another day.
Richard Sibbes, The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, ed. Alexander Balloch Grosart, vol. 2 (Edinburgh; London; Dublin: James Nichol; James Nisbet And Co.; W. Robertson, 1862), 495–496.
We should hear reverentially. God speaks by ministers’ mouths; and seeing God speaks at all, we must hear so, Psal. 89:7; forecited. See how Eglon behaved, when he was accosted by Ehud, Judg. 3:20, 21. ‘I have a message from God unto thee,’ said Ehud. It is added, ‘And he [Eglon] arose out of his seat;’ denoting the reverence with which he was to receive the message. And so should we.
Thomas Boston, The Whole Works of Thomas Boston: An Illustration of the Doctrines of the Christian Religion, Part 2, ed. Samuel M‘Millan, vol. 2 (Aberdeen: George and Robert King, 1848), 440.
Thomas Watson, “How We May Read the Scriptures with Most Spiritual Profit,” in The Bible and the Closet: Or How We May Read the Scriptures with the Most Spiritual Profit; and Secret Prayer Successfully Managed, ed. John Overton Choules (Boston: Gould, Kendall and Lincoln, 1842), 20–21.