Last night at Campus Crusade, we talked about the practical ways of reading the bible and really owning books of the bible. So with that oomph to get me going, I decided I’m going to find a book in the bible and really own it. Fast forward to me sitting in the gorgeous weather for about an hour today trying to decide which book I was going to delve into and really understand. After some searching online for some really short summaries of the books of the bible, I whittled it down to about three books (I would tell you the three choices but I can’t remember them).
Then I turned to my handy-dandy bible (the message version). I love the message for side-along texts because not only does it give you a summary at the beginning of every book but it also gives you historical context, a short bio about the author, and an analysis of the book. The first book I decided to look up was Ecclesiastes. Here’s an excerpt of what I found:
“It is our propensity to go off on our own, trying to be human by our own devices and desires, that makes Ecclesiastes necessary reading. Ecclesiastes sweeps our souls clean of all “lifestyle” spiritualities so that we can be ready for God’s visitation revealed in Jesus Christ. Ecclesiastes is a John-the-Baptist kind of book. It functions not as a meal but as a bath. It is not nourishment; it is cleansing. It is repentance. It is purging. We read Ecclesiastes to get scrubbed clean from illusion and sentiment, from ideas that are idolatrous and feelings that cloy. It is an exposé and rejection of every arrogant and ignorant expectation that we can live our lives by ourselves on our own terms.”
Uh-oh. I think God wants me to read this. But consider me sold! There is no way this is going to be an easy (or well-liked) book if I do it right, but you know what? I’m excited. 🙂
Fish bowl picture found here.