Monday, August 19, 2013

The Importance of Daily Bible Reading (Psalm 1)

1 [Blessed] are those who do not follow the advice of the wicked,
or take the path that sinners tread,
or sit in the seat of scoffers;
2 but their delight is in the law of [Yahweh],
and on his law they meditate day and night
(Psalm 1:1-2, New Revised Standard Version).

Olympianity is the religion devoted to the six gods of Olympus: (1) Jupiter, god of politics; (2) Mars, god of war: (3) Vulcan, god of technology; (4) Venus, goddess of sex; (5) Pluto, god of money; and (6) Bacchus, god of consumption.

In contrast to these six false but conventional gods, there is one true but odd god. His name is Yahweh and he is the god of freedom, truth, love, and vitality.

Olympianity is the world's most popular religion. It shapes all societies and cultures.

As individuals, we each have two personalities: an Olympian and a Christian one. Olympianity obviously shapes and strengthens every Olympian personality.

The Olympian gods want us to make success our goal and to use people and words as means to that end. They encourage a lust for power, lies but mostly illusions, indifference toward others, and lots of destruction and death.

Yahweh, to whom the psalmist witnesses, is different. He encourages us to share all his freedom, truth, love, and vitality with others. The psalmist encourages us to do this by weakening our Olympian personality and by strengthening our Christian one.

The psalmist first speaks of the wicked, sinners, and scoffers; in other words, of Olympians. He discourages us from following their advice, taking their path, or sitting with them; in other words, from pursuing Olympianity as our way of living.

To strengthen our Olympian personality, we need to think, hour by hour, about our daily lives from an Olympian point of view. Living in an Olympian society and culture, this is easy. We don't even have to try. The information we receive from all mass media of communication—TV, movies, radio, newspapers, magazines, books, the internet—is almost exclusively Olympian. As this information forms the content of almost all conversations with almost everyone we talk with, we effortlessly strengthen our Olympian personalities each day.

The psalmist would have us strengthening our Christian personality. He would have us understanding Yahweh, society, culture, others, ourselves, and creation in Christian ways. To do this, we really need to immerse ourselves in the Bible because the Bible is the most Christian of all books. Indeed, the psalmist would have us delighting in the law, instruction, or word of Yahweh and meditating on his words day and night or all the time. This is extremely difficult and most unusual.

If we aren't quite ready to read and reflect on the Bible all the time, perhaps we might start with developing the habit of reading it daily. At first the books of the Bible will seem very strange and difficult to understand. Reading them at all will be hard and doing so daily will take effort. After we get used to it, we can work on increasing the amount of time each day we spend reading the Bible.

If we keep at it, we may rightly hope that Jesus will bless us with a Christian personality informed and strengthened by the Christian view of the Bible. We may rightly hope that he will help us to interpret our Olympian culture in terms of his Christian Bible rather than that Christian Bible in terms of our Olympian culture.

Today the psalmist reminds us that we are blessed, highly favored by God and truly joyful, if we get Christian and meditate on the law or word of Yahweh day and night. To do that, we've got to know Yahweh's words to begin with. We need to get them into our heads so that they became part of our personalities and increasingly inform the way we understand our world. To do that, we need to do some serious reading of the Bible each day.

Copyright © 2013 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.