When reading to my children many years ago, they never let me skip a page. When I was tired and wanted to abbreviate the nighttime ritual, they knew immediately if two pages were turned, instead of one. They never seemed to grow tired of the same stories over and over again. My uncle, decades after his children were grown, could still quote perfectly from Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.
Both the present state and the future direction of our lives are determined by the time and energy we invest in God’s written Word. So we, too, grow to love hearing and learning from the same stories over and over. The disciples of Jesus never tired of Jesus’ teachings, but remained hungry for more. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:67-69
Throughout Israel’s history, God’s people were given a sense of security and meaning in their present circumstances by frequent repetition of the stories of their nation. These also gave them hope for the future. “In the future your children will ask you, ‘What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the Lord our God has commanded us to obey?’ Then you must tell them, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand.” Deuteronomy 6:20-21
But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9
As they prepared to enter the Promised Land, they were warned about what kind of king they should place over themselves. His attitude should also be trusting, submissive, and childlike, daily seeking out this important history from God’s Word:
He must always keep that copy with him and read it daily as long as he lives. That way he will learn to fear the Lord his God by obeying all the terms of these instructions and decrees. Deuteronomy 17:19
Lord, never let me tire of hearing and reading the stories from Your Word, which give me life. They comfort me, as they tell of Your never-failing faithfulness. They are Your essential instructions for my everyday navigation of this life. I thank You for being willing to tell them to me over and over again. I need that.