When an author writes a book, the world may never be the same. Books have changed history. Some for good. Some for evil.
Uncle Tom’s Cabin inspired the United States to abolish slavery and recognize racial division as evil and wrong.
Mein Kampf moved Germany to build death camps and wrongly promote anti-Semitic atrocities as good and right.
Books can change the world, but none possess the power to change a life, nation, or culture like the Bible.
Completed almost two thousand years ago and still gracing millions of coffee tables today, the Bible stands alone as the best-selling book of all time. (Thus sayeth The Guinness World Book of Records.)1 Yet, famed pollster George Gallup recognized that Americans revere the Bible but don’t read it.2
Why Don’t We Read the Bible?
Could its hefty 750,000+ words spanning 1,189 chapters be part of the reason we hesitate to tackle this imposing tome? It’s easier to attend church and let the pastor tell us what the Bible says. Or flip on a podcast or video. Or read a brilliant blog post like this one. (Ha!)
Considering our busy lives and the myriad of crises we face in today’s world, why should we take the time to dive into such an intimidating and possibly antiquated book?
Most Christians would shudder to voice this question aloud. But our involuntary sighs give us away as we glance at the Bible on our shelf and the fleeting time on our watch.
Before we dedicate time to cracking open its cover, we want the answer to this question—we want to settle it in our hearts forever: is reading the Bible really worth the bother?
What Does the Bible Do That Nothing Else Can?
Someone once told me, “Not everyone has to read the Bible to know God.”
Is this true? Is this possible?
The starry skies declare God’s majesty, but they only reflect His greatness. The heavens can’t explain the way of salvation—the way to an eternal relationship with Him.
Science displays God’s power through the laws of nature and the brilliance of invention. Scientists can design space crafts to carry us into space and clone fruit flies, but they can’t create from nothing.
The most brilliant philosophers in history have filled books with demonstrations of God’s wisdom, but not one of them can plunge the depths of the human mind, solve all mysteries, or save a single soul.
Even if someone were to eradicate cancer, conquer time travel, and revoke the tax system forever, not even that person could give us life or bring peace on earth. Not eternally.
Only One holds the power of life, death, and salvation—the Lord God Almighty. And He laid it all out in the Bible. In former days He spoke through His prophets, but today He speaks by His Son through the pages of His Word (Heb.1:1–2).
No matter who or what speaks to the greatness of God today, only the Bible was breathed out by God and is sufficient for every need of our soul (2 Tim. 3:16–17).
If we tried to plumb the depths of God’s Word to its deepest meaning every day from the cradle to the grave, we’d run out of time before we could master its riches. Yet, even droplets of the truth we absorb from the Living waters of God’s Word hold the power to transform us (Rom. 11:33; Heb. 4:12).
No matter how tentative our steps may be as we ease into the Bible, any heart that seeks to know God through the pages of His Word will be rewarded. The one who seeks Him will find Him and His glory will enrapture their souls. Wariness of the Bible will fall away as they plunge in with fervor for more of its life-giving and soul-freeing truth.
Unfortunately, few are willing.
Twisted depictions of God’s character and ways have soured many people’s interest in knowing Him or His Word. Some have heard God described as a vindictive murderer of innocent nations in fits of jealous rage. Others envision Him as a harmless old man seated on His throne in puffy clouds watching the world with indifference.
Between these distorted extremes lies a multitude of false pictures of God. And one correct one. What if we could discover that one? What if we could know the truth about God?
Oh, That We May Know Him!
What if we could read for ourselves and discover that God is neither vindictive nor indifferent? That our holy and righteous God is full of grace, mercy, and kindness. That He desires to save the souls of all who will believe in Him and usher them into His presence forever.
Surely, we’d want to read a book like this. Are not our lives—our eternal lives—worth it?
God wants us to know the truth—to know Him. But He didn’t spell out the way in the stars or write them into the laws of nature. Instead, God inspired faithful men to record the way into a book—His book, the Bible.
Yes, this book is cavernous and complicated enough that those not truly interested in knowing God will walk away unchanged. But anyone who truly seeks to know Him will find Him and His salvation through Christ within its pages. His Spirit will work through His Word to transform them with unfailing peace and joy—and a lifetime of never growing bored with the Bible.
With such tremendous promises, let’s consider our question again. Is the Bible really worth the bother?
Oh, yes! Give me that glorious book.
Whether you want to ease in or dive in, God invites you into the refreshing waters of His Living Word.
1“Best-Selling Book,” Guinness World Records, accessed January 13, 2022, https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/best-selling-book-of-non-fiction.
2George Gallup and Jim Castelli, “Americans and the Bible,” The BAS Library, November 5, 2015, https://www.baslibrary.org/bible-review/6/3/18.