“Open my eyes, that I may behold
Wonderful things from Your law.”
-Psalm 119:18 (NASB)
It’s January 1, and many of us are thinking about a plan for reading the Bible in the new year. Some try to read the entire Bible in that timeframe, others may expand it to two or even three years time. My own plan (D.V.) is to read a chapter from the Old Testament each day, starting in Genesis. I realize in doing so, it will probably take me about 2-1/2 years to get through the entire OT. I have found in the past that reading three or even four chapters at a time leaves little left over for reflection, so I’m slowing that down a bit. I think that’s ok? I plan to read through the New Testament this year as well, and also spend the year slowly working through Hebrews – “that most Old Testament of New Testament books”, as Alistair Begg has said.
In any case, that covers the “what” of my planned Bible reading for 2020. But what happens when the Bible is opened (or the YouVersion app comes up)? Psalm 119 is essentially a meditation on the Bible itself, and verse 18 I think is a good, short prayer prior to reading. So much of our Bible reading can be formulaic, and eyes can speed over the text without much thinking. This is especially true with familiar passages. I think the Psalmist’s prayer here can help to change that. To “behold wonderful things” implies more than a quick glance. It means we are looking to the Spirit to make the words real to us and then to embed them in us so we are changed and shaped by God’s will. This is not an easy process, and it’s difficult to want this in our fast-paced culture. But it’s necessary. My prayer for myself and for all who are taking this journey of Bible reading in 2020 is that this would be our daily goal.