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Worth The Effort?

I once resolved to read all 38 of Shakespeare’s plays in one year. To my surprise, fulfilling the task seemed far more like entertainment than work. I expected to learn about Shakespeare’s world and the people who inhabited it, but I found that Shakespeare mainly taught me about my world.

I went through precisely that same process in encountering the Old Testament. Why does it spend so much time on temples, priests, and rules about sacrifices that no longer exist? How can we make sense of the Old Testament, and how does it apply to our lives today?

As I worked past some of the barriers, I came to feel a need to read because of what it was teaching me. Eventually I found myself wanting to read those 39 books. They were satisfying a hunger in me that nothing else had. They taught me about life with God.

The Old Testament speaks to our hunger. It gives an advanced course of “Life With God,” expressed in a style both personal and passionate.

The rewards offered do not come easily. All achievements require a similar process of hard work; we persevere because the rewards will come.

A glory gilds the sacred page, Majestic like the sun; It gives a light to every age, It gives, but borrows none. —Cowper
The Bible gives us a picture of who we really are.
Excerpted and adapted from The Bible Jesus Read, by Philip D. Yancey. © 1999 Zondervan. Published by permission of Zondervan.