My 6 year old daughter and 4 year old son aren’t used to sitting through a Sunday service and the results were a bit disastrous this past Good Friday at my church. While I was up front extolling the work of Christ on the cross through song, they were squirming in agony in their seats saying loudly, “I’m bored.” “All this music makes my stomach hurt.” “I have a headache.”
To be honest, sometimes I feel this way when I read the bible. I know God’s word will make me a better worship leader and child of God. But I often find myself merely reading words on a page. I’m supposed to read this but it just not doing anything for me. The conclusion I’ve come to is this: It’s not the bible’s fault. My children were bored because they didn’t get what we were celebrating. The more they understand the sacrifice of Christ, his love, his suffering, the more they can get inside the story, the more impactful a Good Friday service will become.
One of the tools I’ve used the last few years to overcome staleness when reading God’s word is biblehub.com. They have a website and a great app for iphone and android I can pull up anywhere. When I read a passage and I feel like here may be some deeper meaning I am not getting I can easily look up the greek or hebrew and draw insights from the meaning of the original language that makes the scripture fresh and exciting for me.
This is what happened when I used biblehub.com with the first few verses of psalm 67, a passage I’ve heard or read these words so many times it lost meaning for me. Here is the ESV.
1 May God be gracious to us and bless us
and make his face to shine upon us, Selah
2 that your way may be known on earth,
your saving power among all nations.
3 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
4 Let the nations be glad and sing for joy,
for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Selah
5 Let the peoples praise you, O God;
let all the peoples praise you!
I went to biblehub and this was the personal translation I wrote down from the original hebrew as part of my devotional.
Divine One, yearn for us, favor us.
Speak into us words of love
Brighten us up with your face
We want your attention, your full attention
Come experience Him, everyone on earth
The way He moves, sure and strong and beautiful.
He dances among you now, among every type of person
His help, his deliverance, His victory, His Jesus (yes, the root hebrew word was Yeshua)
We want a confession from every man woman and child
Confess, the Divine One, He deserves it all!
I finished this creative and mental study with worshipping God. I marveled about his compassion and desire for every type of person to know Him. I thought it was so cool the image of his movements among the people, as well as the fact that the word for Salvation is Yeshua where Jesus gets his name. And I told Him what I thought about Him.
I left that time jazzed about God and his word. The images and words stayed with me for days. Bottom line, God and His word are amazing. It is worth our time to dig in because His word is alive and active and sharper than any two edged sword (Heb 4:12). When we do dig in, it is really ourselves that come alive!