I homeschooled my boys, and boy did I learn a lot through those years! Picking out curriculum was always an adventure. Those standard school-type textbooks were tempting. Just start at page one, and work your way through, three pages a day, to the end of the school year. Easy as pie. This is how your basic math curriculum is set up from kindergarten to college, right? Start with counting to ten, then a hundred. Learn to add, then subtract. Memorize the multiplication tables. Absorb the mysteries of long division (is anyone groaning yet?) and then comes…insert scary deep organ music…ALGEBRA…and CALCULUS….mwahahahahaha!
Where on earth is she going with this? Here: I’m happy to say that the Bible is not like a math book. You can certainly start on page one and work your way through to the end, but you’re going to get basic counting, multiplication, addition, algebra and differential equations all intermingled on just about every page. This is a good thing. It means that even the brand-spanking-new believer can understand some sweet truth or bracing command on any page she reads. Other paragraphs on the same page might make her eyes glaze over, but that won’t be the case forever.
You see, the Bible is our entire curriculum for the lifelong learning course “How to Live.” We need auxiliary texts for building jets and baking croissants and such, but basically the Bible will cover the most important things we need to know. So we keep going through the book again and again. It’s designed to be suitable for students of all ages and abilities. The first time a child reads “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” they learn the history of creation, how God made the sun, moon and stars, the planet, plants and people. Good stuff. But at some point, maybe on your 37th read-through, you realize that in the beginning was information! God thought this all up before He spoke it into existence—it all came from His MIND. And He created each of us in His image, with a capacity to create things that we think up in our minds. Next year you might finally get that even before He said “Let there be light,” He could see the crucifixion, and made us anyway.
I find I sometimes have to stop a while and let these new intricacies percolate through my grey matter. Then I want more. What will I see in the Psalms that has escaped me until now? Will Leviticus still be boring? Maybe on my 100th reading of Romans, I’ll understand everything Paul said in all sixteen chapters. But even if much of it still goes over my head, I can rejoice again in the plain fact that God demonstrates his own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. I might even get my head around chapter 5 verse 10 this time through.
Every page of Scripture has abundant treasures for the infants, the adolescents and the advanced scholars among us. The Bible is an inexhaustible supply of new insights, deeper truth, bigger and broader and better understanding. If we keep studying it until we fall into Jesus’ arms at the end of our lives, we will not have wasted a moment of time, nor ceased to learn something glorious every single day.