The Big Picture: Reading Through the Whole Bible

February 20, 2023

I have been a Christian for a long time. I read my Bible regularly. But a few years ago I was looking through the table of contents wondering if I had read my Bible completely. Genesis and Exodus have so many of the stories we are familiar with. Leviticus, I’d read little bits here and there, enough to know that I didn’t want to read more. Ruth and Esther, definitely read those. “Not too many books named after women, what’s going on in here?” Psalms and Proverbs for wisdom, and then the New Testament, except maybe Revelation. I had read parts but not embraced the fullness of what God had revealed as his story for man.

As I was listening to a podcast that mentioned another new podcast that was going to come out daily and be 10 minutes long, which would sum up the portion of Scripture that was read each day based on a chronological reading plan. I decided to go for it. So, after 20+ years of being a Christian, I finally read the Bible cover to cover.

I am so glad I disciplined myself to do this! Studying individual books of the Bible has its place and is often where I am most comfortable, but reading through the whole Bible as one continuous story was an experience that has exponentially illuminated my time in God’s Word. I have started to see throughlines from the beginning to the end where God’s promise started and comes to fruition. I have seen more of Jesus represented or alluded to in the Old Testament. As pictures are described in the New Testament, it draws to mind images from the Old Testament, and seeing the fullness of God’s design makes me more aware of the awesomeness of God’s design and plan. He was in every detail of what was going on then, and I can trust that he is in every detail of what is going on now.

There is so much in God’s Word! There are still books that I am overwhelmed by and find confusing (ahem, minor prophets) and books that I love returning to (Genesis, Exodus, Galatians). But I now see the value and context of the whole picture. I go into some of those books I forgot about with the expectation that, because God saw fit to preserve his Word in that book, he will show me something about himself. What a kind and loving God, that he makes himself known to his creation! And if he wants to make himself known, I want to do what I can to know him as fully as I can before I meet him.

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