Hearing the Word
Truly, I love to read. The smell of pages filled with words calms my mind. I’m reminded of Scout in the famous novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. She and I have some commonalities; the love to read and distaste for domesticity.
And, so, on my journey to reading through the Bible in its entirety— I’ve had my head bent over the book of Genesis and Job these past few weeks. But, lately, I’ve tried something new, and it’s been…wonderful. I stopped reading (with my eyes) and instead listened to the Word.
In the time of Jesus (and before) reading was not a privilege for all. Only the wealthy and educated could read. And the wealthy and educated were often men. There was no printing press. No blogs. And these lack of resources and inventions made oral tradition of utmost importance.
Stories and teachings of the Word were passed on verbally. Rabbis would read the Torah to their students and families by reading the passages out loud. Parents would recite verses by memory to their children to learn.
And as I listened to the Bible like others did 2000 years before me, God was so good to teach me a few things.
1. I am hearing impaired, but not completely deaf (yet). Taking the time to listen to the Bible has made me grateful for the hearing I do have. In the event I ever do lose my hearing completely— how wonderful that I’ve been given the chance to hear the Word now!
2. I struggle with the pronunciation of names and places in the Bible. Often, when I’m reading, I skip those words I don’t know instead of researching them to hear their pronunciation and meaning. While listening, I hear the pronunciations and learn how to say them properly.
3. When I read a passage, I often highlight, write about, or pray over key verses that stood out to me. I’m realizing when I hear the verses of the Bible and not just read them— new phrases catch my attention I overlooked when reading, and I gain insight I did not have before.
While I will never give up reading the Bible with my vision, because that’s a privilege I never want to take for granted, I am now more aware there are other ways of drawing near to Him, and listening to His Word is one of them!
Do you ever listen to the Bible? If so, how do you do it? An app on your phone? From a family member? I’d love to hear your experiences with hearing God’s word!
I use Bible Gateway to listen to the Word. Check it out HERE.