Seek you out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it has commanded…
I. The Scriptures should be read with A SERIOUS MIND. The argument by which Moses urged the Jews to attend to the laws of God may be applied to Scripture at large — "It is not a vain thing: it is your life." When we read our Bible we stand in the presence of God: we are receiving His communications.
II. The Scriptures should be read with EARNEST PRAYER. Divine influence is needful to impress them upon our understandings and hearts.
III. Scripture should be read with PURE INTENTIONS. "If any man will do His will," &c. Nothing resists the evidence or dislikes the principles of the Bible but sin.
IV. The Bible should be read with EXPECTATIONS AND DESIRES. We cannot place too much confidence in its authority, or anticipate too much comfort from its influence. All that may be expected from God may be expected from His Word. There He opens His resources and declares His will; there we read what He is, and what He can do, and what He intends to do. To read the Bible and expect nothing from its influence is to reflect dishonour upon it.
V. The Bible should be read with RETENTIVE MEMORIES. It is intended not so much for present entertainment, as for future wisdom and holiness: its contents, therefore, should be stored and classed in the memory, to be drawn forth and applied as the different circumstances of life require. This study of the Scriptures produces incalculable advantages; it will afford —
1. The most valuable instruction.
2. The best impressions. There is an energy in the Bible which no man of feeling can withstand. The words which it contains are "spirit and life." Under Divine influence it has counteracted carnal affections and vicious propensities; it has raised men's minds to God: it has filled them with love to mankind. So as Scripture makes men holy it makes them happy. In the midst of trouble they have an unfailing refuge.
Parallel VersesKJV: Seek ye out of the book of the LORD, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate: for my mouth it hath commanded, and his spirit it hath gathered them.