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“What have you to offer?”
    “Nothing.  I thought I had part of the Book of Ecclesiastes and maybe a little of Revelation, but I haven’t even that now.”
    “The Book of Ecclesiastes would be fine.  Where was it?”
    “Here,” Montag touched his head.
    “Ah,” Granger smiled and nodded.
    “What’s wrong?  Isn’t that all right?” said Montag.
    “Better than all right; perfect!” Granger turned to the Reverend.  “Do we have a Book of Ecclesiastes?”
    “One.  A man named Harris in Youngtown.”
—–from Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

Fahrenheit 451 is a dystopian science fiction classic.  This is from the scene in which Montag, a man on the run for the possession of banned books (that is any book; they are all banned), finds and joins a loose organization of book people, who live on the fringes of society and keep the flame of literature alive in their minds, waiting for the political climate to change so that they can print the books they have memorized (which include Gulliver’s Travels, Plato’s Republic, Darwin, and many more).

This particular scene came to my mind Saturday during the second half of our ladies day at church.  The speaker, Monalea Micham, was talking about the importance of Bible study and Bible memorization.

Farenheit 451 is science fiction, but there are plenty of real-life examples of times and places where the Bible was illegal, and difficult or impossible to obtain acess to.  The example Monalee brought up was the Nazi concentration camps, but there are countries today where the Bible is still illegal.

It’s easy for me to be physically well-fed.  I hardly ever skip a meal, much less a whole day of meals.

It should be equally easy to be spiritually well-fed and yet how many times has the whole week slipped by without me picking up a Bible?.  Bibles abound around me, in print and online, as well as sermon podcasts and Christian blogs and websites.

Establishing a daily study routine has been a challenge, though I’ve done well lately.  Yet there is a clear hierarchy in the Bible of the spiritual versus the physical, and it isn’t the physical that gets top billing.

Meanwhile the disciples were urging Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.”  But He said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.”  So the disciples were saying to one another, “No one brought Him anything to eat, did he?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work”
—John 4:31-34

If all my Bibles were gone, tomorrow, and I couldn’t get another one, would I have enough Scripture available in my memory to keep me from starving?  It’s an interesting question, but I think there are less-theoretical reasons to study and internalize a knowledge of the Bible.

There usually isn’t time to whip out a pocket Bible and start flipping pages in moments of crisis and decision.  The more Scripture you have committed to memory, the more it will be available in times of temptation and trouble, so that the Holy Spirit can bring it to mind and use it to help strengthen you from within

The more you have read and studied your Bible, the more you see the  connections between the Old Testament and the New, and the different books within each, and the more sense the whole makes.  I think there’s value in having your own personal cross-references to connect the dots.  I try to note such cross-references in my Bible when I can.

Most simply and importantly, the more time you spend reading your Bible, the better you will come to know God and His will, to really know what it says, and not just what someone has told you it says.  Nearly every time I read the Bible I come across things I didn’t remember, or hadn’t thought about a certain way before.

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