Many delights in life come in ways that are unexpected and unanticipated. This truism is applicable even to learning experiences including our understanding of the Bible. If we approach the Bible with an open-minded attitude we will surely end up finding new gems and precious truths bringing us tremendous delight in their discovery. However, if we want to be surprised we need to make space for it.
Think, for example, of the Jewish world at the time of Christ. They had expectations, including marvelous hopes for the coming of the Messiah. The Jews were the recipients of the Scripture and they loved it and proclaimed it. They were expecting the Messiah in accordance with the prophecies of those Scriptures which they had diligently studied and scrutinized. Incredibly, the advent of Messiah happened but the Jews missed the opportunity to welcome their expected king. Indeed, their eyes were closed when the Messiah walked in their very midst. How could this have happened? The answer is that they had developed their expectations according to their confined and selective knowledge of Holy Word. They didn’t leave space to be surprised. In fact, they failed to see the full breadth of the prophecies and instead focused only on selective portions.
It is easy to examine things in hindsight and point out how Jews missed the opportunity to welcome their Savior. But what about us? I presume that we too are missing many opportunities to delight in learning Scripture. This happens when we approach the Bible with our pre-planned notions and perceptions. This is much more of a danger to those who approach the Bible with an I-already-know-all-this approach. If you let that happen it will result in a lost opportunity for Scripture to change your life.
How should we deal with this attitude? The best thing you can do is to approach God’s word with humility. Have your heart prepared to learn and be enchanted. No one can ever fully unearth the depths of insights Scripture is packed with. There will be always new gems to find. It takes time and effort but you will find them. The next time you get into the Scriptures prepare yourself to be enchanted by those treasures. Then you can resonate with what Psalmist meant by “I rejoice at Your word as one who finds great treasure.”