I stopped at Chick-fil-A awhile back, and I was surprised to see an open Bible lying on the main counter beside the newspaper rack. At first, I thought a customer must’ve left it there, then I realized that someone in a position of authority had put it there on purpose.
It was weird seeing a Bible in a public establishment like that.
In our increasingly secular world, it’s become unfashionable to take Bibles into public places. Do it too much and you’ll be called a Bible Thumper, a Bible Banger, or worse.
Long before it even became possible to carry around books like the Bible in public, God told his people to take these very important words—“Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and might”—and put them in a very prominent place:
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates (Deuteronomy 6:8-9).
God almost certainly meant that metaphorically, but years later some Jews took him literally. They created phylacteries—small boxes that contained select verses from the Law of Moses—and wore them on their heads and forearms on special occasions. You still see this in some sects of Judaism today.
I doubt that’s what God meant, but there’s an interesting principle here.
The word of God—particularly what it says about God’s place of priority—should be the focal point of our lives . . . so much so that we do whatever it takes to remember it.
We’ve got so many distractions, don’t we?
There’s always an email or text to respond to, a quick YouTube video to laugh at, a Netflix series to binge-watch.
If we don’t make time for the word, it won’t happen.
Something, many things, important, urgent things, will always squeeze it out if it’s merely something “we’ll try to do later.”
It’s not that the Bible isn’t available, of course—I’ve got a hundred translations on my iPhone. It actually might be that the Bible is so readily accessible that we’ve become used to it.
Whatever the cause, we need to put the Bible back where it ought to be.
We need to read it, study it, meditate on it, pray over it, live it, love it, learn it, and share it.
In our distraction-filled world, it might take something drastic to return the Bible to its proper place.
Maybe phylacteries weren’t such a bad idea after all.
Read your Bible every day this week . . . —Chuck