Every year at this time Christians all over the world begin with a scripture reading plan, and every year people get through different amounts of that plan. Think of what this time of year would be like if we were all finishing up our reading schedules together. The sense of shared accomplishment and unity that would bring to the Church would be palpable!
One of the most inspiring and worshipful gatherings I ever attended was at a Messianic Synagogue in North Atlanta. I was attending with my oldest son to see how they celebrated the Feast of the Tabernacles, and have a teachable moment with my boy. It’s my favorite of the Old Testament Holidays both because of what it means and the intentional planning of time to just worship!
I was a little surprised by something else being celebrated that night. The holiday is called Simchat Torah, and it means ‘Rejoicing with the Torah’. Here is the core thought for this:
When Israel studies the Torah, the devil accuses them, saying, “Though they have begun to study it, they will not finish it.” On the day that they finish Deuteronomy, he says, “Though they have finished it, they will not study it again.” To prove him a liar, we begin reading Genesis as soon as we have finished Deuteronomy. (Learn More Here)
There is a schedule for reading the first five books of the Old Testament known as the Torah of Books of the Law. They are seen as foundational for understanding the rest of the scripture including the teachings of Jesus and the Apostle Paul. The schedule includes some other readings from the Hebrew scripture.
I love the idea of reading the scriptures ‘To prove the devil a liar’. It’s just the kind of dare and challenge that someone with my competitive nature needs. It may not be the best motive for keeping up with a scripture-reading plan, but a motive nonetheless.
Need a plan to begin the New Year? Head on over to the Bible.com and pick a plan that helps you cover a small portion or all of the scriptures this year. I’ll even bet on you to finish it!