In the silence of prayer and meditation we hear things and then we must determine the meaning of what we heard. Sometimes this requires a response and other times it doesn’t. Care is always needed so we don’t make our response into a work believing that hearing means doing. Most of the time just being together with the Lord is the full experience.
Along this same line is bible reading and study. Scripture can be understood by anyone, but the issue is not what the bible says, but what it means. With our preference for classical thinking and education we have brought this form into our biblical learning as well. That is why sermons and teaching are laced with in depth word studies, historical facts, ancient customs and often-senseless boring exegesis. Anyone can own a Greek and Hebrew lexicon, A Vine’s Expository Dictionary, Strong’s Analytical Concordance, Wuest’s Word Studies and a dozen other different study aids and commentaries, plus volumes of Biblical history and sound like the smartest monkey in the zoo. Others can stand and deliver this information, throwing in a few Greek and Hebrew words, historical data and bible customs explaining what the bible says, but rarely what it means.
Biblical reading and study, like prayer, is not only about what is said, but also what is meant. The contents of the bible mean union with Jesus or it means nothing at all.
“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” Jesus