Simple Bible Reading Guide
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"The revelation of Your words sheds light, giving understanding to the simple." —Psalms 119:130
God's word is intended for all people. For thousands of years God has communicated to millions of simple people through His word. In fact, many things are hidden from the learned and clever but revealed to the merest children (Lk 10:21). Of course, God's word is sometimes so difficult to interpret that we need the Church to teach us. Therefore, highly academic Bible study has its place, but it is not the principal approach to God's word. The word is not primarily for an educated elite but for everyday people praying and reading by the power of the Spirit.
Nevertheless, not many books about the Bible are written to help the average person. What most people need is something short, simple, and practical that encourages, motivates and guides. We need something that will help us read the Biblical texts and not just about the text. This is the purpose of this simple Bible reading guide. "We have aimed to please those who prefer simple reading, as well as to make it easy for the studious who wish to commit things to memory, and to be helpful to all (2 Mc 2:25).
Note: The breakdown of the Bible into chapters (although not always adequate) has served God's people for centuries. So in general we will use a chapter-by-chapter structure for our comments.
Be sure to read each chapter of the Bible along with the introductory comments.
P.S. We have prayed before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament about our choice of the verses in this reading guide. We hope the Scriptures will have a prophetic, life-changing power for you.
Hag 1 — REBUILD MY CHURCH
"You expected much, but it came to little; and what you brought home, I blew away. For what cause? says the Lord of hosts. Because My house lies in ruins, while each of you hurries to his own house." Haggai 1:9
It had been eighteen years since many of the Jews had returned from Babylon to Jerusalem, but they still had not started to rebuild the Temple. Instead, they had remodeled their own houses. Haggai prophesied that until rebuilding the Temple became their top priority, the people would be discontent, dissatisfied, and plagued by tragedies.
Prayer: Jesus, may I love the Church as You do and give my life for her (Eph 5:25).
Promise: "Then the Lord stirred up the spirit of the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and the spirit of the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people, so that they came and set to work on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God." 1:14
Hag 2 — GREATER GLORY
"Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the Lord of hosts." Haggai 2:9
Although the new Temple seemed like nothing compared to the old one, Haggai prophesied to Zerubbabel the king and Joshua the priest that the future glory of the Temple would be greater than the former. From the day on which the Temple of the Lord was founded, God blessed His people.
Prayer: Father, may I seek first Your kingdom and then receive all else besides (Mt 6:33).
Promise: "One moment yet, a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come in, and I will fill this house with glory." 2:6-7
Nihil obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, April 3, 1997
Imprimatur: Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 8, 1997
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