Ok, I'm going to go off on one of my biggest pet peeves today. It really grieves me that many Christians don’t take God’s word seriously. They might say with their mouth that “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work,” but do they really believe it? If they believed all Scripture (not some, not most, but all) is all of these things, then do their reading habits reflect that belief? Why do they behave as if a full two-thirds of it isn't important? How many Christians never read all the Bible from cover to cover? How often do they focus on the New Testament to the utter neglect of the Old Testament? Even if they read the Old Testament, they get through the lists of names and places as quickly as possible, because those have no appeal to them personally.
But the “boring” parts are important, if for no other reason than this: They remind us that the Bible is literally true. It doesn’t really matter to a Buddhist if Buddha never physically lived, but things like this do matter to a Bible-believer. The Bible claims to deal with real people who historically lived in the physical places the Bible records. If not, then we should accord the Bible no more authority than Dear Abby. Also this means that the Bible deals with real people like you and me, not some fantasy world of people who don’t have real problems.
Also, if you skip over the “boring” parts, then you might miss important nuggets of truth. Take for example the passage for today’s reading. Methuselah is the longest-living man recorded in history, and his name is a clue as to why. Literally his name is “When he dies it will come.” What in the world is “it”? Well, if you do the math, then Methuselah died in the year of Noah’s flood. Our God, who is “patient with [us], not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance,” chose to grant the longest lifespan to the man who would be used as the measure of his patience with sinful humanity. The man’s very name itself is a call for sinful people to repent and return to the Lord before it’s too late. Truly he's a “compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness." Do you need any better example of this than how he treats you every day?
Father God, I believe that your word is completely reliable and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that I can be thoroughly equipped for every good work. Help me to see all of your word as infinitely precious, and thank you so much for your grace and mercy that you’ve shown me through your Son.