Have you ever considered that doing daily Bible readings is not something peculiar to the Christadelphian Brotherhood of the last days? In his final words to Israel, Moses stressed the importance of daily mental stimulus from, and familiarity with the Word of Life. To parents in Israel, the mothers and fathers, he said, “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates” (Deut 6:6–9). God’s commandments were to permeate all aspects of life each day.

Knowing that Israel would eventually desire a king to reign over them “like as all the nations” about them, God gave specific ordinances for him to obey. He was to make his personal copy of “this law”, so that it might be “with him”, and that he might “read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear Yahweh his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them” (Deut 17:18,19). Further reasons for so doing are given in the following verse: “That his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom…”. These reasons are notable and instruct and warn us also of the dangers and pitfalls we are susceptible to. We are prospective kings, too, and in order to qualify for the honour of being co-rulers with our Lord we need the same instruction and discipline.

When Joshua was about to lead Israel into the promised land, the need for daily instruction from the Word of God was laid upon him by Yahweh Himself: “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth: but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success” (Josh 1:8).

Clearly those in leadership roles, whose influence over others is great, have the responsibility to know what the Father’s will is, so they can direct the lives of those who look to them in word and deed. Today we are being prepared for leadership with Christ in the kingdom soon to come. Neglecting to read daily the rules and principles of the Kingdom of God could see us disqualified from participation.

“The King”—Jesus Christ himself—was not exempt from this need either. Those who heard him were astounded at his wisdom and ability to answer every question put to him, and yet they knew he had never passed through the rabbinical institutions of learning. They exclaimed, “How knoweth this man letters, having never learned?” (John 7:15). But his superlative wisdom was the result of daily application and diligence. His ears were attentive to his Father’s instruction on a daily basis. He allowed no human activity to supplant the primacy of learning, and listening carefully to the Word of his Father. Consider Isaiah’s inspired comments explaining his daily attention to his Father and growing acceptance and commitment that this “hearing” brought: “The Lord Yahweh hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: he wakeneth morning by morning, he wakeneth mine ear to hear as the learned. The Lord Yahweh hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back” (Isaiah 50:4,5).

Now if it was important for Israel, kings, Joshua and the Lord to hear daily the Word of God, is it not equally so for us? The challenges to our ‘mind space’ are great today and it is so easy to ‘hear’ daily what man is propounding in so many ways in the aggressive, all pervasive media of today. We are in danger of having our minds shaped by carnal men if we expose our eyes and ears to books, papers, magazines, radio, TV, to the exclusion of the wholesome Word of God.

In this first issue of Volume 8 of The Lampstand we have chosen to write on important characters in Matthew’s gospel, the first book in the New Testament section of our ‘Daily Readings’. Comments and questions appear as footnotes at the conclusion of each article. We hope that these articles will be useful as we commence anew our daily readings for the new year. Let us resolve to read daily, from the Word of life with our families, hearing and developing faith thereby. How else will we overcome the world (Rom 10:17; 1 John 4:4,5)? And let us do so prayerfully seeking the Father’s blessing upon our undertakings. We can make no better resolution for year 2002 than to put into practice the words found on wall stickers in the homes of many of our brethren in the Philippines—“Today is a good day to start reading the Bible every day”.