People were once dependent upon their water wells. These deep shafts produced some of the finest, coldest water around. Today people pay good money for a bottle was water drawn from deep below the earth’s surface. But despite the pristine, refreshing water that came from a well it was not always dependable. An extended drought might cause the well to run dry. When that happened, there was little choice but to dig a little deeper in the well.
Bible study is a little like going to the well. We can drink deeply and often of our Bible learning but sometimes we have to dig a little deeper. Digging a well is no easy task but it is essential. Likewise, study is exhausting. Solomon said, “of the making of books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh” (Ecclesiastes 12:12). But if we do not dig we shan’t drink either.
Sometimes we are afraid to enter a Bible discussion because we fear our knowledge is incomplete. We are afraid that we might be asked a question for which we have no answer. Our dilemma has a rather simple answer. We need to dig more. We need more time in the word of God so that we can give questioners sound Bible answers (1 Peter 3:15).
Jesus described his teaching as life giving water. (John 4:10-15). It was the kind of water that was fulfilling and fully satisfying. I shall never forget the first well water I drank. One of my aunts had family living far out in the country. An old well stood maybe 20 feet from the kitchen door. A large pan was carried to the well and filled with water which was then left on the counter with a ladle for all to drink. Today I remember how cool it was. As I chased chickens around the yard I would stop and drink more water. Spiritually, you may recall the marvelous filling of your first encounter with Jesus. Do you remember the joy of hearing the old, old story for the first time? Such is the nature of the water Jesus provides.
But over time our toil in this world causes us to thirst for more. We are challenged by those we love and those with whom we work. We know there are answers but we also know that we might have to dig for those answers. It’s time to go to the well and maybe even to dig again.
The Bible is not a particularly large book. But its truths are deep. It can be studied but often we need to return for a refreshing. When Paul told Timothy to study (2 Timothy 2:15) he expected him to do so often, thus enriching his own life and preparing him for the task of teaching others. Jesus had previously commanded his people to teach others (Matthew 18:18-20). We cannot teach what we do not know.
So how is your well? Is it deep and full or does it need some work. Is your well able to feed the thirst of all who come? Is it even deep enough for you and your family? A shovel, a pickaxe and a strong back were the tools of a well digger. The Bible student needs his tools too. At a minimum a Bible with a pen and paper are all that are needed to begin your study. Low cost computer programs are always useful and empower your work even more.
Failing to study God’s word is like a man with a dry well. He has access to a large drilling platform but will not use it to find water. We need the water of life, so get to digging!