One of the most famous events during the American Revolutionary War was George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River and the Battle of Trenton. In the evening hours of December 25, 1776, Washington’s army of 2,400 soldiers navigated across the ice-choked river. Once on the other side, the army marched 10 miles through a snow storm toward Trenton. About 8 AM the next morning, Washington’s army surprised the Hessian troops stationed at Trenton, and quickly defeated them. The commander of the post at Trenton, Colonel Johann Rall, was shot during the battle and died shortly afterward. In his coat pocket was found an unopened letter containing a message from a loyalist. It warned that Washington was marching toward Trenton.*
What would have happened if Colonel Rall had read the letter? Would his troops have been able to repel the American army? We will never know. But Colonel Rall should not have been taken off guard by a surprise attack. All he had to do was open the letter and read it.
How many Christians have a letter like the letter in Colonel Rall’s pocket—unopened, unread? I am thinking of God’s Word, the Bible. How many days is your Bible unopened and unread? Are there times we pray for wisdom, for courage, for victory, for hope, and it seems that the answer does not come? Perhaps the answer is there—but it is unopened and unread.
Revelation 1:3 says, “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” God has given us His Word. There is a great blessing to be received from God’s Word. But that blessing will not be received if we do not read and hear and obey God’s Word.
Open God’s Word, read it, and allow it to guide your steps. We don’t want to close our eyes in death with God’s Letter unopened and unread. When we stand before God, will He ask us, “Why didn’t you open my Book? Why didn’t you read it, believe it, and obey it? Now it’s too late.”
The new Bible Helps article is entitled, “Interpreting the Bible.” It examines some important principles to keep in mind when we open God’s Word and read it.
*Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius, Espionage and Covert Operations (Chantilly, VA: The Teaching Company, 2011), 49. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Battles of Trenton and Princeton.” Encyclopedia Britannica, December 19, 2022. https://www.britannica.com/event/Battles-of-Trenton-and-Princeton.