Free Audio Bibles
This week, during breakfast, I began listening to the ESV dramatised audio Bible available for free from "Faith Comes by Hearing". The kids love listening to it, and I'm learning heaps as we listen.
Listening to the Bible is something all Christians should do. The Bible was written to an oral audience, most of whom never had any part of the Bible in their lap to read. Much of the Bible was first written to be heard. The first 5 books of the Bible (referred to as "the law") was often read to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 31:10-11). The Psalms and some of the wisdom literature are songs and poems that were to be sung and heard. The prophets went to the people and proclaimed a message from God saying, "thus says the LORD".
And most of the New Testament books are letters that were written to be read out loud to churches or individuals. Colossians 4:16 concludes saying, "when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans". The Bible is meant to be heard, because "faith comes from hearing" (Romans 10:17)". This is why the public reading of scripture and preaching the Word is still so vital. 1 Timothy 4:13 says, "devote yourselves to the public reading of Scripture". And in 2 Timothy 4:2, Paul tells Timothy to "preach the Word". Listening to God's Word is vital in the life of a Christian.
Don't get me wrong, it is good to read the Bible. We need to do this, and people can hear the message of salvation as they read it. I love reading the Bible. Being able to read the Bible at my own pace, helps me dig deeper and certainly has many benefits. However, I also find that listening to the Bible helps me learn and mediate on God's Word in ways that I wouldn't if I just read it. Here are a few reasons why I find it helpful listening to the Bible:
Listening brings God's Word to life. The Bible is meant to be heard, and I feel its power and see the wonder of God's truth as I hear the Bible read.
Listening helps me to notice things I normally wouldn't when I read. There have been several occasions for me where I have noticed certain lessons or details when listening to the Bible, which I never noticed when I read it.
Listening allows me to fill my mind with God's Word, at times when I wouldn't be able to read it. I love listening to the Bible as I do the dishes, mow the lawn, drive or when I get breakfast for the kids. There are many moments in your day where you could listen to the Bible.
Listening and reading your Bible as you listen helps you to use more of your senses and take in more of God's life giving Word.
Listening may be your style of learning. You may learn and retain more by listening.
Listening helps us to slow down and not skip over things. Oh how we need to slow down as we read God's Word. We so often quickly rush through it. We can read in our head, quicker than what we read out loud. So, listening to someone read out loud will be slower than if you read in your head.
I encourage you to listen to God's Word, to help fill your mind with the words of eternal life (John 6:68). Let's keep filling our lives with the transforming Word of God. And let's use whatever means we can to fill as much of our day with it. I encourage you to use audio Bibles to help you do this. You can access several free audio Bibles by "YouVersion" or download free audio Bibles from "Faith Comes by Hearing".