Satan hates the bible, the Word of God. He never ceases to attack and attempt to downgrade its integrity and authority. His aims vary from person to person, ranging from rejection, unbelief, neglect, and disobedience, to the substitution of books about the Bible for the Bible itself.

There are many good and helpful books that can lead us to deeper insights into spiritual truth. But there are many others that leave the soul empty and the heart unsatisfied because of the unbelief or the shallowness of faith of their authors. And there are some books about the Bible which deny clearly stated truths and wander off into vain speculations.

For many reasons the Devil tries to turn Christians away from a faithful study of the Bible itself. As a final compromise he will settle for our studying books about the Bible, but not the Bible itself, since he knows that even those whose authors have the deepest spiritual understanding and appreciation are not an adequate substitute for the Word itself. This is not anti-intellectualism, and it does not involve making a fetish of the Bible. It simply means that the “God-breathed” witness of the Holy Scriptures carries with it a living power unknown to any other book.

There are those who speak disdainfully of “Bible worshipers,” of an “obscurantism” that “rejects the findings of advanced scholarship,” of a “pietism” that is “static and irrelevant to our day.”

In rare instances such descriptions may be true; but in general the attitude of the evangelical is to let the Bible judge him, not the reverse. We thank God for reverent scholarship that has delved into history, anthropology, and linguistics, and in so doing has made God’s Word more easily understood. But we must reject the “assured findings” of a scholarship that is built on the critical foundation of presuppositions against the supernatural and miraculous, a scholarship that reduces the Bible largely to a compilation of human documents, some of them no more than pious frauds.

Why does Satan hate the Bible above all other books? Because it tells of the Saviour and is able to “instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15, RSV).

To the accusation that some “worship the Bible” we would reply: We do not worship the Bible but the Christ of the Bible, and by faith and experience we know that he and his Word can be trusted. The surgeon does not worship the scalpel by which he brings relief from suffering and disease, but he trusts it.

Satan will settle for books about the Bible as substitutes for the Word because at their best and highest they are the work of men. He knows that the Bible is different. He knows that “all [and the word is all] scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16), and he desires to interpose anything between it and the would-be reader.

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It is strange how in an enlightened, inquiring, scientific, and sophisticated age men are unwilling to be instructed in the true wisdom of the ages. Only in the Bible do we learn reverential fear of and trust in the living God—the beginning of knowledge. The Devil is willing for every possible scientific breakthrough, every advance in art, literature, and philosophy, if only man is kept from the knowledge of God.

The Bible is profitable to us for reproof, and Satan does not want us to be reproved. He wants us to walk blindly in sin, whether the sins of the flesh or the sins of the mind and spirit (pride, jealousy, avarice, hate).

Satan fears the convicting work of the divine X-ray that shows us how God sees us. He desperately wants to keep us from the Book which is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).

Under no circumstances does Satan want us to realize our nakedness before God, the ultimate Judge: “And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (v. 13). From the Devil’s standpoint, how much better for us to continue in the fig leaves of self-delusion, in the rags of our own imagined righteousness!

Nor does Satan want us exposed to the correction to be found in the Bible, for this means change. It means leaving the wrong road and walking the right. It means leaving the broad way for the narrow one that leads to life eternal. It means changing bad habits for good, evil companions for righteous ones, earthly values for eternal. Correction means a change of destiny.

The Devil also wants to shield us from the training in righteousness that is a part of God’s gracious ministry as we study his Word. In that Word we learn how God wants us to live, and we learn of the power available to help us to live this way.

The writer would like to bear this simple testimony because he knows whereof he speaks. Faithful reading of the Bible brings blessings untold. It can become the brightest spot in all the day, the source of unending comfort, joy, and hope, because within the Bible’s pages one finds his every need supplied in the person, work, and promises of the triune God.

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Our unending battle with Satan against consistent Bible reading can only be met head on. There are seemingly valid excuses. There are multiplied interruptions. All of the devices of the Devil are arrayed against us until we silence and defeat him with the Word itself.

Set aside a definite time each day, and let nothing interfere with that time. This may require getting up earlier in the morning: then get up. It will require discipline of mind and will: exercise that discipline. It will pay rich rewards. Try it!

A few practical suggestions: Use several versions of the Bible—at least four of the New Testament. Get a small plastic ruler and fine red and black pencils. Underline those verses that speak particularly to you. Study and check references. Get and use a good concordance. Among other things get a copy of Nave’s Topical Bible. Use a notebook. Follow through on a particular doctrine or teaching of the Bible. Before long you will find that there simply is not the time you would like to use in such study. In all of this the Bible will become a new book, a living book.

Before you begin your study, ask the Holy Spirit to make the Word clear to your heart. Then pray for a receptive mind and an obedient will. The writer is convinced that we must present an attitude of faith as we approach the Bible. There is much we cannot understand, much we would like explained. The first step to blessing is a simple faith in the Book—faith that in its pages God speaks to the humble, believing, and obedient heart.

Satan will seek to make us compromise somewhere along the line, and his last offer may be books about the Bible. They have their place; but none of them—nor anything else—can take the place of the Word itself.

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