The next level of increasing one's grip on the Scriptures is represented by the finger labeled "Read." Hearing the Word is beneficial, and commended, yet greater exposure to the truth requires reading the Bible.
In Deuteronomy 17, Moses predicts that when Israel enters the land, the people will want a king over them (vv. 14, 15). After warning them of dangerous tendencies for a king (vv. 16, 17), he gives a portrait of the ideal king they should select, characterized by obedience to God's will, learned from reading the law. "Now it shall come about when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself a copy of this law on a scroll in the presence of the Levitical priests. It shall be with him and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes," (vv. 18, 19).
Notice the two results of reading the Word: reverence and obedience. Reverence (fearing the LORD) stems from an awareness of the holiness of the living God. Consistently reading the Scriptures should come from a heart in love with its Author, as well as recognition of His unique revealing of truth. It is His holy Word because He is holy. Further, it is His Holy Spirit Who inspired its writers, sovereignly protected its inerrant transmission, and providentially protected its dissemination that humanity may know His nature.
Obedience flows from the loving heart, cherishing the truth of the holy One. Among the kings of the O.T., David is generally considered the preeminent example of a reverential and obedient monarch. Frankly, I am more impressed with Josiah. In II Kings 22 and 23 are recorded his qualities of character and godly intensity unparalleled among the kings of Israel. First, he heard the Word (22:10) and tore his clothes in abject horror and repentance (v. 11). Verse 15 alludes to the fact that he went further, and read it for himself. In 23:1-3 he called all the people to enter into a renewed covenant to obey the book of the law. Verses 1-23 in chapter 23 recount the astonishing thoroughness of King Josiah's destruction of idolatrous practices and structures instituted by previous kings who led the people astray. To read the account is to be appalled at how deeply Israel had delved into Satanic worship.
Our land, too, is in great need of such restoration, a returning to Christian reverence for the Bible, preaching of the pure Word, and the spiritual awakening only the Lord God can accomplish, according to His sovereign will.