Proverbially Speaking

As we approach the end of each calendar year I give some thought to different approaches or materials for Bible reading in the new year.

Over the years I’ve used the M’Cheyne Bible reading method which involved reading two or four chapter of the Bible each day. This will take you through the New Testament and Psalms twice a year and the Old Testament once (or halving that if you read two chapters a day rather than four). I have also followed this method reading along with Don Carson’s For the Love of God books I and II which consider some of the broader themes of the Bible from the daily readings.

I’ve also used the Horner plan which involves reading ten chapters a day from different Bible genres - gospel, epistles, Acts, the Law, Psalms, wisdom books, history, prophets, etc. This took some committment but you read these genres in different cycles so one day you may read Matthew 1 and Genesis 1 but next time through you may read Matthew 1 then Deuteronomy 26 (because each genre cycle has a different total number of chapters in it). It is interesting to see or make connections between different passages of Scripture using this method.

I’ve also read different devotional materials - Oswald Chambers My Utmost for His Highest, devotional readings from J C Ryle’s works, and other devotional books or materials.

For 2020 I was considering reading a chapter from Proverbs each day - to coincide with the calendar date. As I was thinking about that I came across the same idea written about in two different books I was reading just after Christmas. One of those books was Joel C Rosenberg’s novel, The Persian Gamble where the protagonist, Marcus Ryker reads a chapter of Proverbs a day (when he’s not too busy saving the world). The other book was not a novel and was Robert Wolgemuth’s Lies Men Believe. In it, in the chapter on work and wealth Robert mentions that his wife’s father spent the beginning of each day reading the Bible including a chapter from Proverbs and notes that “his deep familiarity with the Proverbs gave him the tools he needed to be a more-than-capable provider in business and at home”.

Given those endorsements and that it lined up with what I was already thinking, I began 2020 reading a chapter of Proverbs each day. Today, the 27th, saw me reading Proverbs 27. I’ll certainly complete the month to finish off all of Proverbs,but I’ll wait and see if it still resonates with me as a good idea for February or beyond.