It is hard to describe the value that comes from rereading Bible passages. I don’t mean in some mindless robotic way, of course, I mean going back over the words, letting their meaning soak into you – absorbing facets of meaning that escaped you the first time around. Or the second, Or the fortieth!
No book rewards rereading as much as the Bible. That owes to the Author, of course. While He used human beings to actually write the words of Scripture, His Holy Spirit was inspiring their thoughts so that they knew what to write. That same Holy Spirit dwells in you if you believe in Jesus, and He is able to make all the meaning He intended to come forth in your own mind. But we cannot absorb all that meaning in one reading, or even several readings. There are untold riches to be gained from rereading the words of the living God.
Another reason for rereading is so that we will not forget what we have read. In the course of a day, our minds are bombarded with thoughts demanding attention, driving out all other thoughts. We need the reinforcement of rereading to keep alive in our minds the truths we have read.
Rereading puts us in a better position to memorize as well. Memorization allows us to reflect or meditate upon especially meaningful passages of Scripture. Meditation is like a slow rereading without benefit of the page in front of us. It is also a turning over and looking at all sides of the concept in our minds. It is comparing this passages with others we have remembered and seeing how they shed light on each other.
Which parts should you consider memorizing? Those that speak most warmly and directly to your heart! There will be times in your reading or rereading that you will sense the very presence of God in the words. It will seem as if He Himself is uttering those very words just for you. It will be as if your heart is burning within you (Luke 24:32). These are definitely words worth treasuring in the permanent vault of your memory.
There is, however, an overriding reason for rereading parts of the Bible – a reason more important than any of the others we have mentioned. It is this: God expects from us a response to what we read. If He makes a statement of truth, He expects us to believe; if He gives a statement of instruction, He expects us to obey. Without these proper responses, our Bible reading is just a form of self-delusion (James 1:22). We condemn ourselves by hearing the word of God but not heeding it. Therefore, rereading is a way of checking to be sure we are acting in accordance with the words we have read.
You may eventually get around to reading and understanding the entire Bible. Until then, however, be sure you are living according to the parts you have already read and understood. In fact, that is the only way to get there.