Some of the most fun I've had in my Bible study time has been sustained periods of shouting God's Word aloud. After reading advice for memorization that recommended reading passages fifty times out loud in a full preaching voice before attempting to memorize the text rote, I began to regularly practice belting the Bible to myself. It has made a huge difference in how I interact and enjoy the word. Reading the Bible aloud with passion has become one of the most stirring parts of my devotional life, and I can spend more than an hour doing it without growing tired (strengthens the lungs too). This practice is not just a preference either.Throughout Scripture God calls His people to response and action, and often a spoken word is the simplest form of response. Putting God's Word in your mouth and ears may be the most effective way of placing it within your heart.
Why You Should Read the Bible Aloud:
1. Exodus 13:9
It shall be as a sign to you on your hand and as a memorial between your eyes, that the LORD’s law may be in your mouth; for with a strong hand the LORD has brought you out of Egypt.
Israel had an oral culture and recitation of God's word was vital for remembering His covenant and in worshipping God.There was no written Bible, but there was recitation of the text. Reciting God's promises and Covenant blessings and curses was intended to remind them of who the Lord was, what He had done and what He promised to do in the future. It was a visceral memorial to His goodness and deliverance.
2. Deuteronomy 30:14
But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may do it.
Reading the Bible aloud keeps the Word near you. It keeps it in your mind, in your ears and in your heart. It's harder to gloss over verses or speed read when you are speaking the words clearly and emphatically. It puts the Word in greater proximity to your senses and your soul.
3. Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
God commands that His word stay in our "mouth." This is the specific method of meditation, and through meditation and recitation springs obedience and success in walking with the Lord. Again, Israel had an oral culture, so some may argue that reading could be just as effective in fulfilling this command, but the verse says "shall not depart from your mouth" not "shall not depart from your mind." God was commanding them to recite His word, to put it in their mouths and listen to it.
4. Psalm 49:3
My mouth shall speak wisdom, And the meditation of my heart shall give understanding.
The Word of God can train our tongue and our speech. If we put it on our tongue, it will come up more in conversation. Our tongues can be trained to speak wisdom and our speech can inspire and sustain the meditation of our heart.
5. Psalm 119:172
My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
Our speech confirms that God's Word is righteous; it stands as praise to God. Reading the Bible aloud is vocal praise to God. We don't sing worship songs primarily in our heads. We worship with our mouths.
6. Psalm 119:103
How sweet are Your words to my taste, Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Reading the Bible out loud will make you feel good; it's enjoyable. The Holy Spirit bears witness to our praise and to Christ's Word by manifesting His presence and in His presence there is fullness of joy.
7. Isaiah 59:21
“As for Me,” says the LORD, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the LORD, “from this time and forevermore.”
We have been grafted in, and we are the descendants of this promise.The oral recitation of God's Word is intended to continue to us.
8. Malachi 2:5-9
5 “My covenant was with him, one of life and peace,
And I gave them to him that he might fear Me;
So he feared Me
And was reverent before My name.
6 The law of truth[a] was in his mouth,
And injustice was not found on his lips.
He walked with Me in peace and equity,
And turned many away from iniquity.
7 “For the lips of a priest should keep knowledge,
And people should seek the law from his mouth;
For he is the messenger of the Lord of hosts.
8 But you have departed from the way;
You have caused many to stumble at the law.
You have corrupted the covenant of Levi,”
Says the Lord of hosts.
9 “Therefore I also have made you contemptible and base
Before all the people,
Because you have not kept My ways
But have shown partiality in the law.”
We are Kings and Priests before God (Rev. 1:6). The job of the priest was to keep and speak the Word of God and remind the people of it. We are a royal priesthood, a kingdom of people meant to keep the memory of God's Word before each other. This may be more of an argument for memorization, but reading the Bible aloud aids memorization.
9. Romans 10:8-10
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”[a] (that is, the word of faith which we preach): 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
There is power in speech. The evidence of our faith and the practice of our salvation is our confession of Jesus as Lord. Faith in our heart results in a confession with our mouth "unto salvation." As God's Word gets into our heart it should come out of our mouth. Our vocalization of the Bible is our affirmation and confession of it as true and real in our faith and in our lives.
Shout out God's Word. It will change your life.