It is easy to take the reading of the Bible for granted. It is easy to make a mess of it too! For example, consider Joshua 6:16-19. The narrative has built to a climax. The Israelites are about to complete their silent march attack strategy with the great shout. As you are reading through this section, if you have engaged your own passion and imagination, then you will be excited to read Joshua’s command.
“SHOUT! FOR THE LORD HAS GIVEN YOU THE CITY!” Naturally at this point you will find your voice raised and your lungs tight. The problem is that his shout command turns out to be a somewhat detailed instruction. What appears at first to be a 9-word exclamation turns into a 104-word detailed instruction on what to destroy, who to save, where to put the treasures, etc.
If you were to read this passage without thinking through the reading ahead of time, you might need a paramedic! 104 words at the intensity of the initial 9 words and you’ll have tight lungs, a raspy voice, a new color of face and about three minutes of recovery time before you can preach on!
It’s a small thing, but length and intensity of speech, along with difficult pronunciations or potential Freudian slips can really derail the message! Think through any text reading ahead of time.