Thursday, January 6, 2011
So here I am, taking the torch from Val for a Bible in 90 Days blog entry. She suggested that since 4 members of our family are bloggers and all reading through the program, we should take turns sharing our thoughts.
Wow, where to begin? Where I thought I'd feel overloaded, I find myself hungrier each day for my reading. As the scriptures build on one another, I look forward to what I will read next.
And part of me hates to admit what a child I feel like. Reading such large chunks of the scripture has me noticing things for the first time or again and asking questions and really just kind of acting like a new to the faith believer. And in a Christian culture that prizes maturity, it can be humbling to feel like that child. But I secretly suspect that I am the lucky one, since it fans the spark of my first love.
Further, I am doing my reading in my Complete Jewish Bible. I waffled on the version to use. The program uses NIV. But this was a good opportunity for me to really dig into my CJB after years of reading NIV and KJV. I know that Christians are often unfamiliar with this version and Jewish peoples discredit it. Still, to me it offers a sense of balance and, frankly, creates the least confusion when I read it. Instead of two books that cannot co-exist, I see a continuous thread.
Anyway, if you haven't heard of the program before or if you have but hadn't been ready to commit too it, I would urge you to consider it. You can start it at any time. My family started on the 1st as Val, Amol and Steph's church were starting on the 1st. And in the back of my mind I find myself thinking of their church as my future church. We'll see where God lands us when we get to Pennsylvania.
Are you ready for some of my thoughts so far?
I wrote out the timeline as I read the account of Noah. They were stuck in that (reeking, I'm sure) ark for over a year. Sure, the rain fell for 40 days and nights but that wasn't the end of it. And further, Noah had a visual on the dry land but remained in the vessel until God told him it was time for them to leave. What faith! I'd have gone running as soon as it looked shallow enough to wade.
It was only after the flood that God ordained that man should eat animal flesh. And at that time God also caused the animals to fear man. Can you imagine what it was like, then, when man and animal were all vegetarians and the beasts were not fearful of us? For an animal lover, that's a fun think to thunk.
Avraham (Abraham), Yitz'chak (Isaac) and Ya'akov (Jacob), the fathers of our faith, were all liars and frequently did things that seem downright wrong. Yet God showed them grace again and again, even coming down to speak with each of them. Wow. That speaks deeply to me of God's love for us.
Sh'mot (Exodus) - God tells Moses His name, Yud-Heh-Vav-Heh, and says, "This is my name forever; this is how I am to be remembered generation after generation." But we don't, chosing instead the generic "God" or dancing around it. Why? We are created in His image and we know that a person likes to hear you call them by their name. We are commanded to remember Him by his name...
Here's one of my lifelong questions, "Do bad things happen to us because we live in a fallen world but then God can make good come of it? -OR- Does God make even the things that seem bad to us happen so that He can use it to His glory?" So when I read Exodus 4:11 "Who makes a person dumb, deaf, keensighted or blind? Isn't it I, Adonai?" I toss that in the soup of my uncertainty for future consideration.
I am actually embarrassed that, at 46, as a believer of 20+ years, as a person raised in one church or another since birth, I find my understanding of how the Exodus went down is more Heston than History. The bit part Aharon (Aaron) plays in The Ten Commandments is nothing like the reality. In fact, Aharon spoke the words and wielded the staff that initiated 3 of the 10 plagues. Moshe (Moses) initiates 4, together they bring on the sores, and Adonai Himself brings 3.
True Sabbath is very important to God. He brings it up often, gives complete details on what is expected. We sure glaze over that one and I'm convicted as I read.
I don't remember reading before that on one day 74 people saw God right before Moshe was called to receive the commandments. How have I missed the previously?
I won't go on... I have 11 pages of notes and questions so far. I'm excited for what is yet to come as I dig in and read the Bible in 90 Days! Won't you let God bless you by the reading of His Word?