The worship band I serve with at church will be starting a challenge next week to read the Bible in 90-days. I have to admit, I’ve never read the Bible straight through…cover to cover. Actually, I have a hard time reading ANYTHING cover to cover. (My instinct is to read from somewhere in the middle and then flip around. But that’s just the way I am.)
So next week the challenge officially begins. It’s pretty strenuous. I think it averages out to about 12 chapters per day. It’s quite a bit. Last night I was talking to a good friend of mine who is also joining the challenge. She mentioned starting today (a week ahead of time) because that way it gave her 7 days of grace, if she missed a day. I liked that idea. So I decided to begin today with her, a week early.
Another thing I decided to do was to read it out of The Message Bible….just for a change. The Bible reads kind of like a story book….the cover says “contemporary language”…so it’s really easy to get caught-up in it, because it read fairly easy.
Today was Day #1, which was Genesis chapters 1-16. The story of how God made the earth, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, and about half way through Abram. I have read all these stories individually, but never strung together like this. It really gives a feeling of “wholeness” to the stories.
One thing that I picked up on today, was the common theme of “obedience.”
–Adam and Eve were told not to eat of the tree…they obeyed for a little while….but then, they chose not to obey and to eat from the tree. Ooops, bad things happened after that. They were given a curse of sin that we are still paying for today. Story of consequences for NOT obeying.
–Chapter 6, Noah. The Bible says that “God saw that human evil was out of control” (a.k.a. lack of obedience) “But Noah was different, God liked what He saw in Noah.” God tells Noah to build an ark. He tells Noah that He’s going to bring a flood and destroy all of the human race. God doesn’t say when; He doesn’t say how; He doesn’t really say what that’ll be like for Noah….No, God says “Build! A floods a comin’.” And Noah obeyed. The Bible says that Noah was a “good man, a man of integrity in his community.” “Noah did everything God commanded him.” Total obedience.
–Chapter 12-16, Abram. Another man that God favored. He even promises to Abram to make him a great nation and to bless him. All Abram has to do is trust and obey what God is telling him. So, God tells him: “Hey leave the land you know and I will show you where to go.” Abram goes to Egypt. Some great things happen for Abram there, but eventually the Pharaoh tells him to leave the country and so Abram is once again “on the road again.” Then he travels to Bethel. Things seem well there and both Abram and Lot are very wealthy at this point. Ah, but arguments arise between Team Abram and Team Lot, and they decide to split up. Lot chose the plains near Sodom and Abram settled in Canaan.
Then the whole Sarah, mistress Hagar, and Ishmeal thing happens. Mmmm, drama. I guess, this is what happens when we start directing our own path. Sarah and Abram got a little antsy for their little bundle of joy that God promised and took the matter into their own hands. A slight turn in the “obedience path.” God still finds a way to use this situation for His glory, though.
I appreciated the story of Abram more reading it straight through. Reading bits and pieces sometimes some of the context is lost, but reading it straight through you can start to see the “humanness” of the people of the Bible. Abram had great faith, and was very obedient but he still made mistakes and took wrong turns. It’s comforting to know that they made mistakes….just like we all do.
Anyways, I’m sure more thoughts will come from this 90-day challenge. We’ll see how well I keep up! 🙂
Following the path,