This week we each read through one of my favorite pieces of scripture. I love how this plan takes us through Genesis so quick. In four days we read through what some call “the book of beginnings.” This week we were able to read through the story of God and his people at the very start of it all.
One piece that really jumped out to me this week was God’s call during the covenant of circumcision in 17:1.
When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.”
Genesis stretches out this covenant, helping us to understand what it means for God to be with his people. This isn’t a story written to aid in arguments or debates, but to help us in relieving each of our own past, the time when God made an everlasting covenant with us.
In these first couple days of reading, I was struck by the effect that a person’s sin (particularly a lie) had and the unintentional consequences there were for others. In three separate instances two of the patriarchs, twice by Abraham and once by Isaac, pretended their wives were their sisters, which nearly caused curses to be brought down on unwitting people (Genesis 12, 20, 26). They were afraid they would be harmed, because they were strangers in the land with beautiful wives. The local people acted to them as they normally would, given the information that they had. These people had done nothing wrong, yet they were going to suffer God’s wrath, because of the lies of Abraham and Isaac.
These Scriptures for me show that we do not sin in a vacuum. Even something you do for your own self preservation may have unintended consequences for someone else. As a pastor, there are times when lying can get us out of a difficult situation. It would just be so easy. No one would likely even know that we lied. Yet, we can’t predict what kind of effect there will be, some unforeseen consequence for someone who believed our lie.
Father, forgive me for the times I have taken the easy way out of a situation and for consequences that may have befallen someone else.
I noticed in the Day 1 readings that Enoch and Noah were described as having “walked with God.” That phrase caught my attention and made me wonder what that might look like. Here are a couple of OT scriptures I found last night that stood out to me (out of many).
Amos 3:3 “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?”
Jeremiah 6:16 Thus says the LORD: “Stand in the ways and see, And ask for the old paths, where the good way is, And walk in it; Then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’”
Paul, I know refers to this as well (usually meaning “live”), but haven’t been able to study that yet.
I would like to be known as one who “walked with God.” So, I’m looking at my life to see if I’m in agreement with God? Am I finding rest for my soul? Am I looking for the good way as opposed to the easy way?
This will be my (Chad) 5th cycle reading the Bible in 90 days. I have blogged, tweeted and talked about how great the experience is and I am excited to be trying a different type of experiment. Reading together, blogging together and sharing our own thoughts with each other. I get a few questions from people, and here is a short primer on the plan.
I usually use this pdf to make a bookmark for my physical read. I tried a cycle just reading with my iPad and using Youversion. It worked well, but in the long run it wasn’t for me. You can read about that experiment here and here. If you choose to read digitally, the plan is the same..so feel free.
I do my longer reading in the morning. In the evening I try to do a slower more studied read. Reading Scripture in 90 days means plowing through the Bible and I encourage folks to have a more devotional time as well. Sharing how you structure this time would be really cool.
If you want to contribute to the blog, leave a comment and I will get in touch with you. I want this to be a community project. It would be great to develop a resource for others that want to read scripture in this manner.