Monday, February 04, 2013

The Chronological Bible- Week 5

Hello friends, and welcome to week 5 of the Chronological Bible. This week we dive into Covenant territory, as Yahweh begins to spell out the terms of His covenant with the people of Israel. Not only do we learn about the holiness and righteous standards of God, we also learn a great deal about Israel as they struggle to become His people- a people set apart for God's glory.

I am really looking forward to the way the exodus and the wilderness journey will serve as a parallel for our Lent experience. Lent is an opportunity to ask ourselves the question, "What could I willingly go without in order to live a more God-focused life?" We spend the rest of the year doing what comes naturally- doing what makes us feel comfortable, secure, and fulfilled. Lent is a unique time to do what is unnatural- to go without- so that we might also learn to be a people set apart for God.

You'll hear more in the weeks to come, but I hope that the reading this week will be a primer in the language of struggle. Becoming the people of God didn't happen overnight for the Israelites, and it won't happen overnight for us either. Learning to follow this God can be challenging, but it is the journey He invites us to undertake.

Read on!



~Debbie said...

In the middle of reading today's portion, I went to the piano to plunk out the tune of a portion (the first 2 verses) of their exultation song. I had learned it as a teen. I love to sing scripture. This one (a round) is powerful! I will sing unto the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously. ... The Lord my God, my strength, my song, is now become my victory! ... I will exalt Him!

Josh said...

As I read this morning, I couldn't help but think about all the people I know who don't like change (myself included). When technology, transitions, or life situations change we say "Why? The old wasn't that bad... Do I really need something supposedly better? I don't get this, anyway? Why bother? I was just fine the way it was!" The Israelites ran into frustration in the desert and their first reaction was "why are we doing this? We were just fine in Egypt!" Sounds familiar...

When it comes to what God calls us to, we often do we sound like the Israelites: "Do we have to go through the hard times? Weren't we doing fine?" Our marriages are "fine," our church is "fine," our evangelism, faith, prayer-life, dedication, and vocation are "fine." But we follow a God who always calls us to something bigger and better than "fine." I was thankful for that reminder this morning.

Pastor Nick said...

Good thoughts Josh! What I find interesting is how the slavery in Egypt seemed to get better in their memories. I think we do this, too, with places of sin or entrapment in our past. "It wasn't really so bad- in fact, I was pretty happy then!" We have an amazing ability to forget the pain, both for ourselves and others, and we become deceived into thinking slavery was better than trusting God.

Sad to see that a whole generation missed the promised land because the land of slavery still had a grip in their hearts!