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Entries in Bible (3)

Sunday
Jan222012

I've a long way to go, baby!

In my last post, I made reference to the feminist movement of the 60's and 70's.  One of the old Virginia Slim's commercials used the slogan:  We've come a long way, baby!  A great reminder to us women (baby) that things weren't what they used to be!

As I've been listening to the book of Job, I reached a point and my first thought:  I've a long way to go, baby!  Why?  Job's response to the devastation of losing his sons, daughters, livestock and home.  Did you know that after he tore his robe and shaved his head (a sign of mourning), he fell to the ground and worshiped?  Rewind...he did what?   He fell to the ground and worshiped!  And, in his worship, he declared "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Okay, wait a minute. I want that. I want to know God like Job knew God so that no matter what devastation and loss comes my way my response is one of worship and one that blesses the name of God.

But wait a minute...as I listen on,  Job's devastation doesn't stop there.
     Next came sore boils.
     Then came friends to sit in silence with him as his physical pain was very great.
     They babbled on and on - convinced that Job needed to fess up and get right with God.

After about 10 chapters of listening to these so-called friends go on and on I found myself saying - enough already!  Ah, but then God speaks...

Oh my!  What God reveals about Himself in the midst of Job's pain, suffering and despair are some of the most incredible insights you'll ever find about God. I believe Job 38-41 are some of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  At the beginning of Chapter 41, Job says:

...I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes. Job 42:1-6
God showed up and revealed Himself to Job in such a way that he "saw" God.  In the midst of Job's physical and emotional pain, God spoke to Job and told him wonderful things he did not know.  The visual picture that God painted for Job allowed him to "see" God in a fresh and deeper way.  Look, see - God's power and might are seen in creation!  He is everywhere, he sees everything - He knows everything.  I love this one...
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?" Job 38:1-11
Alrighty then.  I'm good - how about you?  I've a long way to go...but God's compels me through His Word - keep going, come closer, look...see...worship!

Thursday
Jan052012

Hogwash!

Once upon a time when I was young (before I could read), my mother would read the Bible to me. She could never get too far because I couldn't get past "In the beginning." I would ask her over and over again (even after I could read) "in the beginning what?"  Her answer was always straight from the Word of God - Genesis 1:1 to be exact:  In the beginning God...

Commercial:  You know, through all the twists, turns, bumps and bruises of life, I've needed to get past what God doesn't say in His Word so that I could focus on what He does say.  And, boy oh boy does God have a lot to say.  For years, I bought the lie that I couldn't understand God's Word or the lie that people actually have license to interpret the Word of God based on their understanding.  Hogwash!  I promise you that if you learn how to study the Bible inductively, you will understand what it says, what it means and how to live and order your life based on what it says and means!  Now, how cool is that? End of commercial!

As I was listening to the January 1-2 ESV Chronological podcast and heard "In the beginning God...", I chuckled and stood in awe of God who wants to reveal Himself to me.  Ephesians 1:3-6 says that before God ever spoke the world into existence (Genesis 1) He thought of me and planned for me.  Seriously?  Yes, seriously and that means all He did "in the beginning" - He did for US.  Oh my goodness - He simply yet powerfully spoke and...

  • Separated the light from the darkness and the waters from the waters and dry land appeared.  He spoke and...
  • The earth sprouted vegetation.  He spoke and...
  • Lights appeared in the expanse of the heavens to separate day from night and as signs for seasons, days and years and to give light on the earth.  He spoke...
  • Two great lights into existence - The great light governs the day and the lesser light governs the night.  He spoke and...
  • There were fish and birds and cattle and every creeping thing!
But God formed and fashioned man and woman with His very own hands. Let me repeat myself - oh, my goodness!  Can I share from my heart?  We just need to get past what we think we know about God and sit down long enough to read and study what He does say so we can discover and understand it for ourselves.  Please - oh please - let's don't miss the wonder of it all.  The One who spoke the heavens, earth, stars, moon and sun into existence, knit us together in our mother's womb and knows us intimately (Psalm 139) and HE wants to have an intimate relationship with us!  Nope,we do not want to miss this!  let's go for it...  Run!

Monday
Jan022012

True Confessions

Confession:  I have never read the Bible through in a year!

Truth:  I have never even committed to read the Bible through in a year.

I know, I know - you are shocked, right?  So as not to totally disappoint you, I can say that for years now I have been committed to studying the Bible through - inductively!   But yesterday as I took time to get caught up on Facebook, I noted that so many people were committing to reading the Bible through during the next year and I wondered  - "Am I missing something?" Look, I don't need one more thing to do and I sure don't need to add reading the Bible through in a year to my list if I'm only doing it so I can check if off as completed. (I have been known to turn my time with God into a task. Sad, but a true confession.)  As I wondered before the Lord what to do, He brought to mind how much I enjoyed listening to His Word via  The Bible Experience. (Thank you Pam Gillaspie.) Maybe...since I already spend my 45 minutes of getting ready to go to work time listening to praise music or Precept Upon Precept study lectures...I could listen through the Bible this year. Hey, great idea - thank you Lord and Crossway for your ESV Chronological daily podcasts!  I started yesterday and already love the things God is speaking into my heart as I hear His Word.  Now, will I keep it up?