Monday, January 11, 2010

The bible in 90 days - #2

I have fallen behind again, and caught up again. The Old Testament is hard for me to get into. So much of it is so repetitive, that I have to force myself not to skip.

Still, there are some things that I've noticed, that I don't know if I had realized before. Joshua didn't first show up when the spies went out to survey the land and people. No, he was there as a companion to Moses on mount Sinai. I do not think he went up the mount, and saw what Moses saw. But I'm sure he learned much from those experiences as well as from Moses' teachings. He shows that in his response to the 10 spies who were afraid.

One thing that is so difficult with the Old Testament is how harsh the judgments seem to be on the people. But then you have to think of what they have seen and heard. The Israelites saw the Red Sea part. They saw springs suddenly start in the desert at Moses' command. The Lord talked to the people from a cloud. Food showed up from nowhere. And yet, they complain multiple times about how it would have been better if they had died in Egypt. How could they be so faithless? How could they forget those miracles so quickly? But then, would any of us done better? I would like to think so, but there are many times that I'm not so sure.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The bible in 90 days - #1

I decided to take the challenge from Mom's Toolbox, that I came across from a blog I subscribe to. I'm reading the King James Version, since that is what I'm used to. I am on day 4, and have just finished reading Genesis.

A few things strike me. First, is how many good parents have their own faults, as well as children that make terrible mistakes. Cain killed his brother out of jealousy. Lot's sons-in-law laughed at him. His wife turned back. And his daughters made him drunk so they could become pregnant by him. Isaac favored Esau, even though Jacob was the one who truly feared God. Reuben slept with his father's wife. Simeon and Levi killed a town because one man slept with their sister. Rachel stole her father's idols when they left his home.

What is to be learned from all this? Perhaps we need to be all the more watchful and vigilant in doing what is right. But also that we all make our own choices. I cannot force my children to be good, but I can teach them.

Today's reading was mainly the story of Joseph in Egypt. I seemed to understand more this time of why and how Joseph tested his brothers. He either hoped that they had changed for the better, or that he could keep his younger brother with him. It is amazing how much Joseph endured for so many years, and how quick he was to forgive his brothers. I hope I can become as forgiving.