Monthly Archives: July 2007

BRF: Genesis 20-25

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First things first, we’ll be moving on to Genesis chapters 26-29 this week. We are officially half way through at this point. Crazy! That means that summer if half gone and it just gets busier for me from this point on, oh my!!

Secondly, the head count. I only received one email informing me of participation for our book review. If I count those who have already let me know that they are involved we should have approximately 10 people involved in reading along with BRF. :)

Now for my review on this weeks reading. There are 3 things that I’ll touch on very quickly because there really isn’t time for any more. :)

Just like in Judges I keep getting reminded that God is gracious. Even when we sin and get ourselves into really messed up situations He is still in control. When I thought about Abraham lying about Sara to Abimelech and her becoming the wife of another man I was surprised at God’s control. I shouldn’t have been but I was. Abimelech took Sara for his own and he must have had her there a long time for all of the people to realize that no one was able to have children. I would think that would have to be pretty much a year or so, am I wrong? That’s a long time for Abraham to have Sara gone and be thinking that she was in the arms of another man because of his sin again. That would have been horrible. But even though everyone thought she was under the control of Abimelech they were all under God’s control. I love that verse 20:6 where God says to Abimelech "…For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her."  That is a verse full of hope for me! All those times that I have made mistakes and chosen the wrong path can pull me into the depths of despair. Thinking about all those times in the future that I might mess up and what it may cost me and those I love can be very stressful. Thinking about my children and what may happen if I don’t train them exactly as I should, it’s scary to think of the consequences they may have to face because of sin. Then I read a verse like this. Even in our sin God is in control and will not allow certain things to happen if He wills it.

Also in this part of the story the fact that not being able to bear children was like a punishment is so contrary to the way of thinking these days. It used to be that the more children you had the more blessed you considered yourself. Nowadays we look on it as a burden if we have to many. It’s just another one of the many ways we have fallen short of the life God intended for us. We are so off the mark. :(

Now for the sacrifice story that I’ve heard a billion times or more. I finally got it, I think. :) It was after many years, a lifetime really, of making mistakes and learning trust issues with God that Abraham was brought a big test. To sacrifice his own son in whom God promised so much blessing and he loved so much, this was the ultimate insane test to me.  I had heard that this story signified salvation but didn’t give the whole thing much thought, but I did this week. So Abraham was commanded by God to kill the son he loved for Him. I’m sure Abraham was totally confused since God wouldn’t be for human sacrifice and it was through Isaac that God’s promise came. But Abraham obeyed, I’m impressed. He took all he needed and his son and headed up the mountain to follow through. He got to the full point of obedience and ultimate sacrifice and then God stepped in.

It hit me just what this could mean. It’s not enough for us to offer all we have. Obedience and sacrifice don’t count for anything until God provides the sacrifice himself. He provided His own sacrifice so many years later. We , just as Isaac, should have been placed there to have our own blood shed, God actually demands it. But for those who come in faith there is that perfect ‘ram’ in the thicket to take our place. What a perfect picture of salvation. Cool.

Okay, so I have 4 things, there’s lots in here okay!? :) In Chapter 24 when Abraham sends out his servant to find a wife for his son, I learned something from how he handled himself. The servant was obviously someone that Abraham could trust with a biggy like that. And once the servant was on his own he didn’t rely on his own intuition to search out the perfect lady, he asked God to show him in a very specific way. He wanted to know it was the right women by the girl coming and offerring not only him a drink but his camels also. To have a lady come out to give you water is nice but it would have been A LOT OF WORK to water all the camels! They take a lot of water and if she offered to do something like that it would be obvious that God was working there. What I liked about the servants story was that after asking a specific thing of the Lord he "..wondering at her, remained silent so as to know whether the Lord had made his journey prosperous or not." 24:21. I love it that he didn’t just take it for granted that she was the one because she offered, he waited to see if she would actually do it and complete it or he was going to start looking again. A lesson to me to be careful in seeking the Lord’s will because He will answer and let me know, and also to be the kind of woman Rebekah was. She obviously wasn’t lazy. :)

Don’t you love the story of Isaac and Rebekah? A love story of faith, trust, and love. "Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent; and he took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death." 24:67   After waiting to see what kind of woman his father trusted the servant to bring back and leaving it all in the hands of God, he loved her. I love it. If only it could have been a ‘and they lived happily ever after’ story. But as we’ll find out in the next few chapters they too had there share of mistakes too.

So now it’s your turn to add your name to Mr.Linky. What did you learn and find interesting in Genesis this week? :)

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BRF: Genesis 14-19

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First things first, we’ll be reading Genesis 20-25 until next Friday. Summers are very busy for all of us, but it’s great that you all are keeping your Bible reading a priority. We can tell from Mr.Linky lately that there haven’t been a lot of reviews written lately, but I happen to know that most if not all the ladies are still doing all the reading each week. That is exciting. How many of us could say that last summer we were reading much of our Bibles at all!?! We are definitely making progress here. :)

Just for the fun of it how about we do a head count. If all the ladies that are involved with Book Review Friday could email me and let me know for sure we could get a better idea of just how many we’ve really got here. So, whether you write a review or not, whether I know you or not, whether it annoys you or not, let me know you read with us! Thanks. :)

Now for my review. I feel for Abram. I know what it’s like to make mistakes. I know what it’s like to be found in sin and lose faith in my God. Abram messed up and lost his focus more than once. But as we’ve seen time and time again in the scriptures we’ve read, God chooses to bless despite our stupidity and disobedience.

We think we know just how things should work and sometimes what God is doing makes it seem like He’s not doing anything. If the Lord had promised me as many decendants as the stars and I was 99 years old with no children yet, I’d have a hard time keeping faith in that promise. Deep down Abram wanted to obey God and it showed when God asked him to pack up and move. He didn’t have a clue where to go and it meant leaving all he had ever known, but he started moving and trusted God with the result. I admire that. Years and years later after making a few mistakes, like lying about his wife to Pharoah, like sleeping with Hagar, both terrible acts of sin that could have meant much worse consequences than happened, but God showed His mercy yet again.

These chapters are full of the mercy of God. He was so longsufferring with Abram and his family, but also to Lot and was prepared to be merciful to a whole land consumed with evil for the sake of just a few God fearing people that might live there. I can’t imagine why God doesn’t handle the sins of our nation today the same way He handled Sodom and Gomorrah, except that maybe He has mercy because of the very few true Christians who live here. I realize that it can and probably will get a whole lot worse, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that we don’t live in a day of Sodom and Gomorrah ourselves. These are scary times folks!

Although both Abraham and Lot made mistakes I believe it is obvious that they had a different relationship with the Lord. Abraham sinned but constantly showed that he wanted to make things right, and desired to live in a way that God would bless him. Lot showed by his actions and decisions that doing what was right wasn’t that important to him. He ended up with a pretty scary family, those daughter’s of his showed the consequences that can come up from submerging one’s family in a sinful society. We cannot afford to think that because we have our Bibles and go to church that the world cannot have a negative effect on us. We are what we consume and we consume whatever we’re around, listen to, watch, read…. We need to be so careful.

But even in all that evil God shows us again just how He works great and beautiful things out of what we mess up so badly. One of Lot’s children by his daughter was the father of the Moabites. And what great lady did we read about in another review week that came from these sinful people? Ruth!! It’s amazing what God will do. It lets me know to never lose faith, God can work wondrous things no matter what we are seeing today. There’s a plan and He will bless again if we keep turning to Him and not our own understanding.

Here’s Mr.Linky so please link away. :)

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BRF: Genesis 7-13

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First things first, we’ll be reading Genesis 14-19 until next Friday. Enjoy! :)

When reading these familiar stories from the Bible for myself a number of times in a week I notice so many little facts that were missed or not mentioned in my Sunday school lessons from yesteryear. Things like, it wasn’t just two of each animal that went on the ark, there were actually seven of some taken on and they just went in two by two. Noah started working on the ark before he even started a family of his own. It was interesting to see a couple names that I recognized in the genealogies from other books we’ve read, but please don’t ask me who they are, I’m not that good yet. :)

As for the whole ‘Noah and the ark’ story I love the picture that the ark and the flood make of absolute surrender. It is just as Kim mentioned in her review last week about  Noah doing all that the Lord commanded him, only it goes even further than that. The Lord shut him and his family up in the ark with only one window that allowed them to look into the sky only. After the boat was shut and because of the way it was built Noah was not able to have any control. It was left to just float anywhere.The ark was completely in God’s hands. All Noah could do was wait until God opened the door again. Many times it’s much harder to do nothing and just let the Lord work than to be so busy it’s exhausting.

Noah obeyed and worked hard for 120 years. He did what God wanted him to do and the rest was up to God. Big lesson for me. It’s a simple lesson, as most of the Biblical truths I learned through BRF are, but none of them easy. I’ve been called to do things for the Lord, but I cannot say that I have been too faithful in them and certainly wouldn’t be up for 120 years of a seemingly insane task. But even in my lack of faithfulness I myself have been shut up in arks of my own I guess. God has his own way of getting our attention and while I was in my ark and it seemed there was no way out but a little window with just enough light to keep me sane, I learned much.

I’m sure Noah and his family must have reflected quite a bit on all that they had been saved from while they waited for the storm to stop. As they heard the screams and cries from all those they warned before the rains began and then the complete silence and knowing they were completely alone, surely they realized what grace had been bestowed. It is in those dark seemingly silencing times where no door is open and you don’t understand what’s really happening, when it drives you to look up where that one and only window is, you realize the extreme blessing of being one of God’s children and that we have an ark to wait in safely until our own storms are over.

God could have easily shut the door on me and left me to the consequences on my own sin, but I’m so desperately glad He didn’t. What grace, that I should be counted as a Noah and be saved from an eternity without Christ.

I’m leaving any thoughts on Abram and his story until next time since the next few chapter continue on with him. I can’t wait to see what names pop up on Mr.Linky this week. I think that all those non-blogging BRF members should start up a free blog just so they can post their reviews. Great idea eh!? I know all the regulars on Mr.Linky would love that. :0)

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Book Review Friday: Genesis 1-6

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First things first, we’re moving on to Genesis chapters 7-13 for next Friday’s review. Enjoy! :)

It’s been a crazy busy week of go-go-go all day long until it’s time to finally fall into bed exhausted only to rise early and go-go-go again the next morning. Love it! But there isn’t much time to give to meditate on the things I’ve been reading this week so my review may be somewhat confusing. Can I just say that I am loving Genesis! So glad we’re doing it.

Here’s the main thing that was brought to mind many many times this week. God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and in complete control. I am a puny little person who thinks she has to control a great many things in order for things to go well with her. I take so much brain power feeling worried and trying to contrive plans to have things work out well for me and my family, and it is all for naught.

I realized in reading all about the creation of everything including man and woman that I am not my own. I have no right to do as I please. God made me, God made us, for His purpose and I had no idea I wasn’t grasping that point. I don’t even really know how to put into words properly all that I felt when I read these chapters each time. There was nothing and then God made it. GOD MADE IT ALL! Isn’t that amazing!?!? He made a beautiful world and all those crazy different animals and then decided to make man, and then made a woman to help the guy out (or He thought He could improve on His first design :). That is all amazing. And then to think that all of us people He made are walking the earth that He made every day thinking we are in control and have rights and are exercising our wills as far as we possibly can. But there really is no point to life outside of God. You and I wouldn’t even be here if it wasn’t for Him and you and I won’t be here tomorrow if He doesn’t think you should be.

I am seeing more than ever that the first book of the Bible is a major foundation for the rest of the book. If you don’t grasp just who God is and exactly who you are, what is the point of reading the rest. If you truly believe that you were created by God for His purpose only then you won’t have a problem with any other thing in the Bible. We can just know this is what God did and this is what He wants us to do and that’s what we do because we’re His. Pretty simple.

Realizing just how I have nothing to do with any good results or blessing in my life it can be hard for me to try to find the balance of not shirking my earthly responsibilities that the Lord has placed in my path but at the same time leaving it all to him because I am unable to do any of it without his strength. It seems as soon as I start getting to work to do what I am supposed to do I start trying to take control very shortly afterward. Not good, no point. I’m still learning. :)

Can you imagine living for almost 1000 years? But they did. Not getting into the family thing until well into your hundreds is a crazy thought. :) I’d love to go back in time and see what it was like. It would be cool to see a giant. But it’s very sad to have to read that the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth. I know what a disappointment I have been to Him myself. I’d love to be a Noah and find grace in the eyes of the Lord. I’m looking forward to getting into the rest of Noah’s story this week. One of those stories you know you’ve heard a million times but never really known.

I’m signing off here, still much on my plate to get done. There was many little tidbits I loved learning as I read through but no time to expound. Things like, God created the light and divided it from the darkness before he made the sun, moon, and stars. Interesting.

Mr.Linky is ready and waiting for your review so link away. :0)

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