Wednesday, February 9, 2022

Wednesday in the Word

 

Happy Wednesday, friends! I thought I'd share about where I'm reading in the Bible right now and why I love it so much. 

Most of you know I am reading the Bible in chronological order and I'm following the teaching of Iva May with this, a regular lady in our area who has broken down the Bible into fourteen eras. The reason I love reading this way and why I continue to do this every other year is because it threads the whole Bible together in one big story. From Genesis to Revelation, the story of redemption is interwoven and each part of the Bible is within one of the eras...the point of these eras is to help us know where we are reading and what all has taken place up to that point to get them to where we're reading at that time. (For instance, in the book of Daniel, it helps to know that this book was written during the Captivity era, which is why Daniel and his three friends were in Babylon. They were taken into captivity as a result of God's judgment for their extreme rebellion against Him and because of the idolatry that was rampant in that time. This was just one instance of a time when Israel was in captivity.)

The reason why Iva May started writing books, blog posts and other materials was to help the average person out with understanding the Bible more easily, to be more biblically literate. I still don't understand it all and there are days when it's really hard to read, but the goal is to keep pushing through and not giving up, even if takes more than a year. If you'd like to know more about this way of reading, or if you'd like to sign up to receive their emails with links to blog posts and podcasts, click here for more information. 

All of that being said, we are on the third era in the Bible right now, the Exodus era. (The first two are creation and patriarchs.) I'm a couple of days behind in my reading (story of my life), but I just got done reading one of my favorite passages last week. Up until this point, we read that as a result of severe famine in their home land, the family of Jacob fled to Egypt for food. He had stored up plenty to be able to share with others and word of this had made its way to his brothers. After his death, they stayed in Egypt and as time went on and they remained settled there, their population grew. At the time when the book of Exodus begins, the Israelites were many in number and they were being oppressed by Pharoah. He was an evil man who kept them in slavery to make them stop growing in numbers, except that it didn't work and the opposite kept happening. 

That's how Moses enters into the picture. During the time when he was born, Pharoah had ordered that all of the first born males be killed, but his mom kept him hidden by placing him in a basket lined with pitch near the Nile river. When he was found by Pharoah's young daughter, she had her servant go and find someone to nurse him until he reached the age of weaning, then he would go and live with her in the palace. In God's divine providence, He provided Moses' own mom to be this for him. Fast forward all the years later when Moses' is well advanced in age. He had an encounter with God through a burning bush and that is when God called him to be a messenger for Him and a savior to His people and to bring them out of a land of slavery and bondage into the Promised Land. Moses tried to argue with God about how he surely couldn't speak for Him because of his speech impediment, so God allowed Moses to have his brother Aaron speak on his behalf. 

My favorite part in the story happens right here in the first few chapters. God tells Moses to speak to Pharoah on behalf of the Israelites and to plea with him to let them leave. Pharoah says no time after time and even though God sends several horrifying plagues to him and the Egyptians, his heart remains hardened, until the very last plague, the death of the first born males. This was when God gave them orders to sacrifice a lamb and to put the blood of the lamb over the doorpost of their homes and when God saw it, He would pass over their homes without harm. This is when Pharoah finally gave them permission to leave, so they acted immediately and left, but before too long he changed his mind and they begin to pursue the Israelites. The Israelites are afraid at this point and they argue with Moses that it would have been better for them to stay as slaves than to be pursued by the angry Egyptians. This is where one of my favorite verses is written. Exodus 14:13-14 says this:

Don't be afraid. Stand firm and see the LORD's salvation that he will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians you see today, you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you must be quiet.


I love this part, even though I am frustrated with how little faith the Israelites display here. I want them to remember all that God has done up until this point, how even in this part He is leading them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night. He is going to deliver them somehow, because that was His promise from the beginning, but here they are shaking in their boots. I want to be irritated with them, but then I remember how similar to them I can be. When I know that I have been called to do something and then I am muddling my way through it, I am essentially shaking in my boots. When I think something is about me and I get all nervous about doing something out of my comfort zone, I am once again shaking in my boots. No matter what I face, no matter the circumstance, the Lord will see me through. I know this deep in my heart, but I have to remind myself of it occasionally. 

I am often in much need of perspective and this story gives me that in abundance. It's a reminder for me, it's a reminder for anyone who needs to read these words that if you are a child of God, He will do the fighting on your behalf. We can trust in Him and in His word. We can remember that He hears us when we pray! I pray these words encourage you today, my friend. Thanks for reading. Love to all. 

6 comments:

  1. Great reminders, Jennifer! Sometimes I find myself judging the people in the Bible who got to literally see miracles and still turned away from God. But then I remember that we have the gift of the Bible, archaeological evidence that has never disproven anything in the Bible and historical accounts of people who were alive when Jesus was and attest to his death and resurrection. I should never be of little faith but sometimes I am, just like the people we read about in the Bible. The chronological reading of the Bible sounds really neat and a great way to contextualize the various historical periods of the Bible.

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  2. I wonder how many times a day God says "JUST BE QUIET" LOL... I love the foreshadowing of Jesus coming with the stories of Exodus. & man - that Pharaoh - what a stubborn stubborn man.

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  3. Thanks, Maria! I am the same way, as I said, but you are absolutely right. We forget that sometimes- that they had no written word up until the point when God gave Moses the ten commandments. What a treasure we have! I thought that today as I listened to my friend Lynn teach and she gave scripture after scripture about how we sometimes let sin infiltrate our lives. It's a great way to read and I've learned so much by going chronologically. I hope you're having a great day!

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  4. Rebecca Jo- RIGHT?! I know I am so often NOT. He was, wasn't he?

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  5. I love this so much! I need to look Iva May up. Sounds like a helpful research.

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  6. Thanks, Bri! You should look her up. Their website is another great resource!

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