Yes! I survived week one!
No! It really wasn’t that difficult!
I was able to stay on track with every day’s reading. I got up about an hour earlier than usual to read during the week, and I had a specific place set aside for reading–my chair complete with a fuzzy blanket. Getting up early is not easy for me because I am NOT a morning person. In fact, I was worried that my slow-to-wake self would have a hard time focusing or remembering what I’ve read. Surprisingly, it hasn’t been a problem (as long as I have a glass of iced tea in hand).
The weekend, however threw me off-track. I still read, but I didn’t read at a specific time or place.
It usually takes me around 45 minutes to read the designated 12 pages daily. Not bad. Not bad at all.
One of the best things was finishing Genesis AND Exodus in seven days. It really felt like we were making progress!
I will admit: I now have a HUGE journal full of notes with questions or observations (mostly questions). I even have a little system of symbols…
These are specific areas that I’m going to study later and I’m trying to make notes as I go along. I didn’t let myself get bogged down in questions now because the focus is just to READ. The note-taking is a really important for me, though. In the past when I’ve tried to commit to reading through the Bible, it always ends up raising more questions than answering them. I’ve always felt like I don’t have time to to an in-depth study because it will cause me to get further and further behind in my reading, yet I think “what’s the point?” if I don’t pursue some of the questions that arise. This time, by having a plan (read first, study later), it is really liberating me. Even while writing notes, it’s still only taking me about 45 minutes to finish reading. Yay! :)
Here are some of the questions I have on my “go-back-to-study-later” list:
- Everybody assumes Adam and Eve were the only two God created, but several verses say things like, “…God blessed them…” (Gen 1:27-28) Did He create others or was he just referring to Adam & Eve?
- Was God physically around in OT times? When God sent Cain from the land, it was said that he would be leaving God’s presence (Gen. 4). Later, God shows up in Exodus24:10–the people saw Him, He had hands and feet. Was that a fleshly apperance?
- I have SEVERAL questions regarding sanctity of life (since there are many instances where God condones or actually commands death). I have to rectify the God I know–a God of compassion and love, slow to anger and quick to forgive–with some of these verses.
- God told Moses that he would not accompany him but would send “My Presence.” Could that be the Holy Spirit? (Ex. 33:14)
- I need a better understanding of OT blessings/curses. They make no sense to me at all.
- I don’t like all this talk of generational punishment for sin (well, for those who hate God, not just any sin). It makes me very uncomfortable. I need to dig a little deeper into the issue. (Ex. 20:4; Ex. 33:7).
- Why, oh, why would God want to harden anyone’s heart? It says He hardened Pharoah’s heart several times, but it also says “Pharoah’s heart is unyielding…” as if Pharoah controlled the status of his heart. I guess you could say it is all for God’s glory in the end, but I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I need to look into the original language some more.
Here are some interesting things that I noticed while reading:
- The serpent made Eve question what she already knew to be true. Same happens to me. I need to remember that when I doubt God’s Word, it’s usually because someone (or Satan) has caused me to second-guess what I know to be true.
- Enoch “walked with God” while others just “lived.” I want to “walk with God! (Gen 5:22)
- “Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Gen 18:14). Ummm….No! :)
- “You are the God who sees me…” (Gen 16:13). Very Avatar-esque. LOL!
- Good advice for those in ministry: enable others to share the load or you will wear yourselves out (Gen 18:17-22).
- I guess I never really realized that Moses did most of the talking and Aaron performed most of the miracles (to Pharoah).
- Pharoah’s magicians were able to reproduce the first three plagues, but none after that. They said, “This is the finger of God…” (Ex. 8:19). When we come to the end of our power/control, will we only then recognize God’s power?
- Though this is very out-of-context (it is actually talking about an actual battle), I love the idea of this verse: “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Ex. 14:14)
- “Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong…” (Ex. 23:2). Hear that, children?? :)
- “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” (Ex. 33:11). I like that. I like that very much.
For those who are part of the B90Days Challenge, how’s it going for you?? We started Leviticus today and it’s going to be re-e-e-e-ally tough to stay awake to read that stuff in the a.m. I know there’s reason that all those ceremonial instructions and “how to’s” on sacrifices are listed, but at 6 a.m., it’s really hard to care. ;)