A whole month has passed since we started the Bible in 90 Days Challenge. That makes me feel accomplished; it means we are 1/3rd of the way through! Yay!!
My reading schedule is not very “scheduled” anymore. Whereas I started by setting aside time to read in the early mornings, now I just read whenever I want. It’s all willy-nilly, but I still feel the need to finish my readings each day. That’s not to say that I always get it all done…it seems like I was having to read half of the previous day’s readings several times this week. I blame that on the fact that some days I waited until bedtime to read and I’d either get too tired or give in to the temptation to watch sitcoms with The Husband. It’s all good! I’m chugging right along and starting the week off on schedule.
Time for some brutal honesty: I’m having a hard time reconciling the God of the Old Testament with the God of the New Testament. I mean, I just don’t understand some of his “ways” There’s loads of violence, death, and generational punishment. Sometimes it even seems like God is sometimes wanting people to sin in order to accomplish His purpose which really gives me brain spasms. Surprisingly, it hasn’t really effected my faith. I trust that God will help me to understand as I seek Him through His Word (and eventually, the in-depth Bible studies that I plan to do when I am finished).
As usual, here’s some of the insights/observations I made while reading this week:
- Funnies: the guy with extra fingers and toes (six on each!) in 2 Samuel 21:20, God pulled a classic parenting move by making the kids decide what their punishment would be in 2 Samuel 24:12-13, Elijah brought a little sarcasm to the great Baal vs. God show-down (1 Kings 18:27), a grown man pouts like a three-year-old (1 Kings 21:4), Elisha gets tormented by kids for being a baldy in 2 Kings :23-25 (of course the punishment seems a bit over-the top)
- Even when David was too old and feeble to walk, he worshipped God from his bed. (1 Kings 1:47)
- People often think “cleanliness is next to godliness” is actually found in the Bible. It’s not. However, “eat, drink and be merry” is actually a Biblical quote! I guess I never realized it. Check it out in 1 Kings 4:20.
- Both David and Solomon were given wealth from God; they were not condemned for living in affluence.
- We’re starting to see phrases like “…so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other…” (1 Kings 8:60) appear more often as God’s explanation for why He’s doing what He’s doing.
- The Queen of Sheeba “…came to test Solomon with hard questions…” and she talked with him about all she had on her mind. Was she a seeker? Were her questions spiritual questions? In the end, she gave glory to God for Solomon’s wisdom. (1 Kings 10)
- Solomon’s downfall: women (1 Kings 11), specifically foreign women who led him toward worshipping other gods. Man, can you imagine the drama in that palace? He had like hundreds of wives. That doesn’t sound very wise to me. LOL!
- Rehoboam listened to his young idiot friends instead of more experienced elders. His bros encouraged him to throw around his power and bully the people who led to his downfall (which, as it turns out, was prophesied).
- We see the power of intercessory prayer in several instances: Jeroboam’s shriveled hand was restored (1 Kings 13:6), the widow’s son was revived from death after “…the Lord heard Elijah’s cry…” (1 Kings 17:17-22), and Hezekiah begged God to remember his faithfulness (after receiving word that he will die from his illness) so God changed his mind and decided to heal him (2 Kings 20:5).
- The asterisk beside David’s good name: “For David had done what was right in the eyes of the Lord and had not failed to keep any of the Lord’s commands all the days of his life–except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” (1 Kings 15:5).
- We continually see a pattern of sin in the royal family throughout Kings; each generation sinned more than the previous. It’s a good reminder that kids live what they learn!
- Elijah obeyed God even in the face of danger–he appeared before Ahab who was out to kill him (1 Kings 18)
- I’ve always loved this verse because he’s basically calling people out: “If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” (I Kings 18:21) Make a decision already, people!
- When Elijah was depressed, scared and overwhelmed, God’s advice: eat, drink and sleep. Sometimes there are physical solutions to our emotional problems. (I Kings 19)
- Tough verses of the week—1 Kings 22:20-22: And the LORD said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the LORD and said, ‘I will entice him.’ ‘By what means?’ the LORD asked. ‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. ‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the LORD. ‘Go and do it.’ Who are these lying spirits? Are they from God? Doesn’t that sound like God using deception to cause a particular outcome? Hmmmm….
- Weird story of the week: a dead man comes back to life after his body in thrown on top of Elisha’s bones (2 Kings 13:20-21).
- Head-scratcher of the week: the story of Death in the Pot (2 Kings 4:38-41): the guy makes a pot of stew using a wild gourd and a vine, the people find the vine and say they can’t eat it because “…there is death in the pot!” So Elisha adds a little flour to it and everybody chills out, nothing bad is in it and they continue to eat. Whaaaa? What is the point of this story? Anybody? Bueller?… Bueller? 🙂
Oh, I have many, many more notes, but I’ll spare you. 😉 What things have popped out while you were reading this week? As always, I welcome comments/insights on my questions!