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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Journey to the center of the earth Bible

One of my 30 before 30 goals is to read through the entire Bible, as I've never done that before.  I don't care what time frame it takes me, I just want to read ALL of the Bible.  So, soon after my March birthday I printed a Chronological reading schedule, picked an empty notebook to use for notes and thoughts, and I started.

I can't say that I'm flying through it, but I can say I'm making my way and just a couple days ago finally passed through Genesis into Exodus.  I'm piecing together many things I'd never understood before.  I didn't even know I didn't understand before but reading through ENTIRE stories has helped me get the whole picture.  I wanted to share a tip that's greatly helped me....

In my journal I draw family trees and as I'm reading I add to the tree.  When my page starts to get full, I start a new page beginning the new tree with another leading Bible character.  {My first tree is Adam>Noah, second tree is Noah>Abram, then Abram>Joseph, Jacob>David, plus a separate tree just for Levi(tes) where you'll find brothers Moses and Aaron.}  It gives me a visual and helps me remember WHO the people are that I'm reading about instead of it just feeling like a whole bunch of names I can hardly pronounce! {And it helps me get through long "father of.. father of..." passages.}

(click to view larger)

And now I understand why Joseph was Jacob's favorite son. Because Jacob wanted to marry Rachel and worked the 7 years but was instead given Leah.  He worked another 7 years and was given Rachel.  And then there was the big who-can-have-more-babies-battle between Leah and Rachel, but Rachel didn't have her own for a long time and finally had Joseph, the first-born of Jacob's real love. Rachel only had one other, Benjamin, and she died in childbirth.  And now I understand that Jacob also was called Israel.  And that's why later in Exodus God's people are called Israelites, because Jacob's family all moved to Egypt to be under Joseph's care because Joseph had reserved food for during the famine.  And Levi is one of Joseph's "brothers" so that's what branch all the of Levites are from in Exodus.  Judah is another one of those "brothers" in which line later comes Jesse and David.

And while reading through Exodus and the stories of the plagues, my biggest question was Why did God harden the heart of the Pharoah every time Moses asked to be let free to go worship their Lord??  And as I got to the end of those stories, I had my answer.  Exodus 9:15-16 "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the earth.  But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."  Exodus 10:1 "Go to Pharoah, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his official so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the Lord." It's an interesting little "game" God was playing there on Pharoah.  And can you even IMAGINE what it would actually be like to have blood, frogs, locusts, flies, etc EVERYWHERE like that??!  

And now as the Israelites have FINALLY been released I can only think, They have no idea what journey they're beginning...

As I'm reading I also follow a notes plan that my friend Amanda used here:

S: Scripture - Write the ONE scripture that I feel God is using to speak to me in today’s reading
O: Observation - What might He be telling me with that scripture?
A: Application - How can I apply it to my life?
P: Prayer - What is my prayer to ask God in helping me to make that application?

So that's my journey thus far!!

1 comment:

Rae Lynne said...

Sarah -
I really appreciated this post, it was great to hear how reading through entire stories helped you to better understand. I'm always eager to hear another's viewpoint or what they DON'T understand. I find so many times it makes me evaluate how I perceive things and opens the door to questions I may have. Keep up the posts - they're terrific! :)

Rae Lynne