Bible study is like digging for treasure. The prize we’re each after is new insight, or renewed insight. When you have an “a-ha” moment with a verse of Scripture, I believe it isn’t just intellectually interesting, it is food for your soul and health to your body. In my experience, there is nothing that’s as good for you as personally gleaning Scriptural insight from and about God. I’m convinced that this is the Holy Spirit’s favorite ministry.
I’m following my usual pattern of reading through the Bible in a year (with some variation, which I’ll describe later). So, I’m in the early parts of Genesis and Matthew. Some of my “a-ha” moments have been..
- Once again I see, through both the flood in Genesis and the ministry and preaching of John the Baptist, how serious God is about sin. Sin is cursed. God cannot and will not tolerate it. All sin will receive its due. What’s not accounted for in one way, must be accounted for in another. This is why the gift of Christ is so eternally profound. The sin He pays for on the Cross is paid for. Period. The believer is left, however, with the strong conviction that temptation is dangerous because sin is deadly. “Go and sin no more,” Jesus said to the newly saved and forgiven woman in John 8… and to every one of us. Amen.
- Even in the announcement of curses and wrath rightly resulting from the fall in Genesis 3, we hear the voice of a merciful and generous God. Why do we get another chance at all? We don’t deserve it. Only when we realize we don’t deserve anything from God can we begin to understand His love. It’s real love. Obviously, it is not conditional love. God loves us. This can’t be questioned.
- How God cares for and considers animals and all creatures besides us stands out for me this year. I’m surprised by the tenderness.
- We try to cover ourselves with fig leaves. They never work. God provides clothing that does work. It comes at a great cost. Sacrifice precedes provision. Because of our sin, lives of every kind begin to be lost… and this painful loss of life continues right up to today.
- The five women of Matthew 1 really stand out to me this year. Then I see Joseph and I get the sense that God is showing us a real man in him. I’m not sure this meets with present day societal standards, but I see that God wants His people (and especially His men) to serve and protect vulnerable, victimized women. He refuses to leave them (or any of us who turn to Him) trapped in an identity less than He had in mind in Genesis 1-2. Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba, Ruth… and even Mary, as the world saw her… unmarried and pregnant… they were prostitutes, Gentiles… all kinds of “unfit,” yet Christ is the redeemer, even of His ancestors. Amazing. How does a toxic, condemning, religious spirit survive or even get started when we have Matthew 1? Don’t we see everywhere that “all have sinned?” How is it that one sinner can look down on another… ever?
- Jesus really did come to be one of us, except for the sinning part. He wasn’t making some kind of token visit, waving from a limousine as he passed by. He surrendered privileges. He showed up. / He’s been here. He’s done this.
Anyway, these are examples of thoughts, journal-notes, insights, the beginnings of insights that time in His Word has prompted me to record. What about you?