Monthly Archives: January 2011

Job

Not posting about jobs, like an occupation or career, but about the book of Job. :) The last week or so I’ve been reading through the book of Job with my chronological reading and have been enjoying it! I’ll be honest though… I am struggling to understand what to take away from each day’s reading.

When Job’s friends respond and tell him all sorts of “wisdom”, I get confused as to what is true and what is lies. So much of what they say does sound right and wise, but yet when I asked John to help me understand and he consulted our big ESV study Bible (which I hope to use more in the future!), it seems as though much of the wisdom from Job’s friends, regarding why God has caused him to suffer, is full of lies and human reasoning.  That God can and will do as he pleases, without us always understanding.  Sometimes we have immense suffering for so many other reasons than simply as punishment from God for our sins.  As Christians, we are going to suffer, and God will bring us through it and bless us in the end. That’s the big nugget that I’ve gathered from this book so far. I haven’t gotten to the end of the book yet, though.

A couple other things I have learned through this last week or so…

I can’t understand the Word all on my own! I need to pray for understanding and for patience for that understanding!

After reading through the Bible this year (Lord willing!), I’ll still (and always will) have SO much more to learn! I loved reading through Genesis the last couple weeks because so many of the stories became clear to me, but Job… not as much.

With any discipline, such as bible reading or physical training of some sort, even if you don’t feel like it’s going well or that you’re gleaning anything from it, you must push through and persevere. I’m trusting in God to give me understanding when he decides the time is right.

I’m also trusting that God is working in my mind and heart despite my seemingly lack of understanding. His Word is so powerful and active and does not return void! So even when I don’t enjoy the reading or don’t have big “Aha!” moments, I must keep on reading. Just like sometimes we eat things that don’t have much taste or flavor, but we eat it because we know it’s food and will still nourish us. :)

Looking forward to reading Exodus soon!   

And… I’d love to hear what you have learned through reading the book of Job! This is a book that I have never really studied before… so I’m excited to learn!


Blessed be…

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said,”Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”   -Job 1:20-21 (ESV)

This past Sunday, the topic which was preached on was Suffering, and the key texts were the first chapter and beginning of the second chapter of Job. Happened to also be the same week that I start reading the book of Job in my chronological reading! Loved how it worked out that way… (Thanks God!) :)

Though I’ve read Job in the past, this time around it has such a deeper impact. Learning how Job was upright, blameless, without sin, and yet was chosen by God to have everything he owned and loved taken away from him, including his health… and yet, he bows before the God who has willed his suffering and WORSHIPS. Ponder that for a moment, because I sure could for the rest of my life! What an amazing display of trust in God and love for HIM, not what he gives us.

This has really given me a much better perspective on those big life events that so easily entangle and trouble us… accidents, disasters, diseases, sudden disabilities or even death. It is all in God’s hands — our circumstances and our very lives — not ours. And no matter what God decides to do with us or what he has given us (it is all controlled by God, not just chaos!), we are nothing without him and he still (even as we lie naked and diseased on our death beds) deserves all our worship. Oh that I would believe and live this out!


God intended for good

Life gets busy at times, doesn’t it? I have struggled to complete these blog posts but I have, by the grace of God, been keeping up with my reading! I actually miss it on days when I put it off or get behind. That feeling of hunger for the word is exciting for me since I know I have often lacked it in the past. Eating more of the word and tasting how truly good it is only makes you want it more. Praise God that he gives us all we need and that we have freedom to feast on his word!

I am at work right now and won’t be able to do my official post for the last day’s reading like I normally do, but I have to say that I have been really enjoying the story of Joseph… What’s so strange to me is that I have read it before but honestly have hardly no memory of it. And this was only maybe a year ago that I read it.

The NLT has been so helpful to me in understanding the stories and how it flows. I have never been good at following story lines… I’m one of those who gets easily confused in movies (“what just happened?”) and was always SO confused when reading history textbooks. But the Holy Spirit is giving me understanding when I read lately and I am so thankful!! I need to always be in humble need of the Spirit’s aid in my reading… this little brain isn’t so bright and this heart is hard without God’s wisdom and softening power.

What I love about Joseph’s life and his story is how God used the evil and mistakes of his brothers for good. How merciful God is and how wise He is and how powerful He is to turn things around (He had it all planned to begin with!). I just love that about God and this story!

I love when Joseph says to his brothers, who are begging for forgivness and are afraid they will be slaves…

Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.  No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.   -Gen 50:19-21

What a picture of God’s love and forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for our sins! We don’t have to fear evil, trials, painful circumstances, the sins of others, etc. We don’t have to be slaves to our sin any longer. We do not have to be afraid, because what people intend for harm, God will bring about good! Praise God!


The LORD is with us!

“But the LORD was with Joseph in the prison and showed him his faithful love.”  Genesis 39:21a

Something old:

The jealousy that Joseph’s brothers had towards him because of the favor he had from his father Jacob and also the dreams he shared with them, of how he would have grains, sun, moon, and stars bowing down before him.

Something new:

After reading through the comments for today’s reading at wendypope.org, I have to say I have learned SO many new things! I have read these stories before, but honestly have never reflected or been through any sort of study on them. I’m loving all the new insights in God’s Word….

Here’s a bunch of  nuggets I have gathered from this reading:

– Jealousy (seen by Joseph’s brothers) is so strong and when not repented of right away, leads to many other sins… hatred, lying, even murder.  Favoritism on behalf of Jacob probably also affected the brothers and had a role in them becoming so jealous.

– Reuben wanted to rescue Joseph from the cistern that he was thrown into by the brothers, but he tried to rescue him quietly and it didn’t work! When you must stand up for what’s right, don’t try to do it in secret, God won’t bless your efforts. Don’t be ashamed of the truth and of the gospel.

-The brothers wanted to protect themselves from having a guilty conscience, so instead of killing Joseph, they sell him into slavery. How often do we do something “less evil” to make us feel better, when really it’s still just as sinful? We are sinning against God… it is not about just protecting our guilty consciences.

– The story of Judah and Tamar…. She dressed herself differently because she was desperate for a husband (which she had been promised but hadn’t been arranged yet).  When Judah saw her and thought she was a prostitute, she agreed to have sex for money (!).  And then they each speak so many lies to try and cover up what they each had done.  My thoughts went along these lines- How often do we “prostitute ourselves” because we want something so badly that we haven’t been given? We will sell ourselves short of what perfect plans God has for us.  And the lies we spread to protect our reputation, when really we are all sinners in need of grace!   At least Judah does seem to humble himself and admit his wrong and stop sleeping with her…

– Joseph succeeded in everything he did, because the LORD was with him.  Potiphar, his master,  then gave him more responsibility and continued to be blessed by Joseph’s service to him.  Clinging close the the LORD and being obedient will bring about more responsibility and blessing!

-But… perhaps not the blessings we always want or imagine. Poor Joseph gets thrown into prison for even more lies (Potiphar’s wife said that Joseph tried to sleep with her, when it was she who wanted him to but he refused!). I love how Joseph “rips himself away” from this woman (and loses his colored cloak from his father!) since he knew that sleeping with her was “A great sin against God.” What a picture of being wise and obedient to the LORD!

-And then Joseph remains in the prison and the LORD is with him and shows him his faithful love. I love how God blesses him and is with him in the “pit”… after being thrown into a cistern, sold into slavery, and then thrown into prison unjustly. God doesn’t always rescue us right away from our “prisons”, but He is with us, blesses us, and manifests His love to us. That’s all we need, even in the darkest, scariest, most unfair circumstances.  

Something to do:

Keep close to the LORD, through reading and meditating and memorizing his Word… and pray and seek to be obedient to Him. Be patient for God’s timing in the things that I so desparately want NOW (to be out of debt, to move to a cheaper home, to have children!!, to not have to work full time as a nurse, etc)… Don’t manipulate my way through life because I have to have them when I want them!  Know that the LORD is with me and loves me. He is all I need!

Day   14

Remaining   351

 

 

 


New Blog Name

You may have noticed the new name of my blog… or maybe not? :)

I decided that even though I liked the old title, it was kinda odd looking and just didn’t seem like a phrase to use for a blog title… If that makes any sense.

Since starting this year and getting into the Word more again, I have come to learn afresh how sweet and satisfying and rewarding it is to feast on the Word. I read through Psalm 119, the biggie psalm that talks so very much about God’s law, commandments, precepts, words, instructions, etc, and came across the verse in Psalm 119:103.

How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!

It is truly my prayer that the Word of God will continue to be sweet to my taste… the stirrings and feelings and needs of my soul… and that I would yearn for it more than I would for all the “sweets” in this world. More than comfort, money, friendships, beauty, acceptance, good health, love, companionship, joy, laughter, yummy food, wisdom, success, travel, pretty house, perfect children… you name it.

Did you also know how honey, much more than its sweet and tasty qualities, is also very healthy and healing to the body?  It has amazing anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and even anti-cancer properties, along with the ability to help heal wounds and burns and sooth the skin. The Word also so healing and protective for our souls. This next verse has to be one of my favorites about the Word:

The grass withers and the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever!    Isaiah 40:8

Do you have a favorite verse about the Word? There are so many!

 

 

 

 


Geneology

“He was the one who defeated the Midianites in the land of Moab.” Gen 36:35b

Something old:

The name “Asher” means happy! Love that. Nothing too exciting, but otherwise I don’t remember these chapters from before…

Something new:

There are a couple names in these lists of Essau’s descendents that say what the particular person was known by. These seem kinda unimportant, but give an important lesson. How we live our lives will show and others will remember us for something. 

Also, these chapters give me a greater appreciation for my family and my geneology. My mom researches her family’s geneology… and she finds it so interesting and enjoyable.

Something to do:

Reflect on the path I’m taking and how it will define “my” life (it’s really not mine)… and what others will see and remember about my life. Make choices about “my” time, money, activities, etc that will ultimately reflect what I want to be known by, which is having a love for Christ and others!

Day   13

Remaining   352


I am with You

“I am the God of your father, Abraham… Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant. Then Isaac built an alter there and worshipped the LORD.” – Genesis 26:24b

Something old:

It always astounds me how Jacob lies and cheats his way to getting the blessing from his father Isaac. All the twisted lies and tricks, and even with the help of his mother. “Then let the curse fall on me, my son! Just do what I tell you. Go out and get the goats for me!” (Gen 27:13). How often do we scheme and lie and manipulate our way through situations to get what we want? And is what we want really a blessing in the end, knowing the damage that is done to get it?  We can see here how truly selfish and conniving we really are, at the expense of hurting those closest to us.

Something new:

Even though Jacob had lied and cheated his way to getting the blessing from the LORD through his father, I’m surprised that even so, his father blesses him on his escape to Paddan-aram, saying “May God Almighty bless you and give you many children. And may your descendants multiply and become many nations! May God pass on to you and your descendants the blessings he promised to Abraham…” (Gen 28:3-4a). Isaac kept his blessing, even despite finding out the lies. “And yes, that blessing must stand!” (Gen 27:32c). This is very interesting to me… perhaps that’s the nature of blessings (something we don’t really do anymore). But I know often we take back promises or our words to people once we find out the truth. Is that the right thing to do? I’m not so sure really.

Something to do:

We don’t need to worry about and seek after (especially using lies!) getting blessings from others… or cheat our way to success at school, in a job, etc. The LORD reminds us to not be afraid, for He is with us and it is only His blessing — His love and His promises to us — that we really need.

Day   9

Remaining   356