As promised, here are some takeaways from the two books I read in August. I shared basic information about the two books I read. You can see those here https://www.laurareimer.net/august-book-review-2022/
In the The Characters of Creation, by Daniel Darling, I gained some insights on so many different parts of the Genesis stories.
One thing that was interesting was the author’s take on how any faith, any expression of sacrifice to God by Cain and Abel was the first true faith. I had never thought about it, but Adam and Eve were the only ones who had, literally, “walked in the garden with God”. When they were banished, their children only had what they told them to go by.
The author also pointed out that the leaf garments Adam and Eve constructed could not cover their shame, so God sacrificed His own creation to make garments for them.
Thus He had shown them that the only acceptable sacrifice for sin was the shedding of blood. Of course, this is foretelling the ultimate sacrifice of Christ for all sin, but Abel’s sacrifice was acceptable because God had set a standard.
Also, God addresses Cain as having a disobedient heart. And yes, I am aware that there must have been some sort of communication with God, but we have that too when He speaks to our hearts.
Another thing that really touched my heart was in the section on Noah and the flood. He says, that God signified His promise to never destroy the earth again with a flood by pointing the rainbow to the sky.
I want to share his words as I think they are powerful:
“The Hebrew words are warrior language. David Atkinson writes movingly about this sign:
‘The hostility is over: God hangs up his bow! The covenant is nothing man-made. In its spectral beauty, it tells us only of the Creator – and that the light of his beauty shines through even the reminders of his watery judgment. The weapon of war itself is turned into a delight. …He who made us still loves us.’
The rainbow is God’s sign that he has not given up on humanity. This is what we see every single time we view a rainbow after a rainstorm.”
And to finish the section, he quotes another author:
“Wiersbe sees int he rainbow a sign of God’s promise of redemption in Jesus: ‘But He has turned the bow toward heaven and taken the punishment for us Himself.”The Characters of Creation, Daniel Darling; Moody Publishers, 2022, page 155
So there is something to add to our wonder the next time we see a beautiful rainbow in the sky.
The things I jotted down from “Where do we go from Here?” By David Jeremiah include these tidbits:
He talks about the current “cancel culture” and this was so good to read. He reminded me that there have always been “cancel culture” tendencies in human nature. And maybe some things that were canceled, I didn’t notice because I didn’t want to acknowledge them.
I think about periods of history lived long before us and even our culture when I was a child. Injustices were overlooked if the powers in charge did not want to address them.
Human nature leads powers to silence those who do not agree with them. It makes me realize that our American culture at one time was pro-Christian and silenced anything that didn’t line up.
We have seen the culture shift and now it feels like our Christian faith is being silenced. My guess is that cultural Christianity even canceled those who were speaking words of conviction in the “good old days” we pine for.
If you read writings of devoted Christ followers in generations past, ie Oswald Chambers and A. W. Tozer, you will hear them bemoaning the status quo compromise of the church in the midst of the culture of their day.
Another good quote I jotted down is from Dr. Jeremiah and worth pondering as a place to go with this:
“Our children need to be taught not to destroy one another because they are being raised in a culture that glorifies hatred. And abuse. And exploitation. We are living in a culture of disdain.”Where do we go from Here? Dr. David Jeremiah: W Publishing a division of Thomas Nelson, 2021, page 140
He urges us all to respond to the current culture with wisdom, courage, forgiveness and love.
I guess that is enough for you to go through today.
Again, both of the books I read taught me more about God, about me and about the world I live in and how I am called to live in grace, truth, mercy and love.