We are two weeks into the New Year and it is a very good time to check in with all of you who said you want to read your bible this year and see how you are doing.
If you have put it off, you only need to kick it up a notch and you will be caught up in no time. I started setting my timer for 15 minutes of reading each morning and I am able to get two extra pages in each day.
As I mentioned at the start of this year, it doesn’t hurt to read ahead for the busier weeks or the more difficult passages will come and then you are already ahead of schedule.
Several have asked what I am using as my plan and this year is a straight read-through of Genesis to Revelation.
I have enjoyed the past few days revisiting the story of Joseph since I did the Kelly Minter study “Finding God Faithful” this past summer.
Doing a study on a portion of Scripture is so helpful to put it in perspective and adding to your knowledge and understanding opens up new layers on every future reading of what had become a “familiar” passage.
One thing I noticed this time as I read about the brothers returning to their home country with plenty of grain and one brother still held in prison back in Egypt, is Jacob’s response to the news.
As the brothers share the news that Simeon is being held hostage until they return with Benjamin, they are emptying their sacks of grain and find all the money they had paid is in the bags.
Their father sees all of this and is so upset because he knows it will appear a theft in the eyes of the Egyptians. But his response is so intriguing.
“And Jacob their father said to them, ‘You have bereaved me: Joseph is no more, Simeon is no more, and you want to take Benjamin. All these things are against me.”Genesis 42:36 NKJV
As a third party viewer standing back several thousand years, I see the selfishness of this statement.
Yes, there is much grief that has come on this man in the loss of a son and another son in prison, but have mercy.
No mention of Simeon’s fate for his own life. No thought for what this will mean for Benjamin to leave the safety of home and go with this band of brothers back down to Egypt to face who knows what kind of punishment for the silver it looks like they kept.
Just a woe-is-me, why does this kind of stuff happen to me response from the dad.
I can shake my head at yet another example of why Jacob is an odd pick for being one of the patriarchs of the faith until I look no farther than my own selfish self.
I cringe when I realize how often a disruption to my day has caused me to spiral into a self-pity litany of all the ways things go wrong for poor, poor, pitiful me and I have totally missed the personal struggle of others who are facing the upheaval that has sent a ripple across my pond.
How good of God to not edit His Word by covering over the human character traits of those who were chosen to be the main threads in the tapestry of the story of Redemption.
In reading these accounts of real people with real flaws and real family drama, we can see more clearly the character of God and our great need for Him. Scripture opens my eyes to the parts of me that need to be exposed, confessed, repented of and then opened to the work of the Holy Spirit to transform me from what I was to what He can make me to be <3