Please remember that this is just a bullet list (thinking of you, Sarah) of the ideas and observations floating around in my head as I've been reading through the Scriptures chronologically. (And for those of you who note such things, yes, I haven't read bunches in this particular pattern since a month ago when I first did this...but I have been reading other parts for other purposes, just in case you were worried. ;-)
Okay...here we go:
- Abraham's loyalty to and love for Sarah was really remarkable, especially in light of the ancient cultural pressures to bear children. Sarah's barrenness seems to have made her a bit crazy, but Abraham loved her to the end. I'm waiting for a man like that (hopefully minus the crazy part...)!
- I've heard many people disparage asking God for signs or details, but the story of how Abraham's servant found Rebekah seems to indicate that God is willing to move in this way (do I need to list all the caveats here, or will you just assume I'm not a nut case?). Prayer: "God, let the one you've chosen be the one who waters my camels when I ask her for water." I just think that's cool. He's moved in faith, prayed in faith, and waited in faith, and God meets him there. That's the kind of woman I want to be. I'm not, but I want to be...
- It doesn't matter that I know that the genealogies are crucial to tracking this story, I still find them a tad boring. They're like cleaning the bathroom: necessary, but icky and uninteresting.
- God uses hard circumstances to put us in place to be blessed by Him. Genesis 12: Famine in land; Abraham goes to Egypt and leaves wealthy. Genesis 26: Famine in the land, but God tells Isaac to stay put; Isaac plants crops, and reaps 100-fold because of God's blessing, and when Isaac moves south (Beersheba), he leaves as a wealthy man. Genesis 41ff: Famine in the whole world, but God has strategically placed Joseph so that his family (Israel and descendants) will be saved. And when they move to Egypt, they are given much wealth because of God's favor on Joseph; and when they finally leave 400 years later, they plunder the land just by asking for it. Maybe I should be more willing to go hungry... ;-)
- Joseph was a truly remarkable man: filial, pure, honest, business/world savvy yet fully committed to Yahweh, patient, forgiving, and deeply blessed. Hard lessons learned from a pit/slavery/prison, I'm guessing. Oh God, whatever it takes to be a person who brings you glory...
- Watch this: Exodus 3:7-8: God--"I have seen my people's misery and have come down to rescue them." Exodus 5:22-23: Moses--"God, the situation has gotten worse and You have not rescued your people at all!" Exodus 6:1: God--"Moses, it's not what it seems. Watch me! I am going to make Pharaoh drive them out!" It often gets worse before God gets to put His glory on grand display. Little problems are no problem for God, but great problems bring Him great glory.
- God's purpose for "His people" was for it to be hard, so that when He rescued them, they would recognize Him as their God and deliverer. Exodus 6:6-8: "Therefore, say to the Israelites: 'I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' " How often is God working the same pattern in my life (letting things get hard so I'll recognize Him as deliverer)...and I'm just crying, asking Him to 'fix it now!'?
- Last one: Pharaoh's magicians/'wise men'/sorcerers--what was wrong with them?!! Quit trying to COPY the plagues and start trying to FIX them! Crazy people! Whatev.
Okay, my verbosity knows no END! I'm forcing myself to shut up now, as I've probably just lost all my readers by just blabbering on and on like I am still doing! Ahhhhhh! Shutting up now.
How about you tell me what you're reading and thinking? That'll fill the silence I'm going to leave for the next 15 seconds before I start blabbering again... Which means, you'd better HURRY! :-)
Joyful in this journey,
From Moses' & Miriam's Song, after passing through the Red Sea:
The LORD is my strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.
He is my God, and I will praise Him,
my father's God, and I will exalt Him.
The LORD is a warrior;
the LORD is His name…
Who among the gods is like You, O LORD ?
Who is like You—
majestic in holiness,
awesome in glory,
In Your unfailing love You will lead
the people you have redeemed.
In your strength you will guide them
to your holy dwelling...
The LORD will reign
for ever and ever.
--Exodus 15:2-3, 11,13, 18, NIV