It's not as odd as it sounds...

Prayer happens everywhere, even in the tanning bed.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Ultimate Promise Keeper...

Joshua 19:32 - 21:45
So, for the second year in a row, our church family is reading through the Chronological Bible. I think it is wise, for many reasons, that we didn't just move on to something else but that our pastor knew full well that a large number of us didn't keep up. To be honest, I didn't. I was thrilled when I realized I had a second chance to join my church family in unified reading of His Word.

pondering... pondering...
But it's passages like the ones we read today that make people shut the book before they finish and not open it up again. Of course, I can't blame God for that. I can't blame God for anything negative, really, not like we use the word blame. It's important for me to remember that the Old Testament was passed down in story form and so much of the writing was done not  as we are taught to write but copied from the way it was told. they were under strict orders to include specific details. It's redundant, face it, especially when reading the the Bible in chronological order.

 When the passage is really tedious you tend to get several really tedious passages all at the same time. And when the passage insists upon listing EVERY tribe and how EVERY tribe got the SAME thing over and over and over, one tends to reflect upon how the scribes could have condensed what they said and gotten the same information across to the reader.  Until I read this:

43 Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of it, and they settled there. 44 And the Lord gave them rest on every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. 45 Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass. (Joshua 21:43-45)

I was so glad to read this. It sort of shocked me back into reality. It was a reminder that the listing of what God had given to each tribe was a receipt from a promise made to them long ago. 

Can you just see an Israelite Papa sitting with his children listing tribe after tribe after tribe and repeating over and over each specific piece of land that was given to them? It was a reminder, as we so often fail to do, of God's specific promises and that He will make good on each and every promise that He makes. He is not one to just throw out words to pacify His followers and then half-heartedly try to appease them with something less than what He promised them. NO, he makes specific promises, often hard to believe promises, and delivers on exactly what He said.  

I am thankful for new eyes... new insights. I am more than thankful for the Holy Spirit speaking to me when I wrestle with knowing that He wants me to know His Word but I can't seem to figure out why some things should matter so much to me, now, today, in 2011 America.

This whole experience reminds me of myself when I try to explain to Kate (9 on 4/1) an answer to her question that goes spiritually far beyond what she is wanting to know. As she tries to interrupt and move me on to another subject I get frustrated because I KNOW there is so much more to say, so many more specific details that if she knew them would make her say "Wow, what a mighty God we serve." and yet, she's not there, not now. The details don't bring her any insights just yet. They just make her roll her eyes. But they will, eventually, amaze her, when she is mature enough to "get it". 

I wish it didn't take 48 years for me to be mature enough to "get this". But I suppose it's better late than never. I will take much more joy and delight in the details that before used to bore me. Just the image of that daddy... and the enthusiasm that he must have had imparting the wisdom and knowledge to his children about what a great God they serve. 

Thank you Lord for being the Ultimate Promise Keeper.