I said the other day that I was (finally) starting to read my Bible through again after an achingly slow process of reading it through the last time. What can I say? Having a baby and the year that follows reallly throws me off course...
But anyway, I changed my plan and am trying for the first time to read the Bible through chronologically. And I'm excited about it.
I read Genesis 1-11, then Job and am about to go back to Genesis tomorrow. (And if you're curious- I just pray that God will use the time and make my heart teachable, set a timer for 15 minutes, and read. So simple you should join me in it!).
Anyway, when I read the Old Testament these people's faulty, broken yet chosen lives are gripping. I see their humanity and I see every excuse I could ever have fall to the wayside.
I can't serve God, I'm a sinner.
Um.... they all are too.
I can't be a leader, I'm not confident.
Hello- check out Moses with his speech problem and temper, begging God to use someone else.
I can't amount to much because I'm just not that gifted.
Leah, bless her, was unchosen, unloved and assumedly cross-eyed yet tribes of Israel came from her womb.
I'm often struck by how much like me... like us, that they are.
They sin, they fall, they doubt. And even more amazingly, you have the benefit of great distance and hindsight to see these sin cycles play out in families and generations.
Take in case Sarai. Later to be called Sarah.
We know that she was beautiful and barren.
We know also that Abram feared the Egyptians and asked her to lie to them saying she was his sister so they wouldn't kill him to be with her.
Now this is a half truth, Sarai being his half sister and all but the most important detail he was omitting was that she was indeed, oh.. you know.. HIS WIFE. .. I don't want to give away the story but spoiler alert! Pharoah takes her as his wife (!) and after realizing she was really Abram's wife, gives her back, rebukes Abram and sends him off with more than he came with.
Again later, when Abram, now Abraham, had journeyed into a land called Negeb and Gerar he lied that Sarah was his sister and King Abimelech took her as his wife.. again.. and the king sent him off with more than he had come with.
These people clearly weren't perfect. So time to stop using my imperfection as an excuse.
Fastforward to their son Isaac and his beautiful bride Rebekah. Fearing the men of Gerar would take her away because of her looks he lied and said she was his sister.
It's interesting isn't it? How sins can seem to be woven into the fabric and habits of some families. Even more interesting is how being aware of them we can perhaps combat and change them.