Saturday, January 05, 2008

Day Five: Genesis 21-25, Job 25-30, Matthew 13-15

Time: ? (I read it in a couple different settings)
Key Points:
  • Abraham shows great faith in taking his son, Isaac, up to the mountain. The Scripture tells us that he was willing to kill his own son in obedience to God, even though Isaac was Abraham's only hope of producing a great nation. What a powerful testimony to the fact that his fear of the Father was greater than his love for his own children. This challenges me deeply as I love my own sons so much. I need to grow in my fear and reverence and obedience to the Father.
  • Job's passage today is causing me to think that these guys are so wordy - just being honest. However, I think the book is so expressive because in its pages anyone can find something to connect with. I really connected today with both 28:28 (the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom - also connected with the main point I got from Abraham's story) and with Job's deep grief in chapters 29-30. He doesn't understand why God doesn't care that people are mocking his faith now that it seems like God has abandoned his favor on Job's life. In all this, I find it interesting that Job and his friends do the same thing we do when we encounter very hard times - we sit around and talk about it. Very rarely do we sit and just listen. God is eventually going to break through the noise and speak to Job and his buddies at the end of the book, but I wonder as I read if they wouldn't have heard from Him earlier if they would just quit talking.
  • Jesus teaches in many parables in this section of Matthew. He teaches deep things about the nature of the kingdom of heaven and about the spiritual life, but as the Scripture says, he does it in a way that is hard for people to understand - he is bringing light to some and confusion to others. The other amazing thing that continues to crop up in these chapters is Jesus' heart for the masses - several times, great crowds come to him with disease or blindness or some other infirmity and Jesus heals them. Even when He is tired from his ministry, He takes time to serve those in need.
  • The only other fact that always stands out to me in the gospels is how faith moves Jesus to great acts of power. Transversely, lack of faith (as Jesus experienced in his hometown) somehow limits what Jesus can do - wow.

2 comments:

Hallam Fam News said...

Time to complete: about an hour

I am really stretched just like you are in the way I love God compared with the way I love my family.

I was moved tonight reading the story again and noting the obvious, that this is not the only time in scripture that we see a father sacrificing his only son. The story tonight to me put a very human perspective on the emotional impact that John 3:16 must have on God the Father. As I read that Abraham was willing to take his son up the mountain and sacrifice him to God, my heart is broken because of the length of time he and his barren wife waited for this promised child. Reading on I am saddened for them even more as 22:6 tells me that Abraham placed the wood on Isaac to carry up the hill to the place of sacrifice - it reads with bitter irony that Isaac carried the wood on which he would die. The similarities to God giving up Jesus and placing the wood on him to carry to the place of sacrifice are obvious and yet somehow we don't see it with quite the same eyes or the same heart as we do when it's a human giving his son. The weight of the sacrifice of Christ is highlighted again for me tonight.

bryanw said...

It's late as it has been a very busy day for me at work today...but I was anxious to finally get a chance to sit down and read....

I thought is compassionate that God was able to continue his work in Abraham's life even after the passing of Sarah, to give him another wife and 6 more children must have been beyound his wildest dreams...Abraham's life is a testimony to what happends when you are faithful to God.

For me it was the amazing way Job is able to describe God as a painter and earth as the canvas in the middle of all the yacking and turmoil in his life...can I do that?

Then Matthew really hit home with this study and the parable of the sower and soil....without roots it's hard to sustain the challenges of life!!!