Saturday, February 21, 2009

Brief Thoughts as I Head to Study Date

I recently began re-using "Discovering the Bible" by Gordon Addington as my quiet time guide. The book is a 365 day plan for reading the bible in one year, with brief commentary on the chapters you've read for the day. What I like most about it is that its a "plan" to follow.

Two things stood out to me today as I was reading. First, in Leviticus 15, which has to do with regulations for various discharges, including "women during their monthly flow of blood." This is the second time I've read this passage in 2009, because we were also studying it in BSF. But this time I was thinking about the women from Mark 9 as I read it. The women who had been bleeding for 12 years. She was unclean for 12 years. Unable to touch anyone in her family unless they were willing to be made unclean for the day. An outcast. I love that when she saw Jesus she had hope that he could heal her, but even more than that, I love that when she touched Jesus he didn't let her skulk away, but instead called her forward and addressed her as "woman" - that he wasn't angry she touched him or that she did it secretly. And mostly, I love that when she touched him, she was healed.

The other part of the reading that stood out to me was in Job 11. Job's friends didn't have completely wrong understandings of who God is or his sovereignty - but the did have some misconceptions about God's behavior and Job's behavior. Their philosophy was sort of like "The Secret." The philosophy of "The Secret" is that if you think positively about good things then good things will happen to you, and if bad things happen to you, then you secretly wanted them to happen. Yes, people, its not the gospel - don't buy into the Secret... no matter what Oprah says. Anyway, Job's friends are saying things like, "Job, if you do good, then God will be good to you, so you must have sinned somehow and its not OK for you to argue about it." I think we say a lot of this stuff to people today, even when we don't realize it. We don't understand God's sovereignty, and so we can't understand how good and bad things can both exist. And because of that, we say things to people like, "Things will get better! God is a good God, he gives good gifts!" and we neglect to say, "I don't know if things will get better. We don't have promises that our life will be easy and absent of trial." And we never remember that Jesus told us "In this life you will have trouble" - that our blessing is to be found in the next part of the sentence, "But don't worry, I have overcome the world"

Anyway, those are just my thoughts this morning. Ultimately, I believe that God is a good God and DOES give good gifts to his children. But I also believe that we will encounter trial in our lives, sometimes as a result of our sin, and sometimes as a result of living in a fallen world. But that even when i'm in the midst of sad circumstances in this world, God is not changed and God has not abandoned me - or you, dear friend.

OK, I have to go study now. Make it a great day!