Sunday, January 5, 2014

Read With Me: Genesis, Week 2

Do you have reading plans for the month of January? Planning to start the year with Genesis, the first book of the Bible? Hoping the new year is the year that Bible reading will become a habit that sticks around the whole year through? I'd love to have you join me in reading Genesis in January. You may follow whatever plan you like. I have divided the book up into weekly portions, but, that doesn't mean you have to follow those readings exactly.

It's not too late to join me in reading Genesis in January! The first week covered just five chapters, you can easily make those chapters up!

This week's chapters: Genesis 6 - 17

From How To Read The Bible Through the Jesus Lens, A Guide to Christ-Focused Reading of Scripture by Michael Williams
The Bible begins with a book that takes us all the way from the murky recesses of the distant past to a populated world whose future revolves around the fate of one family group. How are we supposed to get our minds around all this information? Why did God bother to communicate these details to us? What are we supposed to take away from all that that has anything to do with our lives today? 
Theme of the Book: God separates out one through whom he would bless all nations.
From the beginning of creation in the opening chapters through the millennia of conflict and struggle after the fall, God's activity in Genesis can be summarized by the word separating. God separates:
  • light from darkness (Genesis 1:4)
  • the waters in the heavens from the waters on the earth (Genesis 1:6)
  • dry ground from seas (Genesis 1:9-10)
  • animate life in the sea and on land from inanimate vegetable life (Genesis 1:11-12, 20-25)
  • human beings from animals (Genesis 1:26-28)
  • the line of Seth from and Adam and Eve's other children (Genesis 5:3-32)
  • the line of Noah from other people (Genesis 6:9-14)
  • the line of Noah's son Shem from Noah's other children (Genesis 9:25-27)
  • the line of Abraham from all other people (Genesis 12:1-3)
Through accounts of human failures, wars, family intrigues, deceptions, international slave trade, famines, and miraculous births, Genesis presents to us God's relentless and gracious separation and preservation of the human line he had chosen to bring his salvation to the world. 
Jesus is the one to whom all God's separating was always meant to lead, and Jesus is separate from all others in his ability to bring the promised divine blessing to the nations (Acts 4:12). The ultimate focus of all God's redemptive activity is Jesus Christ. 
As Christ's ambassadors, we have been "separated out" by God not just to receive the blessing of reconciliation with God and the life that flows from that divine, saving act, but also to pass on that blessing to others by making the good news of God's salvation in Jesus Christ clear to them with every aspect of our lives. 
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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