As I mentioned about an hour ago,
Actually, first, let's just sit and think for a minute about the fact that I just blogged an hour ago and I am now blogging again. When was the last time I even posted two days in a row?
July. July was the last time I posted twice in a row. That's four months ago. I need to be more consistent.
I am finally beginning the Advent Bloggin Bible Study!
Week One's reading was Genesis 3:8-19 & 22:15-18
The first thing I noticed about this reading was, well, the first verse - "And they heard the sound of the LORD GOD walking in the garden in the cool of the day,"
Let's pause and soak in the fact that these humans heard the sound of God walking in the garden. That's amazing! And, not only that, they recognized it as the sound of God walking in the garden. That means this sound/event is a regular occurrence in their lives.
They've been walking with God in the garden for some time now.
"and [after hearing the sound] the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD GOD among the trees of the garden."
Okay, so these people hear the sound of God, and they recognize it as the sound of God, and they hide. What makes you hide from something that has been in your life since day one? I honestly have no idea, but don't we do exactly that all the time?
Yes. Yes is the correct answer. God has been pursuing us and pursuing us ever since our first cry, but we run and run and hide and hide.
And when the Lord finds us, we're ashamed of ourselves so we make excuses and we blame other people, just like Adam and Eve. And we wear our dead, fading fig leaves, thinking we've done something good.
And He disciplines us, just like any good father would, but He also understands us. He sympathizes with our every weakness (Heb. 4:15) and knows we need love. So he makes us garments of soft warm animal skin.
*forgive me for reading ahead; I couldn't help myself*
We whitewash the outside of the cup, while the inside gets blacker and blacker.
He loves the inside, despite the blackness, so He sends His son, his only son to die for us.
But it doesn't end there!
The context of our second reading is one of my favorites now. It hasn't been my favorite always. When I was tiny, I would beg Dad to skip over it when we came to this point in the Bible Storybook.
It's a horrifying story
if you don't keep the ending in mind.
Let's look at the ending - not only does God "restore" Abraham's son to him, God promises him more descendants, as numerous as the stars of the heavens and the sand of the seashore.
Right here, at the beginning of the scriptures, God gives a glorious picture of the redeeming, restoring work of Christ.
Lately, outside of this study and in these passages, I've been learning to let go of all my feeble efforts to please God with my flesh and to focus instead on His incredible efforts on my behalf - how, no matter how many times I throw away His warm garment and don fig leaves instead, He continually refreshes and restores. He truly deserves all glory and honor and power.
2 years ago