Bible in 90 days, week 1
Genesis and Exodus
As I’ve been reading this week I have been making notes. I wasn’t expecting to have time to make notes but I’m glad I have as I’ve had some surprising new insights into very familiar scripture. I’ve not found it too difficult so far to read for about an hour each day – this roughly amounts to my daily commute.
The passion DNA
I was most struck by the fact that the DNA of the Bible is the salvation story. As I read I kept seeing the pattern of the passion and resurrection of Christ:
- In Genesis 19, the flight of Lot and his family from Sodom is a bit like a mini-exodus. The meal prepared for the angels the night before is of unleavened bread.
- I was struck by Isaac’s carrying of the wood for his sacrifice – just like Jesus carrying his cross.
- Later, Abraham buys his tomb from a foreigner – just as Jesus is laid in a tomb of a rich man.
- Genesis 29, this phrase is repeated: ‘roll the stone away’.
- The people are required by the law given in Exodus 30 to pay a ransom each year to ensure that they are saved from any plague. I hadn’t ever noticed this before: it helped me to understand what it means that Christ pays our ransom.
- The anointing oil for the priests contains myrrh and the incense to be burned in the tabernacle contains frankincense.
The call of Moses
Moses has 5 objections to God’s call at the burning bush, the last of which is the hilarious:
“O Lord, please send someone else to do it.” – Exodus 4:13
Even after the encounter with God in the desert, and the first visit to Pharoah with his brother Aaron, Moses complains twice more that he is not up to the job.
I found this most encouraging!
God gives the law to Moses on mount Sinai
Although the priestly garments described are beautiful, ornate and expensive, the ordination of the priests is a messy affair. The robes are expected to be sprinkled with blood and even the blood is put on the earlobes of the priest and on his thumbs and big toes (not sure what that means!). We don’t often think about how messy and smelly it must have been to make the sacrifices as prescribed. I’m not quite sure yet what I got from this observation. I think perhaps something is that we have to be willing to let God take our offering (whatever it is) and change it and even ‘mess it up’. I was simply quite horrified after imagining the beautiful red, purple and blue robes spattered with blood, but that is what God required.
I was deeply moved by the account of the law giving this time. Whilst God is explaining how to ordain the priests, with Aaron as chief priest, to Moses on the mountain, Aaron is busy placating the people. It filled me with such sadness to read that Aaron tells the people to bring him the gold earrings they have (which must be the same ones the Lord gifted to them from the Egyptians – Ex 14:36) to melt down to create the golden calf. It only takes 40 days for the people to forget about God. Yet God must have known that Aaron was betraying him at the same time that he was giving Moses instructions for ordaining him has his priest. This really reminded me of Peter’s betrayal and subsequent restoration as the rock on which the church was to be built. It brought home to me the amazing grace of God. So often I throw back God’s blessings in his face, and yet he still calls us, despite knowing that we regularly let him down.