Bible in a Year – Day 6: God’s Refreshing
I’m not even a week into my effort to blog through the Bible and I’ve come to a stark realization. Even three or four chapters at a time, there is WAY too much material to even touch on in a single blog post. I guess this should come as no surprise since I regularly write 5 or 6 pages on just 2 or 3 verses. Even so, I’m hoping to hit the highlights of the reading for each day and, perhaps, skip over some of the items that call for lengthy discussions.
That brings us to a few items – one from yesterday and two from today – that I will mention without any further exploration:
1. In Genesis 18, three “visitors” came to see Abraham – 2 angels and, evidently God in some kind of angelic or human form. They ate, slept and got up and left. That’s unusual.
2. In Genesis 19, the two angels go to Sodom, where the men of the town decide they want to have sex with them. Um…OK. Again, that’s strange.
3. Lot doesn’t want the men to sleep with the angels, so he offers them his virgin daughters! Let that one sink in…
The truly unique thing is that all three of these events, along with the fact that Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt are mentioned somewhat in passing, as if they are normal occurrences. If nothing else, they serve as reminders that when we read the Bible, we’re reading about a different time and place – a different culture and a different way that God interacted with his people – one that we can’t fully understand.
And while all of these unusual things are taking place, there is something else going on that I think most of us can really relate with. It is the strained relationship between Sarah and Hagar. There is a ton of subtext here and a lot that obviously remained unwritten about the way these two women related to each other and to their husband, Abraham. Ultimately, Sarah ends up kicking Hagar to the curb.
So off goes Hagar to wander in the desert with her child and, she thinks, to watch him die. But something happens while Hagar is wandering in the desert. God reveals himself as the one who supplies provision. He creates a well where there wasn’t one before and provides water for Hagar and her child. In addition, he promises her that he will make her son “into a great nation” – the same promise he made to Abraham.
It strikes me that God has some behavioral patterns that are revealed in this passage and will be revealed over and over throughout history:
1. He blesses the discarded. The Psalmist would later say about himself, his country and in prophetic words about Jesus, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone.”
2. He refreshes those he finds in the desert. God’s miracle provision of water for Hagar foreshadows his similar miraculous gift to the people of Israel as they wandered in the desert. It also serves as a reminder to us that no matter what kind of dry and barren place we find ourselves in, God is there with us and he’s waiting to refresh us when we cry out to him.
- Bible in a Year – Day 176: The Point
- Bible in a Year – Day 33: Sin Equation
- Bible in a Year – Day 30: Temp Work
- Bible in a Year – Day 17: Flip-Flopped Blessings
- Bible in a Year – Day 7: God the Provider
- Bible in a Year – Day 5: You Want Me to Do WHAT?
- Bible in a Year – Day 4: Family Feud
- Bible in a Year – Day 2: The Inevitable Result
- Bible in a Year – Day 1: Unintelligent Decision-Making