Yet Another Good Reason to Study God's Word

As if you needed another excuse to study God's word, here's one.

Steve Snodgrass (CC)

King David, known as a man after God's heart, wrote:

I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. (Psa. 119:11)

The more I study scripture, the more I realize how true this verse is. When I get tired, irritated, or tempted I find increasingly that a verse finds its way into my head.

Sarcastic In His Image?

God is many things. He is love. He is just. He is omnipotent and omniscient.

But did you know God is sarcastic? Look no further than the book of Job for proof. If you haven't read the entire book, I highly recommend it. In chapter 38 God speaks to Job regarding his suffering. At this point, Job has experienced complete devestation of his family, property and health. His friends think this has happened as punishment for sin. Job refutes their accustation but questions God several times throughout the book.

Finally The LORD speaks.

Pretty much the entirety of chapter 38 is laced with sarcasm, but this tone comes to a head in verses 20 and 21:

What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!

My favorite parts of The Bible are those (like this one) in which God or Jesus speaks, because they reveal the nature of God and, by extension, our own nature. As Genesis 1:27 reads:

God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.

Humans were created in the image of God, which means we were made with some of his characteristics. For me, sarcasm is definitely one of them.

Currently listening to:

King of Sorrow

Lovers Rock

New Testament Mirrors Old

There are any number of parallels between the Old Testament and the New Testament in the Bible. The most obvious is the Old Covenant made with Abraham and the New Covenant that Jesus refers to at the Last Supper, and of course, the twelve tribes of Israel which correspond to the twelve disciples. While reading Genesis a couple days ago, I stumbled across another. The following is the passage that made the connection for me:

I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. (Genesis 45:4-7)

This is Joseph speaking to his brothers. Earlier, Joseph's jealous brothers sold him into slavery, a transaction that landed him in Egypt where he eventually became the second-in-command of the entire nation. God used Joseph to prepare for the famine and thereby save the lives of many, particularly those of Jacob and his family. The key verse is 45:7 when Joseph says that he was sent "to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance."

So where is the connection to the New Testament? For that we have to focus on the transaction that took place when Joseph was sold into slavery. It was Judah's idea to sell his brother. As he says:

What will we gain if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? Come, let's sell him to the Ishmaelites and not lay our hands on him; after all, he is our brother, our own flesh and blood. (Gen. 37:26-27)

And they sold him for 20 sheckels of silver.

Sound familiar?

Now we turn to the New Testament:

Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, "What are you willing to give me if I hand [Jesus] over to you?" So they counted out for him thirty silver coins. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over. (Matthew 26:14-16)

The price for an adult male slave according to Exodus 21:32 was thirty shekels, which may be how the chief priests arrived at the number for the price of Jesus. Joseph was only seventeen at the time he was sold, therefore he may have commanded a lesser price. (Besides that, the price of thirty shekels was spoken by God to Moses--the great-great nephew of Joseph.)
So Judah sold Joseph into slavery for 20 sheckels of silver, a transaction through which God saved the Israelites from famine.
And Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, a transaction through which all mankind was saved.

Currently Listening To:

Cover Your Rig
ZZ Top

Bible in 90 days - Success

I have successfully completed reading the Bible in 90 days. It was difficult at times, but absolutely worth it. The main thing that I learned is that when you put the effort and time in, God will reward you multiple times over. I like to think of it as an investment. The more time I invest, the greater rate of return I receive. Or think of it another way: that which you sow, you will reap.

Prior to this endeavor, I had read much of the Bible including the entire New Testament, but never straight through from beginning to end. Reading it in order gave me a much better context in which to place what I was reading--especially in the Old Testament.

My favorite books of the Old Testament were Exodus and Numbers.
My favorite gospel was John
My favorite New Testament books were Acts and Hebrews
Books I struggled through were Isaiah and some of Paul's epistles.

I thought maybe Psalms or Leviticus might trip me up because of their length and rigidity respectively, but I sailed through them without problem.

My favorite characters were Moses, Joseph, and Daniel.