Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Extraordinarily ordinary

7 down 83 to go.

Yes we now have the first week of our 90 day challenge over us.  The books of Exodus and Genesis have been read and the great stories that we learnt in childhood have been remembered and some the the ones they forgot to teach us too. 

We had the weak Adam and his ambitious wife.  The dysfunctional families of Noah and Abraham and Isaac and Jacob culminating in Joseph who himself seemed pretty annoying in his younger days.  Then after a few centuries Moses entered the fray.  Here was a man who didn't want to be the one, he didn't want to speak on behalf of his God and set his people free. 

All the while these very human people were messing up, taking backward steps and, on occasion, being first-class idiots, God was there.  He was patiently working His plan through the great patriarchs of old who were, on close examination, not much different from the likes of you and me.  Fallen, in need of grace and doing anything good only by the will of God.

It is simply fantastic that our God can use ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things.  I've never been so pleased to be an ordinary person.

Next up is Leviticus.  This book gets a pretty bad rap at times.  I can understand why; this is not a story book and in some ways it does not feel too relevant in our modern age. However it is extremely relevant.  Leviticus is a book which shows us not just the law of God but gives us an insight into the reasons for the laws.  The protection of the poor and the rights of women are recurrent themes as with the promotion of habits leading to a healthy lifestyle.  There is also a strong emphasis on the importance of holiness.

Over and above all this is the sense that the standard is too high.  People can not live up to the standards of God and need regular atonement for their wrong-doing through a system of sacrifices. Unfortunately even these sacrifices are not good enough to last beyond the second they are offered.  If only there was a sacrifice that could be offered once, that would last for all time and that would cover everybody's sin!

Unlike the other high priests, he [Jesus] does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself.
Hebrews 7:27

I have been relearning a few things through this process already:

* I do have the time to read the bible but sometimes I lack the will to prioritise it.
* Every time the Bible is read something is taught.
* Reading the Bible does not stop me sinning.

What have you learnt?


Some mid-week music from Mr Jeremy Camp and his far from ordinary facial hair.


  1. I've learnt that Abrahan, was always the man of faith we built him up to be, but trough God showing His way he learnt to be faithful. In Genesis 15 Abram is like "but..." and tries to make his unbelief vocal, while God just patiently delivers his promises and reminds abram that He is in control. Great lesson, in that even the father of faith had doubts.
    Then there was Moses and the battle against the Amalekites when Aaron and Hur held up Moses' hands when he grew tired, it taught me that we should encourage and get involved in ministry of people who have been doing it for a while, and might be tiring of the efforts they put in or the lack of reward. That we should be active in encouraging them and taking a more obviois helpful role to continue that work.

  2. Love, love, loving it. As we were saying the other night Phil, there is a completely different feeling to reading it in one go - you definitely get more caught up in the story.

    I'm loving finding things I haven't read before, or reminders of stories/verses I have forgotten.

    Found a verse in Exodus I have had in my head since I read it: But I have raised you up for this very purpose, that I might show you my power and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. (Exodus 9 v 16)

    Exodus 13 - God doesn't always work in the way that seems to make sense...When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. (13:17)

    Jethro convincing Moses he couldn't take everything on by himself - 'cop on Moses, you can't do it all on your own...' (not a direct translation!)

    So much good stuff!

    On to Leviticus, in anticipation that I will get as much out of it as I did out of Genesis and Exodus!

    If you want to start, but feel you're too late...start anyway. From the start. Or from Leviticus, and here's a summary of what you have missed so far...Previously, on Let's read the Bible in 90 days...Genesis, lots of awesomeness. Exodus, some more awesomeness. See...up to date!