This year as a church, we’re walking through the Chronological Bible Reading Plan. We’ll be posting a weekly blog on Sunday mornings so you have a guided daily look and question prompts for each day of your reading.
*You can begin this plan at any point throughout the year. Simply begin at week one and follow the plan for a year!
God shows up in the whirlwind to continue putting Job in his place. Pay careful attention to what happens in the middle of Job 42. The one who suffered becomes an interceding mediator for his friends. Does this sound familiar? It should.
It’s hard to understate the significance of these three chapters for the rest of the Biblical storyline. We see God, by his own gracious initiative, grant unwarranted favor to Abram. We meet the mysterious Melchizedek, whom the authors of Psalm 110 and Hebrews see as a foreshadow of Christ’s priesthood. And we also see that righteousness has always come by believing the word of God in Genesis 15 (which Paul picks up on in Romans 4).
With Sarah and Hagar, we see the consequences of trying to manipulate God’s promises to fit our own sense of timing. Yet, the Lord’s plans cannot be thwarted– he is working all things together according to his purpose. Pay attention to all that God says in these chapters – they’re full of his initiative.
Take heart and find rest in the fact that nothing is too hard for the Lord our God.
These are pretty weird chapters – Lot, Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham lying about Sarah being his sister, and culminating in the birth of Isaac. What a roller coaster. Keep paying attention to the Lord’s sovereign hand throughout each incident: “the Lord being merciful to Lot” (19:16); “God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out…” (19:29); “it was I who kept you from sinning against me” (20:6); “The Lord did to Sarah as he promised” (21:1); “And God heard the voice of Ishmael” (21:17).
This is another significant day in the Biblical storyline. Consider all the threads tied together in Genesis 22: “your son, your only son”, “on the third day”, “God will provide for himself the lamb” (except notice it was a ram… so we’re left looking for the lamb), “in your offspring shall the nations of the earth be blessed”. Also, note in Genesis 24:12 one of the first appearances of the phrase “steadfast love”, which is a term God uses to describe himself in Exodus 34:6-7.
We’ll read two “generation lists”, but notice which gets more attention: Isaac’s – because his is the chosen line. Yet, within Isaac’s line, we see hints that the Lord’s ways are not our ways. We’re already beginning to see glimpses that the Lord is inaugurating an upside-down system where the older serves the younger. But, lest we think God is controlling a bunch of robots, we’re allowed to see Esau sell his birthright for a bowl of soup. If you pay close attention to 25:34, you might see a close parallel with Genesis 3:6-8, “he ate and drank and rose and went away”. A temporary satisfaction negates a lifetime of blessing. Isn’t this the way we often live our lives?
Today’s reading details how exactly the older comes to serve the younger and the aftermath of Isaac’s blessing Jacob. God meets Jacob in a strange land and repeats the blessing given to Abraham and Isaac. From this point forward, God is often called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.