Monday, January 16, 2012

A Short Love Story...

I love reading the story about Isaac, and how Abraham's servant (who was in charge of all the Abraham had) was sent to go find him a wife for his precious son Isaac. I love how careful Abraham is in instructing his servant, telling him exactly where to go and also who to go to, and how he told him to never bring Isaac with him to find his wife. His servant also amazes me in how he prays to God, asking for guidance in selecting Isaac's wife and for a sign. Rebekah to me is also incredible, how kind and helpful she is and what a hard worker! She waters his camels and scripture says that she "runs" to go get the water for the camels. I always find that God selects just small comments to make about different people in the Bible, and we can easily look over them, but that is why it is so cool to read the Bible, you always learn something new or see something in a different light each time you read. The fact that she ran to water the camels tells me that she was serious about her service and wanted to do it to the best of her ability. Rebekah then left her family the very next day to go back with Abraham's servant. That takes some faith! As I was reading, this next section was just so neat to me that I wanted to share it with you.

Now Isaac had returned from Beer-lahai-roi and was dwelling in the Negeb. [63] And Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening. And he lifted up his eyes and saw, and behold, there were camels coming. [64] And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel [65] and said to the servant, "Who is that man, walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." So she took her veil and covered herself. [66] And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. [67] Then Isaac brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother and took Rebekah, and she became his wife, and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.  - Genesis 24:62-67

I love how aware Rebekah is, how she notices Isaac coming towards them and immediately takes precautions to keep herself modest. From the reading it seems that the same day Isaac takes her and marries her. But I love how in such a short time it says that Isaac loved her. It is these kinds of stories that I wish God would have filled in the blanks and included conversations between them. What was it about Rebekah that captivated Isaac so quickly? It is amazing to me how Rebekah could go through so many life changing events in such a short time. To trust a stranger to bring her back to a different land, only to become the wife of someone she had never met. I can only imagine that she must have been scared and nervous, I think anyone would be in that situation. But God never says that she rebelled or distrusted His plan for her, which is amazing to me. I am such a planner, and like to be able to think things out before I make decisions, and I don't know that I would have been so collected as she was in this situation. She is definitely a woman that we can all learn from, as to how to trust God in difficult situations, and trust that He will make things all turn out for His good and His plan. God has so many stories in His word that should assure us that He is looking out for us and causing things to come to pass so that we can have a wonderful life of service to Him. Just a few things to think about. :0)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Simple Lesson from Cain and Abel

So I was reading the story of Cain and Abel in Genesis 4 last night and these verses stood out to me...

"And the LORD had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Gen. 4:4-7)

There were a couple of things I thought about with this verse, the first being about the first part of verse 7 where it says, "If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up?" This was meaningful to me because it impressed to me the benefits and satisfaction we receive from doing what God wants us to do. I know that I always feel much better after helping someone or when I know that I have done what God wants me to do, and this verse is proof of that truth we experience! I just like the way God says that, "If you do well, won't you feel better and be happy??" We all feel happy when we know we have pleased someone, whether it be our boss at work or our parents at home. It is natural for us to seek approval and recognition from people who set rules and boundaries for us, and I like the way that God states that fact about our humanity. He knows His children!!

The second thing that really made an impression to me was the second part of verse 7, "And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it." God makes it very clear that our purpose in our lives is to try to simply do well, and He explains the only other option if we choose not to do well. Sin is crouching at the door... this gives me a huge visual of a large animal sitting and waiting at my door, knocking and whining incessantly and just waiting for me to open the door. Like we have all said before, sometimes we loose our focus and sometimes we are tired and just give in to our desires or what we want to do. We are all guilty of that, myself included! God is so good to remind us of our weakness, or rather to warn us to be careful of those enticements. He makes it seem so simple here to Cain. He warns Cain that you must master sin and not let its desire take him. We all know what happens next, Cain gives into his emotions and anger, his selfishness and frustrations and murders his brother. This is such a horrific tragedy, yet such a simple warning that I think we can all take away with us. 

Do well and have your countenance lifted. Master the sin that is crouching at your door.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Couple of Bible Reading Plans

Found these online, just thought you might be interested since we are beginning a new year! Even a few minutes a day is better than nothing!! ;0)

There are a lot of different plans to chose from, I just tried to find a few that offered a variety of options for those of you looking for something to fit your needs. I think I am going to try one from the Multiple Reading Plans this time and see how that goes. I have a hard time bouncing between old and new testament at the same time, but I also struggle reading straight through the old testament. I am hoping that one of those checklists will help me get through the books better than I did last year!! Let me know if you find any others that would be good recommendations!! Good luck and God bless!!