“Devotional Guilt” Day 2 – 90 Days through the Bible – Genesis 18-28 – February 2

(Here’s the schedule if you’d like to read along! 90 Days in the Bible)

Day 2 of the 90 Days through the Bible

Genesis 18-28

First off, nicely done with the motivation email, G–. When you sent the message saying you were done with the first two days already? I was impressed and a little bit guilty for having not completed my day yet. Is that weird? Should we feel guilty about reading or not reading the Bible? I guess that’s a question for everyone. Guilt free bible reading

I remember as a teenager participating in a student led Bible study before school. It was my first exposure to the term “devotions.” One of the older students asked me, “Are you keeping up with your daily devotions?”

Naturally, I lied and said, “Of course I’m keeping up! Devotions? Sure, I’m doing them right now. I do them all day long. Am I keeping up?! You know I am!”

They were extremely well meaning youth and I learned a ton about my faith from and through them. However, I also learned a lot about Christian guilt, shame, and legalism. That was the first time I felt like less of a Christian than these friends. It really wasn’t their fault as much as mine. I couldn’t get past the idea that some people were more dedicated, more devoted, and more in tune with their faith than I was. I equated regular, ritualized Bible study with great amounts of faith. While they are connected from time to time, they are not mutually dependent upon one another and it took me a number of years to realize that fact.

Part of me is feeling a bit of that again as I start this 90 days through the Bible project. I applaud people who read the Bible regularly and I really want to…but I usually choose not to. I find other things to do. I fall into a rut. I get distracted. I do other very meaningful things and other very trivial things. The rhythm never really takes root in my life. And when it doesn’t, I can’t seem to let myself off the hook. I get down over not completing this self-appointed task, or self-appointed competition with my brothers and sisters in faith.

That’s not going to happen this time…I hope. K— and G—-, I am relying on you to keep me focused, honest, and easy going. This is meant to be an edifying, faith building experience and the act of doing it in community has got to help, not hurt.

With that said, here are my thoughts for this second day of reading.

  • Why is circumcision the physical characteristic to distinguish the Hebrew men from the otherwise unselected men of the biblical world? Seriously, circumcision? Wow. That is just…I mean…wow, that’s a tough one. I’ve taught on circumcision before as a theological distinction, usually related to the NT references to the practice as unnecessary for new believers in Jesus Christ. Rarely have I taught on this OT passage in a vacuum. Might be a good challenge?
  • My favorite exchange in all of Genesis happens between Sarah and the visitors from God.

Angel: Why did you laugh?

Sarah: I didn’t laugh.

Angel: Yes, you did laugh.

Sarah: (uncomfortable silence)

Do you like my hatThe passage always reminds me of the kids’ “Go, Dog Go!” book.

Dog 1: Do you like my hat?

Dog 2: I do not.

Dog 1: Good bye.

Dog 2: Good bye.

  • Lot offers up his daughters to the would be rapists? What a hero you are, Lot. At least we won’t discover this incident leaving a weird mark on your daughters. They’ll act perfectly normal and acceptable in the next chapters.
  • Abraham does it again, pretending his wife is his sister. He gives his wife to another king to save his own skin. I’m sure Sarah loves this whole situation. How must she have felt each time he pitched this idea to her?
  • And, like father, like son…Isaac pulls the same trick with his wife. That is a weird bit of family legacy to pass along.
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