What I Learned from Reading the Bible

This year marks my third year reading through the Bible and I picked Reading God’s Story: A Daily Chronological Bible which uses a six day a week reading plan to read through the entire Bible in 365 days.

Two years ago I started in the Matthew and read to Revelation and then made my way to Genesis through Malachi. I didn’t follow a reading plan but read at my own pace. And last year I read from Genesis to Revelation and used The Bible Project Reading Plan.

Without further delay here is a brief synopsis of what I have learned from reading the Bible in 2018!

Read The Bible To Know God

I have discovered that reading the Bible is different each year. To date, this year has been the hardest for me to get into the Bible. I still kept up with my reading plan, and was even able to read ahead, but boy, this year has been tough. There were several times this year when I just wanted to cry because of how challenging it was for me to dig into the Bible.

And I think I felt that way because in the last two years I can remember the eagerness and excitement I felt when it came to spending time connecting with God’s Word. And I wanted to have that excitement back. I wanted it to be the same as it had been in the past. And then I had to check myself because while those feelings are great they aren’t the goal. My goal in reading the Bible is to know God.

So I pressed on in my reading, even though I didn’t feel like doing it, even though I could think of many other things I wanted to be doing with my time. I pressed on because I know the sweetness of reading God’s Word. Reading the Bible speaks God’s truth into my life so I can speak encouragement and Biblical truths back into the lives of others. Life change only happens from the one who gives life and if I am not making reading my Bible a priority I can become easily distracted by what the world is trying to tell me I should be focusing on.

Read The Bible When You Are Suffering To Produce Hope

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5)

This verse in Romans really struck me this year. I have had it memorized for some time and it was helpful to remember that I have the Holy Spirit advocating for me and interceding on my behalf. God’s glory is always evident even in the midst of challenging circumstances and leads to hope.

God takes us through hard times to refine our faith and give us an everlasting hope. A future that allows us to be in his presence forever and that puts sin to death once and for all. Reading the Bible has reminded of this truth and to cling to it.

The Tiny Stories That Reveal God’s Glory

This year I became enthralled with the tiny stories in scripture that screamed at me from the pages and made me pause in wonder. The two that really jumped out at me this year were in the Old Testament. These are brief mentions of what must have been truly amazing and terrifying events that revealed the fullness of God’s power and glory.

Korah’s Rebellion & The Ground Opens It’s Mouth

You have to read Numbers 16 to get the full impact of this story. It is pretty jaw dropping.

God had given the Levites the special job of caring for the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was the portable earthly dwelling place of God. Some of the Levites resented their job and that they were not given priestly status. They did not like their calling and desired to have more responsibilities and rights. This becomes a common theme among the Israelites. They wanted to do their own thing in their own way instead of submitting to God and being obedient to the leadership of Moses.

Enter Korah. He is able to get 250 leaders to rise up against Aaron and Moses. Moses tries to talk some sense into him but Korah is prideful and is not content with the task God has given him. He wants more power and recognition within the community and it his ultimate downfall and he takes other leaders in the community down with him. Literally.

And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, with their households and all the people who belonged to Korah and all their goods. So they and all that belonged to them went down alive into Sheol, and the earth closed over them, and they perished from the midst of the assembly. And all Israel who were around them fled at their cry, for they said, “Lest the earth swallow us up!” And fire came out from the Lord and consumed the 250 men offering the incense. (Numbers 16:32-35)

If you continue reading on in Numbers the sons of Korah didn’t die so we can determine that they didn’t stand with their father as he rebelled. His decedents became temple singers and wrote numerous Psalms.

The Angel Of The Lord Who Defeated 185,000 Assyrians

Then it happened that night that the angel of the LORD went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men rose early in the morning, behold, all of them were dead. (2 Kings 19:35)

I want to know what this looked like. Holy Moly! How crazy!

If you are unfamiliar with this section on scripture it takes place when Hezekiah is King. He was one of the very few Kings of Judah who had a close relationship with God, one who did “what was good and right and faithful before the LORD his God” (2 Chronicles 31:20). Hezekiah destroyed pagan altars, idols, and temples. He also reinstated the Levitical priesthood and Passover as a national holiday. This might not seem like a big deal but when you read about how awful the majority of the Kings were and what they did you can’t help but root for Hezekiah.

The Assyrians invaded Judah and marched against Jerusalem, so Hezekiah sought out the prophet Isaiah, and the Lord through Isaiah reassures Hezekiah that the army will not invade Jerusalem. God keeps his promise by sending ONE angel to destroy the Assyrians. Seriously so amazing!

The Hyssop Branch & Passover Lamb

I am fascinated learning about the connections between the Old and New Testament and the symbolism that is used to foreshadow Christ. This year one I really enjoyed learning about the Hyssop Branch and the Passover Lamb.

When Jesus hung on the cross he was offered a drink of wine on a sponge that was tied to a hyssop branch. In Exodus Moses tells the Israelites on the night of the first Passover:

Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. None of you shall go out of the door of your house until morning. (Exodus 12:21-22)

Jesus came to free us from death and hyssop was used to ensure that the children on Israel wouldn’t die even when they were being delivered from slavery. Hyssop was also used in rites of purification in Leviticus 14 and Numbers 19 and was associated with God cleansing his people.

Jesus is the Passover lamb and he sets us free from slavery, and his sacrifice on the cross purified us from sin and death.

Overall I am thankful for the ability to freely read the Bible and to own several copies of this book that many others in the world don’t have access to read. This year reading the Bible chronologically was a great way for me to see how the timeline of all the books fit together.

If you are interested in reading the Bible chronogically the kindle version of Reading God’s Story: A Daily Chronological Bible is available now for $2.99.

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