To not understand the full picture of the Bible is a missed opportunity to know and understand God more intimately. Some folks leave it to a pastor, or perhaps a meme on social media, but that only ends up preventing you from seeing the complete picture. Every verse, chapter, book and section fits into a bigger picture. It is like a mosaic that all fits together culminating in Jesus. The Bible is God’s love story written for you and written for me. You are part of the bigger story.
This new teaching series will be an ariel view from about 30,000 feet of the Bible and the story it continues to tell today. Even though much of it was written 2000 years ago, it continues to be the living, breathing, active word of God that is applicable today and forever. (Heb. 4:12).
INVITATION: A promise from scripture is that the word of God will not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Trust that God has something for you this week and in the weeks to come as we navigate scripture together. This week’s study is the first five books of the Bible, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch.
MONDAY: Genesis 1:1-25: God created. Over and over we read, “God said….And it was so.” Great comfort can be found in knowing that God’s Word is always fruitful. God doesn’t just try. God does. Is there a place in your prayer life today where this fact might bring you assurance? When God speaks, things happen - both within us and around us.
TUESDAY: Genesis 1:26-31: God creates human beings. Note the scriptures say, “Let US make man in our image.” This is the introduction of the trinity and God working in community. The very foundation of God is community. How do you participate with God and with community in your daily life? Are you part of a faith community? Just because it is based in faith does not mean it will be perfect. Spend some time reflecting on whether you have grace and patience for and with your faith community.
WEDNESDAY: Genesis 2:15-25: These verses contain: 1. instructions to Adam for life in the garden, and 2. the creation of woman. Note in verse 18 how BEFORE the fall and sin entering the world there is something “not good.” This once again speaks to how God’s plan involves community and relationship. Who has God given you for companionship? Where do you find those who help you to be all God has made you to be? Whatever your situation, God intends for you to have community and people “of the heart.” Are you open to that in your life? Life in community can be messy. It was messy in scripture and it is messy now. Are you brave enough to listen to God’s call in your life regarding community and its messiness?
THURSDAY: Genesis 3:1-6: The fall. Sin enters the world. Adam and Eve’s choice is still our issue even today. Are you going to trust God and do what God says or rely on yourself? As you consider this choice that has been around since the beginning of mankind, how might you put spiritual practices into place to help you hear and know God’s voice more in your daily life? Is there anything God might be saying to you now in your life which you are ignoring and choosing your own way?
FRIDAY: Genesis 12:1-9: God calls Abram and begins a relationship and makes a covenant with a nation. God’s covenant with his people begins with this simple yet earthshaking command, “Leave what you know and go into the unknown.” God makes the same call to each of us today, yet promises to be with us and bless us. When you hear God’s call, how do you usually respond? Is there some “unknown” where God is calling you?
The remainder of Genesis details the development of the nation and the people of Israel.
SATURDAY: Exodus 12:1-51: In Exodus, Moses leads the Israelites out of slavery and this chapter covers a key concept: Passover. God wanted the severity of sin to be clear, but also his love and grace to be known. The innocent lamb was the perfect substitute. Jesus is our substitute and the perfect lamb that was slain on our behalf. Read this chapter slowly and thoroughly, asking God to bring to light things to focus on. The symbols in this chapter resurface over and over in the New Testament. Have you ever pondered how the Old Testament points to Jesus over and over again or have you been like many people and shrugged it away because it's hard to understand? What is standing out for you during this week’s study in the Old Testament? Perhaps God is bringing that to your mind for a particular reason? God speaks through His Word - the Holy Scriptures. Are you listening?
The book of Leviticus gives us numerous instructions about cleanliness and instructions on celebrating various Jewish feast like Passover and Yom Kippur. Numbers records a “census” complete with numbers of Jews and also tells about the Israelites wandering, griping and complaining about God’s provisions. Perhaps of note is God provides enough bread for only one day. Do you live in the past or the future more than in the here and now? Deuteronomy deals with the power of obedience and the perils of disobedience. Jesus quoted from this book when he was tempted by Satan in the desert.