Life has gotten busy. My newborn and three year-old, time for my wife, and then work takes up most of my time. It is hard to focus long enough on God everyday just in seeking him, let alone finding the time to put thoughts to virtual paper.
I have struggled to read the Bible every day as I had been for nearly a year. When I do, I just don’t have the time to dig in and spend in it as I had been. However, I am back on track, most days.
I am on my second time through the Bible. I am not saying this to boast. No, quite the opposite. It is quite humbling. I did not see the same things when I read before. And what I am seeing is not good.
I am reading a chronological Bible this time through. What this means is that this Bible puts everything in a time order of when they happened and/or were written. Because of this, I am not getting the Old and New Testaments together each day (unless I do a seperate reading). Spending this much time in the OT (Old Testament) has been eye-opening.
The first time through, I remember thinking, “Man, those Israelites just didn’t get it. God was constantly taking care of them, providing for them, and protecting them, and all they do is run away from him. How could they have done that?”
This time through, I am realizing that I am Israel. Their lives as a nation mirror my life as a Christian. I constantly run from God and what I know is right…all the while God keeps providing and protecting. More than that, God gave the ultimate sacrafice of Jesus to pay for my sins (my turning from him) and to give me life with hm forever. How could I keep turning away from him?
I am Israel. I don’t trust God, even though he is trustworthy.
I am Israel. I offer little as I ask for much. God offers much and asks for little.
I am Israel. I run away from God, and all he wants me to do is turn to him…even in my sin…so that his faithful love and mercy can change me and bring glory to his name.
Call me Israel. That is my name. We are one and the same. The point is God’s mercy for the glory of his own name. I just need to trust him, look to him, run to him, and know him as my source for everything. This is when I will change.
Israel is the name God gave Jacob because of Jacob’s trust and faith in God. Not the good that Jacob did, but because of faith and trust. This is the other side of this coin. The history of Israel is a mirror of my life…but the story of Israel (Jacob) should be the goal of my life. To trust God and put my faith in him, even though I am clearly not deserving of it.
Call me Israel…I have nothing to trust or put my faith in but God.
Father, Jesus, and Spirit, please make this message clear to me today. Please help me to trust you in every moment of the day. Please help me to look to you. Please help me to see everything as yours…even my time and energy. Please use me to show your glory today. Love, your son, joe.