Friday, January 13, 2012

Reading the Bible in a Year: Day 1 (Part 2)

I guess it's time that I at finish sharing day one (even though I'm on day 14 right now...). I think I left off towards the end of Genesis 2, where God showed me something pretty cool about marriage that I never really thought of before.

In verse 24, the Word declares that "therefor a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife, and they shall become one flesh." Whenever the Bible (or any book) says "therefor," you gotta step back and ask yourself why. Some versions will say "for this reason..." For what reason? I had read this a while back and came to the conclusion that, like the Bible says, marriage was created because it is not good for man (or woman) to be alone. We all need a suitable helper. When God saw that it was not good for man to be alone, he designed and purposed a helper for him.

But now I see that it, perhaps, is a little more than that. God created Adam from the dust of the ground and very well could have done the same for Eve. He did not, though, and I believe that is important. In verse 23, the man says:
"This is now bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called 'woman,'
for she was taken out of man."
Then, we see the "therefor." To me, that painted a more powerful picture of the bond God intends a man and his wife to share, and of the duty the man has for his wife. As men, we should hold fast to our wives, and treat them and provide for them just as well as we would our own bodies because they ARE of our own bodies. We should honor, respect, nourish, love, cherish, and protect them as we do ourselves, because together, a man and his wife are one. God says that not only in a sexually physical way, but in a literally physical way, as well as spiritually and emotionally. God gave women each so many unique gifts and strengths that men are missing, and vice versa. God created the two out of each other so as to eternally bond them together. Marriage was the first covenant God created. He values it infinitely, and desires us to do the same.

Reading through the Bible chronologically, I have come across so much OT scripture that represents Christ. I believe this is one of them. Christ left His father to be here with us on Earth, and to cling to US, the Church, and the two of us have become as one! If you let Christ live out in you and strive to die to yourself everyday, you are a part of this illustration of God's perfect view of marriage.

[Genesis 3] This is the fall. The consequences of the events in this book are told throughout the Bible and end with the mess of a world we live in today. As I was reading through the fall, though, I can't help but think that we're all like Adam and Eve. Sin takes almost the exact same route as it did in that book. Basically the serpent tempts Eve, who sins, and then tempts her husband, who sins. When asked by God about it, the sin takes the opposite path. Adam blames his wife, who blames the serpent. Who is at fault?


That sequence is so real, that I bet everyone can relate to it. Satan tempts you or your friend or your significant other. He clouds your thinking and tricks you into compromising. Once one person sins, it can quickly tempt others or you (i.e. gossiping, impurity, lying/cheating). Afterwards you may think "I can't believe whats-her-face talked me into that" or "I can't believe he/she let us fall like that".

People naturally like to blame others when they see sin manifest itself in the world or in their own life, but the truth is we all need to rise up and be accountable and humble. Silence Satan's lies with the name of Jesus, and stop sin from spreading before it already does. Ditch the idea that perfection is obtainable, and embrace God's grace.

The fall is referred to as an event, but in reality it is a condition. Without the cross, we would all be continuing to fall away from God. The sooner we can admit to ourselves (and to others and to God) that we are weak and are incapable of leading a sinless life, the sooner God can help us combat Satan through Christ and the guidance of His Spirit in us. We can do nothing alone but fall.

God's love and mercy, through Christ's sacrifice of atonement, allows us to stop falling and start rising. Check out this pretty sweet verse from St. Paul:
"For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!"
-Romans 5:10

PS - There is no way with school and work and letting this Bible plan sink in that I'll be able to give an update of every day. Maybe next year when I am done, but it is just so overwhelming right now (in a good way!). All I can say is that if you have never committed to a plan to read the whole Bible, try it out! It's such an amazing experience.

PPS - I pray that what I post on here is representing the true Gospel. Please, as my brothers and sisters in Christ, let me know if the Spirit is telling you otherwise.