So Andrew and I recently started a one year canonical reading plan of the Bible. Though we both have taken classes in college on the Bible and attended Sunday school, VBS, youth group, etc., we thought it’d be fun to start and finish the entire Bible together. Sometimes you take things you’ve read a million times for granted. I remember sitting in church when I was younger (probably elementary school age) and think to myself ‘today is the day I read the Bible’ and I would begin with Genesis 1:1 every single time. Needless to say, I’ve read a fair amount of Genesis too many times to count.
Andrew is exceptionally disciplined when it comes to reading the designated chapters for each day on the actual day you are supposed to read them. Admittedly, I have fallen behind at times. There is one place you do not want to be, and that’s a week behind in your Leviticus readings. At one point, I was probably 18-20 chapters behind in the “captivating” books of the laws and I forced myself to sit down and read it in one shot. It felt like a downward spiral of despair as I read about every law under the sun from unclean animals to the meticulous rules for the tabernacle. I just have to imagine that so many regulations could only be in place for the protection of the people . Nevertheless, at this point I was taking pleasure in reading about the land of Canaan and how incredible the land promised by God to His people would be.
I must say, I’ve gotten more out of things this go around. I think in reading about Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and towards the Promised Land, I’ve got a much clearer understanding on just how faithful God is… for better or worse. He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. Sometimes when we hear someone say God is faithful, it’s perhaps assumed that He has faithfully provided something for us, faithfully answered prayers, faithfully protected us from the evils of this world, etc. In reading through some of these early books of the Bible, it is very clear that God is just as faithful in the things we hope don’t happen. The simplest act of disobedience on can change your life forever as was the case with Moses. He spent 40 years leading the Israelites and I’m sure had hoped more than anything to be able to enter the Promised Land himself. Whether he wanted to face reality or not, God told him that he would not enter the Promised Land and was faithful in His promise. Moses died at Mount Nebo before the Israelites crossed the Jordan and entered the land God had promised to their ancestors.
Hovering just between 19% and 20% through the Bible, the reigns are handed over to Joshua. I, for one, feel as though I spent 40 years reading to get up to this point. I had such immense anticipation that I cannot even imagine what the Israelites felt like after spending a very real 40 year span wandering and waiting for this. I was nervous for Joshua. Every single person across all twelve tribes had heard of this land and it was up to him to lead them into it. Because of that, it is with good reason that Moses and God himself offer such encouragement to Joshua in telling him to be strong and courageous. It was going to take every ounce of strength and bravery Joshua had in him. One of my most favorite moments is when Joshua tells the Israelites ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’ At that point, if such language were to exist back then, I am fairly certain Joshua would have said Holy crap, this is it.
And for the first time since we started the canonical plan, I found myself reading ahead to get to the land of milk and honey…