I hope that you have had a chance to read Genesis 12-20:18 as it will help you to follow more easily on the night we have our Women’s Bible Study Zoom meeting on Monday, 30 November at 7:30pm. Watch this space for details on this site and on Facebook’s Captivated.
This is certainly a big stretch of scripture! The story of Abraham’s life follows the basic order of events as they occurred in his life. The stories begin with him relatively young and under the authority of his father, until his father’s death. The story of Abraham reports events in his life and teaches specific lessons. Moses is commonly accepted as the author of Genesis. And Moses’ original audience are the Israelites (approx 450 years between Abraham and Moses’ births to give you an idea of time). As Moses led the Israelites from Egypt toward the Promised Land, the scriptures had much to teach them as they lived their lives—– just as it has much to teach us as we live our lives today. Sisters, there are years and years to glean from these ancient words.
I encourage you to persevere; to know that we don’t have to understand it all completely in one or two gos, but to reiterate one of the aims of this year’s study— that we will increasingly understand the flow and melodic line of God in His Word, and to grasp the Great I AM, and his plan to rescue us, pointing us to Christ.
There are layers upon layers of foreshadowing through God’s people to Christ. So through this process this year, my prayer is that this will be revealed to us so that will know God better and love Him more.
Even through this uncertainty of these Covid times, I look forward to hearing how our relationships with each other and our Lord God are growing deeper, richer, clearer, and joy-filled as we study the revelation of Him through His word! May His purposes be fulfilled in and through us and we learn to trust Him more!
In this study we meet Abram(Abraham); a man of faith but also marked with repeated failures. This study will consider God’s call to Abram. This sets the stage for Abram’s descendants-the origins of the nation of Israel. We will also consider how our patient God deals with Abram’s failures and his messy, dysfunctional family to redeem humanity in His chosen way! (Keep in mind while you study: Who is God? Who are we? Where is Christ in all of this?)
You still have lots of time to get with your study buddy by phone, zoom, Whatsapp, or your favourite way to connect. You are in for a feast with Abraham, so don’t miss meeting with your friend.
Our zoom meeting will be on 30 November at 7:30pm. Watch this space and FB Captivated for information as it becomes available.
We are praying for you and cheering you on as we stand shoulder to shoulder through this lockdown,
Isn’t it an incredible feeling when you start to see connections in the Bible that you’ve never noticed before? I was searching for an adjective to adequately encapsulate my experience – and, instead, I just sighed and scrunched up my brow in exhaustion! I think language is overrated! (That’s probably why my mom says I wear my heart on my sleeve!)
Anyhow, back to the Bible – and this morning, I was captivated by my time with Ezekiel. His ministry starts when’s he about the same age as Daniel, but he comes a decade later. His entire ministry is to a community of exiled Jews living in the burbs of Babylonia.
And I started to think, ‘I wonder what he’d look like in today’s world…’ After all, not only would his year of nakedness and yelling have caused a stir, but he spends over 20 years trying to get through to the people with his message – but their hearts are stone dead.
In my work, we regularly engage a contributor who’s referred to as a ‘critical friend’. It’s very important, throughout some of the more contentious issues, to remember that the person is not a foe – we’re on the same team and they actually want what’s best.
Zek is like the ultimate critical friend. The exiles waited out five years of silence before the Lord gave them Ezekiel, but when the prophet gave them God’s message – they plugged up their ears and turned up their noses! It’s hard to take it when the darkness in our hearts is laid bare. Yet, when it’s a friend, a true friend, doesn’t that make a difference?
Ezekiel’s message was this: God is Lord of heaven and earth, and what you’re experiencing, this judgment, is a result of your own rebellious hearts.
Wow. That’s heavy. But I thought God wasn’t interested in punishment? And, if he’s ‘love’, how do I reconcile this?
Well, as a very good friend has pointed out to me on several occasions, when the ‘em-phás-sis’ (go on, say it wrong!) is on the wrong ‘sy-llá-ble’, we’re not going to hear God’s heart correctly!
The suffering in Ezekiel’s day was meant to bring God’s people to their knees in repentance and humility before him. He wanted nothing more than to fix the severed strands that once connected his heart to theirs, but he wasn’t going to force himself on them.
They were so content in their sin (and disillusioned by their perceived strength) that the exiles could not bear to admit that their present misery revealed what their hearts most wanted: to rule themselves and decide right and wrong. More than they wanted the Lord, they wanted to be in charge. They wanted their way.
What darkness. None of us are ignorant to it. We face the same darkness in the world around us and – in our own hearts. (And if you just read that and thought, ‘not me’, RightMove.co.uk has a couple beautiful houses in Tel-abib that are up for sale…)
What startled me this morning was the reference to the rainbow in Ezekiel 1.28 “All around him was a glowing halo, like a rainbow shining in the clouds on a rainy day. This is what the glory of the LORD looked like to me. When I saw it, I fell face down on the ground, and I heard someone’s voice speaking to me.”
Oh, my heart!! Immediately my mind went to Noah! I wondered whether Zek made the connection to the flood on purpose? I wondered what Noah would have thought about Ezekiel getting to see the glory of the Lord! I wondered if the darkness that would have shown up the rainbow halo, might have been the backdrop of the Jews living for their own reckless love of the world.
When we look at rainbows, it’s easy to see yellow, orange, green, blue, violet, red and pink – but there are really just three colours: yellow, red and blue. The others are the result of the light being blended and warped.
The three primary colours are hugely significant throughout the Bible and in Ezekiel: Blue signifies the throne and God’s righteousness (Ps 89.14); Red signifies the fire of God’s holiness that sanctifies and separates; and yellow signifies God’s glory.
Together – that’s holiness, righteousness and glory; the three very things that would keep us from the Lord. Yet, because Jesus gave up his life and covered me with his holiness, his righteousness and his glory – I have direct access to the Father, and he to me.
” Long before Noah could see the benefits of his faith he kept chasing after God. He built an ark – not a dingy! His faithfulness could literally be seen for miles. And, even while he was surrounded by wickedness, he continued to preach – with his mouth and his actions.
His relationship with the Lord was remarkable – not because of anything Noah did, said, gave or made – but because he was the object of our Father’s grace. That’s almost impossible for us to wrap our heads around, but therein may lay the issue; it’s not a matter for our heads, it’s really a matter of our hearts.” Hollie Gale
Don’t miss out getting with your study buddy for this study! If you don’t have study buddy contact Anne Holmes or Victoria Kelly.
This study is on this website, GRACE PLACE under heading of: 2020-2021 Bible Study Genesis: In the Beginning, God!
Our next group Bible study will be Monday, 26 October at 7:30!
The notes from Sharon’s sharing with us last Monday are on this blog under the Genesis study heading. I would encourage you to read again if you were there, and to read if you were not able to be there or zoom in. Lots of wonderful truths to ruminate and soak in!
Our second GENESIS study will be out soon! So watch this space! Let us continue to pray for one another as we learn about God; that it will change us from the inside out!
ROMANS 1:20 is referred to in our first study buddy questions to begin our awesome Bible Study for this school calendar year. It says to us that “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.” NIV The creation story of Genesis has truths to teach us about the character of God, about us, and about Jesus!
Praying and cheering you all on as you get together with your study buddy to ponder God’s revelation of Himself! (if you don’t yet have a study buddy, contact Anne Holmes).
Monday, 28 September is our first meeting! Please click on the following link and it will take you to register a place!