Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Read Thru... 211

211 Chapters down. I'm now at the gate of Judges. Couldn't sleep lastnight, so I finished up the last 4 chapters of Deuteronomy & then all 24 of Joshua. This is how it seems to be going for me- I'll set time aside to read (& actually read) & then nothing for 2-3 days. I'll play catch up the rest of the week & then flake for another couple days.
While the books of the law display God's power & the inception of human history, they're kind of monotonous... repetitious... and I've needed a break from the lists of laws & genealogies. Even Joshua succumbed to lists halfway in- divisions of territory & towns given to the tribes & families, lists of kings & kingdoms defeated... It read like an inventory manifest to me.
I did find the story of Achan (in chapters 7-8) interesting- While everyone else was fighting, he stole from Ai the things that were meant to be destroyed. He was later found out & punished for it. In fact, he paid with his life, the lives of his family & all he owned. The Lord had told them they were to destroy EVERY thing in Ai & he disobeyed. His sin brought disaster on the Israelites & they were shamefully defeated the first time out. Yet as they prepared to attack this same city once more, the Lord now said they could take their share of plunder. If only Achan had waited... Why did God change His mind the second time around? The text never says. But they ambushed the town & were successful in battle. They took their share of plunder as the Lord had permitted.

Obedience...waiting... These things don't come naturally for me. Yet they're necessary for my survival... God knows what I need to advance, He knows what holds me back. He knows how to motivate me to be strong & courageous, or to bring me to repentance. Am I obedient to the Lord the first time or am I busy stuffing my pockets while others fight? Could my disobedience cause another's defeat as well as my own? I think yes, in many ways, seen & unforseen. My prayer is that I would stay mindful of the Lord in each endeavor... remembering what obedience & disobedience alike wrought for the Israelites...

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