One the early highlights’ of my week so far has been my completion of the book of Genesis. Around a year ago I made it my goal to start reading through the Bible starting from the beginning; it was an idea that was inspired by my time and India as well as my host to India, Dr. Thom Wolfe. I had started and before long I had gotten off track and I decided to leave the project off till later. Though I feel relieved that I've completed the first leg of my journey, more importantly I've loved what I have learned so far.
Though we often recall the stories of old through what we've been told in Sunday school or in classes its awesome to begin to see history unfold from the beginning, when God spoke the heavens and the earth into place progressing into Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Its incredible already in my reading observing the love and faithfulness God has for his people.
One of the things that got my attention just the other day was this comment made by Joseph to his fearful brothers (who had betrayed and treated him cruel in his youth by selling him to traders traveling to Egypt). In Genesis 50:19-20:
"But Joseph said to them,” Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today."
This verse really struck me. How God was able to take the evil deeds of man and turn it into something glorious. Its not that this was new to me by any means, but rather I began to think about our world today and how we might see such events after evil has been done. I was convicted on how broad my prayers can become. I started to think of how my prayers could be more strategic in praying for certain area's of the world that experience evil day in and day out for years after looking at the verse. And I still am thinking at this moment. I think of how this verse might help us in rejoicing in our sufferings, as I've been learning about and discussing at church, I don't know. For some reason this verse just jumped out there at me and questions started racing round my head. Tell me what you think...
Moving onto the first part of Exodus, kind of revolving around the same theme, I cam across another verse. Exodus 2:23-25:
"During those many days the king of Egypt died, and the people od Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel-and God knew."
I started thinking about the massive issues of our time socially. We have genocide in Sudan and Burma and probably in Congo. You have things like the caste-system and other class systems that oppress. We have yet even more slavery thousands of years later all over the world; some say more than double the amount of slaves during the Trans-Atlantic slave era. While thinking this verse gives me hope and kicks me in the butt to continue and pray, but more so, pray with full confidence that God knows and that God see's this. Again this isn't something that I didn't know already or that we don't know already. We look at this verse and we look at the story that follows it (God leads his people out of slavery into their own land). We see that God is just and brings to justice those caught in injustice. Not only should this motivate and move us to do the same (seeking justice for those live in injustice) but we should have the confidence when we pray that justice will be brought and for those of us whoever get the chance to work with people caught in injustice or do the injustice, this we can offer the people a hope that though we may not be able to physically change their situation, we can offer them the chance to know a God who hears and knows and saves.
I hope my thoughts are somewhat making sense.
Even though I spoke about these verses within a perspective relating to our world the verses also gives us so much hope within a personal perspective as well. I'm still thinking a lot still over these verses. They both were motivating and inspiring to me, maybe to you too. Again, let me know that you think on all this rambling...Oh, and if you can tell me where I got the title of the post from I'll give you a high 5.