I owe you all apologies for not writing in the past few days; I became distracted, though that is not a good excuse.
The work has been progressing very well. On Thursday, I read the BIble for thirty minutes, reviewed the verses from previous days, and learned Genesis 2:5-9.
On Friday, I reviewed Genesis 1:31-2:9 and learned Genesis 2:10-14. I allowed myself to procrastinate on the Bible reading until it was too late.
Today, I read the Bible for an hour, to make up for Friday. Then I reviewed Genesis 2:5-14 and learned Genesis 2:15-19.
I am beginning to understand, to a degree that I never understood before, the helpfulness of reading the Bible in large chunks. Today, As I was reading the Bible for an hour, I came to the part of Exodus which comes after the ten commandments, but before the making of the golden calf. As you might remember, this is a very long and tedious section which gives detailed instructions for how to build the Tabernacle, how to construct the ark of he covenant, what sacrifices are supposed to look like, how the priests are supposed to dress, and a variety of other topics. Back when I used t read the Bible one chapter at a time, I had a lot of trouble feeling uplifted by this section. Scratch that. I couldn't stand this section. It would take me weeks to get through it, and by the end of that time all I had to show for it was a vague knowledge about how to build and operate the Lord's tabernacle. But by reading it in one day, I got a different feel. I started to sense broad themes in this section. God was trying to build up a people who were set apart for Himself as holy-different from the other nations. They were to worship differently, live differently, do business differently, than all the nations around them. God, in turn, resolved to treat them differently. He was blessing these people by giving them His laws. Just think of it-The Jews were the only people on earth who had heard how they could best please God from the mouth of God Himself!
Here are the verses I learned over the past three days:
And no shrub of the field had yet come up from the earth, and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground- but streams came up frm the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground-God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden, and there he put the man he had formed. And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river watering the garden flowed from Eden. From there it was separated into four headwaters. The name of the first is the Pishon: it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. The gold of that land is good. Aromatic resin and onyx are also there. The name of the second river is the Gihon: it winds through the enire land of Cush. The name of the fourth river is the Tigris: it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates. God put the man in the garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden. But you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it, you will surely die." And the Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him." Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them. And whatever the man called each living creature-that was its name.