Where my Bible reading people at?!
Y’all, I’ve been going through this plan to read the entire Bible in a year (which isn’t going to happen in a year because I’m SO MANY DAYS behind, but it’s all good!), and I’ve reached one of the parts in the Bible maybe many of us skip over…and you know what parts I’m talking about!
The endless lists of names…
The measurements of items for the building of the Tabernacle, the designs of the priests clothing, etc…
The Old Testament laws that are HELLA specific…
Honestly, reading all that stuff got me looking at my Bible like…
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always steered clear of these parts of the Bible, and it’s because honestly, reading about all of that is just boring. Let’s admit it: it’s hard to read about the specifics of the Tabernacle of God when you know Jesus came thousands of years later to die on the Cross, and completely get rid of the purpose of the Temple all together! I know it’s in there to show us the importance of what it was like for people pre-Jesus’ death to be close to God; to show exactly what it took to have the presence of God descend onto earth because that’s how He wanted it to be, it seems. But I know there aren’t too many Bible studies these days on the book of Leviticus. Or Numbers. Or even the last half of Exodus; we go through the “meat” of Moses’ story, and then stop there, skip to the next famous Bible story there is.
why is that though?
Why do we skip all the “______ the son of ______ who was the son of _______” parts of the Bible? Why do we skip reading about the numbers of people who were in those tribes back then? I can think of a reason why I personally do…
We as people connect with STORIES more than anything!
Stories about one person or a group of people are just more interesting. We can connect with someone’s story. And when you’re growing up in a Christian household, some of the first things you learn as a kid are the specific people and their stories that are highlighted in the Bible. Yeah, you right: there aren’t too many children’s Bible books about how the Temple was built. Or VeggieTales movies, for that matter.
That’s understandable because children’s attention spans can only be held for so long, that we need to tell them major stories to get them to listen, to get them to understand. The problem is though, that we sometimes take those major stories into adulthood, and only focus on those things when it comes to our faith. And maybe that’s how it was supposed to be…or maybe we’re supposed to read those parts of the Bible that aren’t as interesting, and learn what we can from there as well!
things I think we should learn from these parts
The details that are in the Bible show an amount of history that will lead up to the major stories we read and know. How will we know the lineage of David which will lead to the lineage of Jesus if we don’t know the people who came before them? It also gives us a sense of time with generations being named one after the other.
And too, I think about understanding the size of Israel. I wonder how big they were compared to the other nations surrounding them at the time, and I can’t help but feel like maybe, if they were one of the smallest, the victories in battle would be all the more miraculous with God on their side.
It also shows the people’s obedience to God. Like, God told them exactly how to make his Temple. Down to the measurements, down to the “minor” details, and the people didn’t complain and say, “Really, God? You really want us to be that specific?” They just did it, without hesitation (at least, from the writer’s point of view they didn’t complain). The laws, of course, had to be written down because there were SO MANY, surely, it would be difficult to forget! But they were written to keep the Israelites accountable; even if they were to forget, it would be on a hard copy somewhere for them to see for themselves!
Not to mention, at the end of Exodus where I read today, it talked about how the Israelites had to watch the cloud the Lord put over the tent to see if they had to stay where they were, or pick up and leave. Talk about waiting on the Lord! Full on obedience here as they watched the cloud ascend and descend.
And, as I mentioned before, we’re able to contrast the amazing Grace of God through Jesus’ sacrifice by seeing what we don’t have to do anymore. We don’t have to go into the inner place of a tent where the tabernacle is located. We don’t have to wait for the cloud to ascend and descend (although, I’ll admit, sometimes when I got to make a decision, I’d love if God could physically show me a cloud of where I gotta stay, and then let it disappear when I gots to go!). We don’t have to go and kill the best of our livestock for the sacrifice…we don’t even have to own livestock.
But we can be grateful for all of that because Jesus paid the price for us once and for all on the Cross. So, we can see the contrast between the Old Testament and the New Testament, and how it affects us as Christians.
I encourage those who do read the Bible to take more than the major parts into consideration. To read through as best as you can (trust me, my mind starts wandering when things start to get repetitive in those verses!), and analyze what you can learn from those passages. What is God teaching you?
What are you favorite parts to read in the Bible? Do you have a favorite person or story? What’s your least favorite part or book of the Bible? How can you read through it and gain wisdom and knowledge from such a part?