I've been trying my best to focus on God these past few months. I felt like I should try reading the whole Bible again. I tried in college, I did finish the whole New Testament and the first few chapters of the Old Testament. But I know that its not in reading and finishing the Bible or how many books you read, but how you will apply it to your life, establish a relationship with God, and improve how you treat others. And once you truly focus on the Word of God, you find that there is endless insight in each verse of the Book. I know that this is only my first read-through, as the book is a treasure trove of wisdom that you can use for a lifetime.
If most of us spend our days glued to social media, I thought, if we spent that time reading the Bible instead, most of us would finish it in a few months! Even while I work, I try to squeeze in reading during breaks and I find that you can finish a few chapters this way.
"Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word of God," the Bible itself says.
I'm following a 40-day Bible reading plan and I want to talk about my progress and some unforgettable passages and moments while I read. That means around thirty chapters a day. I'm a pretty fast reader, and I can finish the assigned chapters for the day in an hour more or less. I found a practical approach in reading the whole Bible, in dividing the books into six separate parts:
> Books of the Law: Genesis to Deuteronomy
> Historical Books: Joshua to Esther
> Books of Poems: Job to Songs of Solomon
> Books of the Prophets: Isaiah to Malachi
> The Gospels to Acts: Matthew to Acts
> The Epistles of Paul to Revelations: Romans to the End
Reading the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy, we witness the creation of the universe, the challenges of the first peoples, and the wandering of Israel from Egypt to the Promised Land, his covenant with Abraham, Noah, and Jacob. There's the unforgettable story of Joseph exiled in Egypt and its a moving story that doesn't fail to make me cry when I read it!
Some unforgettable moments:
Moses and his unconfidence in speech. When Moses wasn't ready to speak before the people, God answers him, that it is not God the one who made mouths for people to speak?
Aaron and Miriam criticizing Moses. Miriam and Aaron was criticizing Moses behind his back, and God said to them that He Himself talks to Moses face to face (God calls Moses his friend, and Moses is the one who appeals to God to spare the people from his anger when the stubborn Israelites), so they should also tell Moses honestly what they think of him.
God and creativity. God bestowed us the gift of creativity! The first books of the Bible are about creation. God even provides the exact specifications of Noah's boat and the Ark of the Covenant and blessed the workers with skill and inspiration for their work.
The Talking Donkey. There was a King named Balak who commanded his own seer Balaam to curse Israel. But Balaam, being a mere man, cannot reverse God's blessing to his own people. By the power of an angel, Balaam's donkey started talking! The King was so stubborn that Balaam curse them, but in his insistence, God blessed Israel even more and cursed Balak's people. This is what Balaam said to the King:
"God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through? Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!" (Numbers 23:19-20)As of now, I am in the middle of Isaiah and I will write about my reactions and progress as I go along.