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Thoughts & Questions about the Bible



So I'm doing one of those Bible in a year plans, this is officially my second try at it. I tried back in 2014 and got to around 84-86% then I got to the book of Ezekiel and just…I don't even know… I just didn't get anything he wrote. But that was four years ago, so hopefully things have changed. They have.  I feel confident in saying that I'm going to read the entire Bible from cover to cover. Just not in a year though. I started in May and I finally made it to Deuteronomy this week.


It's totally fine if you laughed. I did. But this post isn't about my slow journey, but what I've learned this week from my readings. My intention is to share my thoughts and get your thoughts as well. I'd love for this to be a conversation. Even though I was born and raised in the church this is the first time I'm really learning God's Word.

There's so much I just didn't and still don't know. It's all very exciting. One of the reasons the journey is so slow is because I try to read about 2-3 chapters a day and follow each up with a written summary and a devotional study. Most days I only have time for 1 chapter, but this allows me to get more in-depth with the text. More in-depth with God and the story of His chosen people. This has naturally led to a TON of questions. And with each reading I get more comfortable asking those questions. But luckily (or should I say blessedly) my best friend is a Bible scholar (unofficially, but she really could be, though) and there's great reading material to help, like this book I've been really loving.

Today I want to share my thoughts on Deuteronomy 2 and Number 20. Before I do I want to preface by asking for grace. These details in the Israelites journey are all new to me. Okay, now that's out of the way. I remember reading Numbers 20 and thinking that's a pretty douche thing for the Edomites (the descendants of Esau) to do to the Israelites. So in Numbers 20 we find the Israelites wandering around the wilderness of Moab after they failed to enter into the Promised Land because they didn't trust God. So in this chapter they're wandering around and want to cut through Edom to go where God is sending them. They ask the king of Edom to allow them passage and he was like nope.

In Deuteronomy 2 Moses is recounting the Israelites journey to the new generation so they can remember their past and not make the same mistake as their parents. In the chapter he talks about the passage through Edom and says that they allowed them through. So which is it?

My thoughts…I need a map. I read this and thought that maybe a certain tribe of Edom said no and another, the ones living in Seir, said yes. Simple. Right? The real reason I brought this subject up is to point out this discrepancy, something that is not uncommon in the Bible. And as a new reader I was struggling with this, but that's where the revelation of asking the hard questions and Rachel Held's book and this one, have been profound. My analysis of those two passages is pretty simplistic, but it does make me look between the writings and behind the curtain to see what's really going on.

I feared doing so would be doubting God or questioning the legitimacy of the Word, but it's the opposite. The Bible is the foundation by which I try to live my life. It's what gives meaning and purpose to my existence. If I'm not comfortable with certain parts I need to be able to state that. I need to be able to ask God what's going on. And that's what I've been doing and it has transformed the my relationship with Him.

I love what Held writes in her book, "Our relational God has given us a relational sacred text, one that, should we surrender to it, reminds us that being people of faith isn't as much about being right as it is about being part of a community in restored and restorative relationship with God."

This is how I want to engage with the Bible. As a sacred relationship with the Lord. Sometimes it's a wrestle, like Jacob wrestled with God in the field of Jabbok on his way to meet Esau. We have to be comfortable with God and trust that He'll answer. Somehow. Someway.


Faithfully,

Marie

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