B90X- Genesis

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So I just finished reading the book of Genesis. I started on Saturday, so that means it took 4 days to go from Creation to the death of Joseph. Whew! It feels like a whirlwind already. Before I started this reading, I tried to think of a few "themes" that I wanted to look at throughout the Bible. If you read much of my blog, you know I have a longing to understand and to grasp this whole concept of "home." Home here on earth, home in Heaven, Home with Christ. So going into this, I thought that would be a concept or theme that I would look for and maybe research a little more. However, as I started reading through Genesis, a completely new theme began to jump right off of the pages for me-- the theme of life. (I know, shocker. Especially since Genesis actually means "beginning" or "birth." Hang with me though...)

Now, saying that is almost as broad as saying "the topic of God." In college, we had to give a thesis statement that we would eventually base an entire paper around... more times than not, my professors would come back and tell me to "narrow down your topic." But in reading Genesis these past few days, narrowing down the topic of life was not at all a problem... The thing that kept coming up time and time again was that God is truly the giver of all life. I know this may sound so elementary to some, but let me explain a little more.

We all know the creation story... God created life. God breathed life into every single being on this planet. He gave life to every plant, every creature, every bird and every fish. He is the ultimate giver of all life. To talk about God as the giver of life in such broad terms is kind of like the effect some statistics have on our brains... they are simply too big to grasp. I can tell you that there are a 143,000,000 orphans in the world, but until you hold just one fatherless child in your arms, the gravity of that number does not sink in.

So here's where it sank in for me. 5 times in 50 chapters, I read about how God either opened the wombs of women, or he closed them. You don't have to be much beyond 6th grade science to know that no life on earth has ever existed without first growing inside of a mother's womb.
  • Genesis 11- Sarai was barren, she had no children
  • Genesis 20- The Lord closed up every womb in Abimelech's household
  • Genesis 25- Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was barren. The LORD answered his prayer and Rebekah became pregnant
  • Genesis 29- When the Lord saw that Leah was not loved, he opened her womb, but Rachel was barren
  • Genesis 30-Then God remembered Rachel, he listened to her and opened her womb
As I was reading these and thinking about how God truly is the giver of all life, I then read to story of Abraham and Isaac. For decades longer than most of us will ever live, Sarah was barren. Then God promised her a son, and Isaac was born. But then, God tells Abraham that he wants him to sacrifice this son-- the only son, whose life brought fulfillment after so many years of emptiness. But as we all know the story goes, Abraham remained faithful to God and God spared his son's life.

So where am I going with all of this? You may not quite be tracking, but it all makes sense to me, I promise. :-) Like I said, it may seem elementary, but for me, this has taken on a deeper meaning. Perhaps it is because I am living a part of these women's stories. To be barren for so long, can you even begin to imagine the humble awe that Sarah and Abraham felt towards God when they realized she had a life growing inside of her? Can you imagine so many years of trying to conceive on their own, but then when it seemed the least likely, and they had given up all hope, the Creator of the Universe intervened and openend her womb? We then read the story of Abraham and Isaac and think that it must have been even more difficult for Abraham to make the sacrifice because of the years it took to have Isaac. But now, reading all of this in context, and really thinking about it, perhaps Abraham had a much better grasp on the Giver of Life because of those years of struggle. Perhaps the trials it took to bear his son helped him to realize where his son's life truly belonged-- in the hands of God. And not that it was any easier for him to make that journey to the place of sacrifice, but maybe he understood the Source of life, the bigger picture to it all, a little more than most.

Whew! Ok, that was a little heavy. I promise to have a happier post tomorrow. Hopefully. :-)

Oh-PS! I almost forgot! Bob Sjogren, author of Cat and Dog Theology is going to be speaking at our church again this weekend. And I am soooooo excited about what he's preaching on... he is preaching through the entire Bible. That's right... Genesis to Revelation. He'll be doing the same sermon in all 3 weekend services (Sat night & Sun am), then there will be two additional sessions on Sunday afternoon that will take us through the rest of the Bible. I am so excited about how this will kind of be a neat introduction to the rest of my B90X readings! So if you're around Fresno this weekend, you should definitely stop by! Its going to be great!

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