January 5, 2008

Through the Bible

Somebody already beat me to this idea, but I am going to go for it anyway.

I have never done the 'read through the Bible in a year' thing. I have wanted to, have never gotten around to it, but I am going for it this year. I am using the ESV's site to tackle this. I subscribed to their One Year Tract plan through Google Reader, that way it is dropped to me on a daily basis, and I don't feel like anything is lost by reading it electronically.

I started on January 1st, and the first week has gone really well. I am really hoping to be consistent with this, not so that I can say that I did it, but because I believe that God's word is what it says that it is. I believe that it is living and powerful. I believe that it is sharper than any two-edged sword. I believe that it will pierce me. So, I read it, and I want to read all of it this year.

But back to my idea...

I thought the other day that I should randomly post some thoughts here from my Bible reading, and then I read this post, and I found out that I wasn't the only one with this idea. Well, even though I can't claim the idea as my own, I am still going to try to do it.

I am going to post a short thought here, just to get started:

Part of the reading is taking me through Ezra. I just finished teaching through some ancient history at school, so the story is also familiar from the secular standpoint. We looked at the Babylonian Empire and the Persian Empire, and it was interesting studying that in History because I had heard the Bible stories many times.

On January 3rd, I got to one section that talked about the rebuilding of the temple(Ezra 3), and I thought that the response of the people was very interesting. The people who had been there before the captivity wept when they saw the foundations of the new temples. It didn't compare to the one they had known. The younger generation rejoiced when they saw the new temple. They rejoiced that God had brought them there and that His house was being rebuilt. The author of Ezra points out that it was hard to discern between the rejoicing and the weeping, it was so loud.

What a memorable event. I am sure that day stuck out in the minds of those people for the rest of their lives.
10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,

“For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”

And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.
It made me wonder at the Christian Church today. We rejoice in the good things that are happening. We rejoice in the Biblical teaching and the worship. We rejoice in the love that is shown by the church to the world. ...and we should. We should rejoice in the good that God does. But...

But I wonder if the first century church would rejoice with us, or maybe they would weep.