So, you all know I switched to a chronological Bible recently, and I’m reading the section called The Birth of Israel which includes Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.
Let me just get this out of the way right now and confess that this section is one of my least favorites in the entire Bible. I was never a history buff (still not!) and I get bogged down in so many details. Exact dimensions for the tabernacle, procedures and instructions for offerings and sacrifices, descriptions of the festivals, census numbers and names from the tribes, etc. You know what I mean?
Now don’t get me wrong. Some really cool events happened in these particular books that are still applicable to life today. Like when Jethro, Moses’s father-in-law showed up to find Moses busy listening to the Israelites’ disputes from morning until evening. “Why are you trying to do all this alone…?” Jethro asked, then proceeded to lecture Moses about burnout and advised him to appoint leaders over the people to help carry the load. How many of you feel washed out, limp as a dishrag by the end of the day? Yeah, I hear you.
Every day, I pound away at the keyboard in my quiet home office, but I’m not really alone. My crazy adorable dog keeps me company inside while a wildlife parade (wild turkey, fox, ducks, geese, rabbits, turtles, squirrels, birds) entertains me outside my office window.
I usually escape the house to meet hubby somewhere for lunch, and while many miles may separate us, friends and family are just a click away. And Jethro nailed it when he talked about burnout. If I don’t schedule regular times to relax and disconnect, fatigue sneaks up and forces me to, whether through illness or just plain rebellion. And what about the 10 commandments? Who could argue that society wouldn’t be better off if more people valued and lived by these basic rules?
But over the last few days reading through these books again, I felt a little nudge.
God is in the details.
A few days later, that nudge became an audible voice as hubby’s Bible plan read aloud.
“You kept your word to David my father, your promise. You did exactly what You promised—every detail.” (2 Chron 6:15 MSG)
Cool, right? That “ahh” moment when you realize God just spoke to you!
God is in the details.
Not just the big ticket items like when you’re sitting across the desk from a doctor and you hear that terrifying medical prognosis, a look of finality and pity staring back at you. Or the day your boss calls you into his office and closes the door and the next thing you know, you’re cleaning out ten or twenty or thirty years of stuff from your desk, cramming it into a banker’s box as if all those decades of experience meant nothing, to make room for someone younger. And you better believe He’s there, His arm wrapped around your back holding you up when you’re hunched over an open grave, waiting for your loved one to be lowered into a hole and swallowed up by earth, agonizing how one second, one breath, ripped your life right out of normal and hurled it into some place unrecognizable, some place you never expected or asked to go.
But He’s also in the thousands of tiny specifics that I tend to skim over without much regard. How my body processes the foods I eat. How my stories come together, from a speck of an idea to an outline, to characters then hundreds of pages. Whether technology works on any particular day. What roads I take –or don’t take— as I drive around town. The people He plants in my path while my dog drags me around the park or while getting a carwash or my hair cut. Whether the lawn mower will crank or if I’ll have to call hubby for help.
God is there. In the details, in the minutia of everyday life, waiting for us to acknowledge His Presence just like we do during the major events.
So, instead of rushing to get to the Old Testament books I typically enjoy more like Psalms, Isaiah or Jeremiah, I’m forcing myself to slow down and savor the details.
What about you? Do you skim these particular passages of the Bible?
Which OT books are your favorites?