Reading the Bible is a source of encouragement.
Really. And I don’t necessarily mean huge spiritual insights and an experience of the infinite. Yes, that can occur and it is wonderful if it does.
What I mean is this: Scripture paints pictures of people with really big flaws…and then shows us how God uses them. I am more and more convinced that if God can use Abraham, Jacob, and Adam, then He can use me. These men all had their strong points but they also had a sizable amount of flaws.
Today we continued to read through Genesis and sometimes I almost laugh when I think of these stories. Jacob tricks Isaac to get the blessing designated for the first born. Rebekah helps Jacob escape the murderous rage of Esau. Jacob goes to his uncle Laban’s and falls in love with Rachel. The seven years spent working for the privilege to marry Rachel pass in a flash. Jacob is secretly wed to Leah. Jacob, upset with the trickery, works another seven years for the chance to marry Rachel. God sees that Rachel is loved but Leah is not and so He blesses Leah’s womb. Rachel remains barren. The sisters start to fight, giving their maids to Jacob so they may have children through them. Then Jacob’s children fight because he has a favorite. The favorite ends up being taken and sold to passers-by and Jacob mourns him for dead. No worries, though, because Joseph can interpret dreams and is, after a couple missteps, second in command in Egypt. Then he saves the Egyptians and his entire family from starvation. After toying with them for a bit, Joseph forgives his brothers and they all live happily ever after….until a pharaoh decides to impose infanticide on the numerous Israelites.
Jacob definitely wasn’t perfect. God blessed him and God punished him. As one reads the story, it is almost impossible to not think of all of the difficulties they are creating for themselves. Two wives? And sisters? Of course there will be discord! Then a battle with childbearing?
The squabbles are almost laughable until you remember how you battle over such inanities as doing the dishes or taking out the trash.
Yes, if the Lord can bring about a Redeemer through the bumbling ways of Christ’s fore-bearers, then He can most certainly use you to do His will.
Never fear, we serve a God who can write straight with our crooked lines.
Sometimes I have to look at events that occur and simply ask, “Really?!” It doesn’t have to be that huge of an event but sometimes the way things work, or don’t, is almost comical.
Take today, for example. My Scripture class learned what the phrase “nakedness of his father” actually meant. For the record, I had no intention of revealing this little tid-bit to my classes. I didn’t last year, and I had every intention to continue that trend this year. Nevertheless, I decide to tell them when I learned the other teacher had told his classes what it meant. I figured it would prevent any questions about it arising later but now I think it never would have surfaced. The topic was broached and passed over in my third period class. The idea that Ham committed incest with his mother was repulsive, as evidenced by the looks on their faces, but I moved on fairly quickly to the story of the Tower of Babel. Class moved slower for my sixth period class because I had to give a lecture about respect to my students. With a mere ten minutes left of class I was nearing the time to reveal to them what the euphemism actually meant.
Lo and behold, in walks my principal. For a brief moment I considered bypassing the phrase and going on to the Tower of Babel. Was it really that important anyway? What point did it prove? Despite my hesitation, I committed myself to proceeding in the intended manner because the presence of my principal shouldn’t alter what I teach. This class is naturally a more reactive class so I wasn’t surprised when the murmuring began. You can only tip-toe around the matter for so long before it is necessary to plunge in and just say what it means. He appeared quite interested as I tried to guide my students around this delicate event. I placed my emphasis largely on what Ham was saying by this action. Time soon ran out and the bell rang.
He just couldn’t come when I talked about the flood, when we read different Scripture passages from the Old and New Testaments about the flood, when we read about the covenant that God makes with Noah, or when we drew pictures about the different covenants. Today I actually managed to vary the class and incorporate different teaching aspects. Yet all that was seen was a ten minute lecture at the end of class about how Ham had relations with his mother.
I’m not sure if I am more horrified by the events or if I simply find it awkwardly hilarious.
All I could think when the door handle turned and I saw my principal walk in was, “Really? Really!”
On the plus side–perhaps he learned something and I subtly proved that I do have a degree in Theology that has afforded me unique knowledge about Sacred Scripture. Or I am simply ruining my students’ opinions of the characters of the Bible.
It could have been worse, right?