God created the heavens and the earth.
As anyone who visits this blog on a regular basis may know, I am a bit all over the place. Lamentations, Romans, Ephesians, Psalms. God bless me, I have very little direction in my search of understanding in the Scriptures. On a whim I will decide to read or reread this book or that one. When I was pregnant with Madalyn, I set out to read the Old Testament from start to finish. I chickened out round about at Deuteronomy. Then I went into my hunt and peck mode... picking and choosing according to length of book and number of crazy names I can't pronounce on a page. Now that I have a few years of age on me, I think I can handle the challenge. So I am staring it again at the beginning.
There's this one thing I noticed about a year ago when reading through the story of creation and the fall of man for some now un-remembered purpose. I got through the familiar tale... all the days of creation, the man, the woman from the rib, the tree they shouldn't touch, that darned serpent, and then the sin, the very first sin of mankind. I realized that the outline of the battle is the same throughout time...
~ Satan lies, and his one desire is to make us doubt God and His plan for our life.
~ We, therefore, question ourselves and God.
~ We screw up. It's called sin.
~ The sin separates us from God; we run, we hide, we are ashamed.
In my mind, this is where the outline of the fall ended after every sin. But it's not, and I wished I had realized that a long time ago. In chapter 3, verse 9 of Genesis, it says, "But the LORD God called to man..." God still calls out to us even after our sin. God still draws us near. Even though we've messed things up, He wants to commune with us. I love that thought. And I wish I had read that part of the story in my childhood.
But it doesn't stop there. My favorite verse in Genesis 3 is verse 21.
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
In case your brain has forgotten, God has just rendered His punishment to Adam and Eve; they will have to leave the Garden of Eden and work the land for their food. But God doesn't just push them out of the gate wearing nothing but their fig leaves. He made them clothing. He helped them. He covered their bodies in a more fitting and appropriate way for their new life outside the Garden. The first time I saw this verse, my heart swelled. Even after our sin, God longs to take care of us. This God of the Old Testament, the one that killed people and sent plagues on entire groups of people, the God of anger and revenge that I remember... well, I didn't have the whole picture back then of God, so now I find myself filling in the missing pieces.
As I read the story of Cain this morning, I was amazed to find the same protecting nature of God. We all know that Cain killed his own brother out of jealousy. I remembered that he was sent out to another land as punishment for his sin. But what was revealed to me this morning was that Cain expressed his fear that he would be killed to God. In response, God placed a mark on him so that no one would kill him. In other words, God listened to Cain's fear, and He responded with a method of protection. God placed a mark of protection on a man who just killed his own brother.
I am really looking forward to my reading through the Old Testament this time. I am approaching it in terms of getting to know God. Not the God I was taught in Sunday School. Not the felt board version, snippets of stories along the way. I want to know it all. The envy, the battle for His people that He fought throughout the books. The love and protection. The depth, the omnipotence, the Deity that was from the very beginning. I look forward to drawing closer.
You'll be along for the ride. So prepare yourselves for posts about these little details that mean something to me. They may or may not speak to you, and that's okay. But maybe we can all learn more about our Creator together from the very beginning.