God provides rest, peace, and a new way forward

This post is part of the series, “Read the Bible in a Year.”

God provides rest, peace, and a new way forward. The most important message I picked up from today’s readings overall is that when I am distressed and lost, and can’t find my way, if I call on God he will give me rest, peace, and show me a path through the darkness and confusion.

My primary take-away from each of the passages was this:

  • Genesis 6-7: The story of Noah has all the earmarks of a folk tale and a fable. The use of numerology and the two-by-two scenario are clear indicators of a story engineered to teach us a moral about something. In this case, we are learning about the evolution of our Creator. After the grand experiment of humans fails (they devolve into wickedness and corruption, beginning with Cain), God decided to start over. He saves one upright family, and once again makes them the stewards of all living things. After destroying his creation, God feels remorse and promises to never again resort to mass destruction to correct the inherent flaws in human nature. He accepts that there’s a metaphorical snake in the beautiful garden he created, and instead of wiping out all of humankind to kill the snake, he later provides a solution that allows individuals to to make corrections within themselves and grow closer to God by choosing to live in a different way, rather than as hapless victims of our flawed nature. We may be flawed, but he decides we are teachable, beginning the process of drawing us into relationship with him.
  • Matthew 4: It is interesting that this reading in Matthew is juxtaposed with today’s reading from Genesis by coincidence, because here we have Jesus demonstrating how to overcome tempation: solitary comtemplation in the desert (a vision quest), prayer and fasting. Jesus sets the example for those who choose to look inward and upward to seek relationship with our Creator. In today’s reading in Genesis we see another foreshadowing of how God plans to address the problem of humanity’s inherent flaw, and in this reading of Matthew we see the solution he provides. (This is one of the many reasons I love to read the Bible this way. The Old and New Testaments only make sense when taken in as a comprehensive whole. One explains the other.)
  • Psalms 4: When I am in distress I can call on God and he will give me rest and peace.
  • Proverbs 4: Seek wisdom through discipline. Avoid wickedness and deceit because those lead to spiritual death. Look and walk straight ahead and you will find what you seek. Don’t stray from the path.

That’s what I got out of it. What did you get out of the readings today?

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