So…I did catch up, then slipped back a bit, but currently am only a day behind – which is good! We done Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and Luke, and are now into 1 Samuel and John.
It turns out mornings weren’t working so well, so I bought one of those little lights that attach to books, and have been doing the reading in the evening whilst waiting for my little boy to fall asleep.
Judges is fairly tragic – after all the build of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Joshua, with the giving of the law – God’s attempt to bring some semblance of divine morality and order – the Israelites finally take the promised land, have some sense of settling down, and then we arrive in Judges. It turns out that things are still morally messy, and people are still confused or forgetful about God’s whole ‘I’m the only God, don’t bother with anything else’ thing. It’s almost like they’re still suspicious of God – not quite sure about their relationship to Him, and kind of remaining open to other possibles – even though God’s promise to them was so unbelievably good – abundant harvests, no childlessness, peace etc.
There’s loads of odd stories involving idols and prostitutes and rape, some of which feature the priests/Levites themselves, and it feels like God is having to overlook loads in a way that He didn’t in the earlier books. There’s almost a sense of grace in it all – like a dad helping his child learn to walk. God is testing and refining Israelite motives – will they stay clear when the waters are muddied? It almost feel to me like that is the question that is left hanging in Judges’ final story.
Anyway, there’s obviously loads that could be written.
I also found Luke very hard-core, with a lot of Jesus’ sayings being hard to swallow or even understand at times. Anyone who thinks Jesus was just a nice teacher probably never read Luke. But I suppose that’s the call of discipleship – God is looking for people who will count the cost before signing up to follow – people who aren’t just about the hype and glamour.
Anyway – lots.