“40 Days and 40 Nights of God’s Word”
DAY 1: JULY 23
GENESIS 1 – GENESIS 28:22
Three main themes emerge from today’s reading that remain constant throughout the Bible. These themes are established in the early chapters of the Old Testament and continue all the way to the end of the New Testament. The three main themes are: 1) moving is survival; 2) good rewards for obedience to God, bad rewards for disobedience to God; and 3) establishing a personal relationship with God.
- MOVING IS SURVIVAL
As can be seen in the first reading already, moving equates with survival. Adam and Eve move from the Garden of Eden and survive; Noah moves from his home onto the Ark and survives; Abraham moves from his home in Ur and survives; Lot moves from his home in Sodom and survives, and so on. In every case, God prods his people to move, even if they don’t want to go. They move, they survive; they don’t move, they don’t survive. There is a constant motion of leaving behind the old (like a shedding) and moving towards the new.
Again, this theme of moving to survive permeates the Bible, as you’ll see over the next 39 readings.
- GOOD/BAD REWARDS FOR OBEDIENCE/DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD
Another constant theme throughout the Bible that’s established in the first reading is rewards – good rewards for obedience to God, and bad rewards for disobedience to him. Noah, Abraham, and Lot are all rewarded with good outcomes for their obedience, while Adam and Eve are rewarded with the bad outcome of expulsion and loss of personal relationship with God. This theme of good rewards for obedience and bad rewards for disobedience is a primary theme throughout scripture and in in fact one of the driving forces that motivates God’s people.
- ESTABLISHING A PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD
All of the major figures in the first reading knew God personally. He wasn’t somewhere “up there”, he was walking side-by-side with them in the Garden (Adam and Eve) or having conversations with them about their next steps (Noah, Abraham, and Isaac). Having a personal relationship with God is, in fact, one of the rewards for obedience, and we see it being removed after a certain degree of disobedience (Adam and Eve).
Other themes are also established in this reading, such as the God’s unswerving protection of his people (his people being those who are loyal to him). What themes did you notice? How do those themes and the ones listed above personally affect you in your everyday life and your relationship with God? And how do you think they might serve as a tool for you in the dark days to come?