Reflections on February’s readings (1)

I’m reading through the Bible in a year, and every month I (try to) post about what I’ve read.

This post is rather late… I really should quit procrastinating. However, by God’s grace, I’m not doing the same with my daily readings. In February, I completed the books of  Esther, Mark, Romans and Genesis (in that order); I started on Job, Luke, 1 Corinthians, Exodus.

Esther: I read only the last chapter in February. See last month’s post for my profound thoughts.

Mark: The gospel of  Mark is known for unique details that other gospel writers don’t mention, for example, James’ and John’s nickname (3:17), Jesus sleeping on a pillow (4:38), the green grass (6:39).

Have you ever noticed, in the accounts of the so-called triumphal entry (11:1-11), there’s more verses about the donkey than on the actual entry into Jerusalem? Maybe we need to rename that episode?

In the Bible, there’s lots of accounts of people speaking better than they know. The best examples come out at the crucifixion of Jesus—Pilate and the soldiers calling Jesus the “king of the Jews” (15:12,18); the passers-by mocking Him to come down from the cross and save Himself (15:30); the religious leaders saying He saved others but couldn’t save Himself (15:31). There was so much more truth in those statements than the speakers would have ever imagined.

Romans: I will be back in this book in August. Maybe I’ll find something to say other than, “It’s a difficult book.” It does get better from chapter 8 on, though.

Genesis: As I read the accounts of Jacob’s sons, I couldn’t help but snicker. Levi was one of the masterminds behind the revenge on the Shechemites (ch 34),  yet from him God chose the priestly line. Judah, the one from whom Messiah descended was something else. First, it was his idea to sell Joseph (37:26-27), and then he gets all self-righteous on Tamar (ch 38). God really chose these people knowingly? Baffling.

But then I read on, and got to see the transformation in their lives. In chapter 42, formerly vengeful Simeon stays behind in Egypt as his brothers return to Canaan. Reuben offers his children for Benjamin when they return to their father (ch 42).  Judah takes responsibility for Benjamin’s well-being (ch 43). Judah later on makes an impassioned plea to Joseph (44:18-34). The brothers have come a long way. But still not enough, judging from their fear of a reprisal from Joseph after Jacob’s death (Genesis 50). But then again, God won’t be through with us on this side of eternity.

I found it interesting that they referred to Benjamin as a “boy” (44:22), yet he had 10 children (46:21)! Tough being the youngest kid 🙂

Also, I found it a different kind of interesting that Jacob didn’t initially love Leah, yet they spent most of their lives together and were buried alongside each other (49:31). I wonder if he came to appreciate her in the end.

Go to Part 2.

Sources: Covenant Theological Seminary, D.A. Carson, myself