We made it to the end! Can you believe we are already to week ten? Julie and I led our last local Bible study this week and we were really sad to see it come to an end. It was such a blessing this summer to join with those ten other women to study God’s Word. They challenged me, encouraged me, and held me accountable. I’m so thankful for that. So…what did you think about studying Genesis with “gospel eyes”? It seriously blew me away! I can honestly say I understand the Bible in a whole new way after doing this study on Genesis. It changed me. Here are my thoughts on lesson ten…
As we discussed in our Bible study group, we all agreed that we weren’t so sure about this lesson when we started it. It seemed like a horrible way to end such an amazing study. Looking at this family that was “marked by manipulation, incest, prostitution, jealousy, murder, rape, sibling rivalry, idolatry, deceit, and estrangement” (Guthrie, p. 264) I found myself wondering how did God choose them? Why did God choose them? I definitely wouldn’t have chosen them myself and it sure didn’t appear that they deserved to be claimed as God’s treasured possession.
But as I kept studying I began to feel God nudging at my heart, showing me that this lesson was about so much more than a messed up family.
He called and formed this family so that one day He could be born into it. That’s hard for me to wrap my mind around just like sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my mind around how He could choose me? “Have you sometimes wondered if, when the truth about you is revealed, it will disqualify you from being included in the people of God? Have you been afraid that when it comes down to it, God will be ashamed to name you as his own? Look at the twelve sons of Jacob. Look at the twelve apostles. And see that Jesus is populating his family, his church, with imperfect but repentant people, flagrant but forgiven sinners. We bring nothing to the table that makes us worthy to be claimed by Christ. It is the Lamb who was slain who has made us worthy. The Lion of the tribe of Judah has invited us to reign with him over his kingdom, the Promised Land God has always intended his people to live in–the new heaven and new earth” (Guthrie, p. 275-276).
I began to see myself in this crazy, messed up family. They were deeply flawed and seemed wicked and unworthy. And that is me too. A deeply flawed sinner who, in and of myself, is unworthy to be called God’s child. I am a total perfectionist (which I’m beginning to think is a curse! 😉 ). And I try so hard to live a life that is worthy to be claimed by Christ. I try to be good enough on my own and yet I always fall short. Or even worse, I think I am able to “choose” who is and isn’t qualified for God to use. I am embarrassed to even write those last few sentences because it shows you ugly pride that can settle in my heart. I was definitely convicted this week. God chose me not because I am good, beautiful, or strong. He chose me to give me His goodness, to make me beautiful and to be the strength in my life (Guthrie, p. 264, 273, 276). I bring nothing to the table that makes me worthy to be claimed by Christ. It is the Lamb who was slain who has made me worthy. I need to live in that truth.
Your turn: How does it encourage you to see God’s choice of these sons of Jacob as his special possession? Or, what else challenged or encouraged you from this lesson?