i admire ppl who know their bible history backwards and forwards -- who understand every aspect of what is written there and the time frame; ppl who can quote u scripture (book and verse) at the drop of a hat. frankly, most of the time i'm just lost and i tend to read the bible as if its a good story (some books better than others, obviously).
yesterday i had lunch with some friends. before we sat down we started talking about the current book of the bible that our church is reading (ezekiel). the woman who had graciously opened her home to us was talking about trying to figure out where this story falls in the grand scope of things (because if ur not aware, the books in the bible are not arranged chronologically). she was showing us all sorts of information and pulled out about 6 bibles. it was really fascinating. but see, she really studies the scripture and gets the whole picture. whereas, i never was very good at history and honestly, does it really matter what came first, the chicken or the egg.
to some ppl (probably this woman and my dad most likely), it really does matter. when i listen to my dad talk about different aspects in the bible, i'm just amazed. not that it really helps me to understand things anymore than i did before -- truly. i am looking at these books and saying, what lesson am i supposed to learn from this? i'm not saying, gee, where does this fall on the time scale and what was going on in the time period.
maybe this is naive of me. maybe i should be taking more of an interest in what was going on. i mean there is scripture to point out the fact that many will hear but some will not understand:
Luke 8:10 NIV
He said, "The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, " 'though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'
so then it makes me wonder, am i meant to be one of those who doesn't understand. actually, what i really wonder is, does it matter if i don't understand the time frame that something happened or can't remember the sequence of events or all the names and the order of those names in a lineage or what the name of a particular king was at a particular time. will remembering or knowing any of that help me to get the true message behind what is written?? somehow, i doubt it, but maybe that's just my warped mind trying to make me think its ok not to know this stuff backwards and forwards like other ppl do.
here's my thing -- i can take a particular piece of scripture and i can find god's love there -- love for all of us. i can see god's heart in passages like isaiah 58 -- i can understand his sadness when he sees that his ppl will not obey his law and ignore what he has said, seeking only religiosity and nothing else. where does remembering lineage or time scale fit into that - where is the importance? idk
the best thing would be if i could remember everything, understand all the time frames, etc., along with getting the message -- but for some reason, my brain doesn't seem to be able to retain the minute details. i can't quote u scripture by book and verse. most of the time, if i haven't marked it in my bible, i can't tell u where it is, but most likely i'll be able to tell u the meaning. what's more important?? idk
being able to point something out or back something up with the actual place in the bible where that point is being made, is really an asset sometimes because it just solidifies the point ur trying to make. its like the bibliography at the end of an article citing all the places where u can go to check out the facts as they were presented in the article. its back up information. so for me, i can't provide that when i'm speaking to someone about the bible; so i have no way to prove that what i'm saying is true. from that aspect -- its not a good thing.
i can't say that my brain does much better in retaining all things in my own life either. i mean, i have crystal clear memories of certain things growing up -- but they r just snippets in time -- not full movie length versions of each year. some things i remember really well -- other things not at all. what was important to my head at the time seems to stick to me -- what wasn't, falls away. and i feel like that is true for reading the stories in the bible as well. what's important sticks and sticks really well. what doesn't add to the message's importance, seems to fall away.
idk, i'm still feeling my way through the bible. i haven't read every chapter -- but some chapters i've read multiple times (mostly in the new testament). being raised in a conventional church setting, we were never encouraged to read the bible on our own -- only listen to snippets on sundays -- whole stories during special times of the year (christmas, easter, pentecost). i remember my mom sitting and reading her bible every morning. i wish i could say i do the same. sometimes i feel like a bad christian because i don't have a set schedule in that regard -- not even for prayer. i read when i want and pray when the need is there and give thanks for all the blessings that papa god has bestowed upon me. maybe that does make me a bad sort. idk
i only know that papa god loves me and wants to love on all his ppl if they would just let him. that there is such a need in this world for ppl to start caring about one another. and my thoughts on how wondrous papa is rn't going to be amplified by remembering time frames or lineage names.