As you may know if you’ve been following this blog, on January 1, 2010, I set out to read the Bible through in a year, chronologically, that is, in the order that the events recorded in the Bible actually occurred in history, not in the order the books occur in the Bible.
It has been anremarkably insightful and rewarding experience and one I highly recommend. Reading the Bible chronologically has helped me see things in the Bible I’ve not seen before, or, at least, have not seen so clearly. Here are four of them.
1. The long suffering nature of God. Sure, I’ve read about it, but when reading the Bible as an unfolding narrative one truly sees how patient the Lord was with Israel as they continually ran after other gods. I’m reading along and thinking “Zap them!” and instead God sends them another prophet to warn them.
2. The recurring promise of the kingdom of God. I had never noticed before how many times in the Old Testament the Lord foretold and promised the coming King who would rule and transform the world.
3. How concerned Paul and other New Testament writers were about heresy. We live in an age where people see doctrine as a cause of division, and thus people downplay and dismiss it as practically unnecessary. But the New Testament writers, and the Apostle Paul in particular, seemed consumed with ensuring the churches he planted were not mislead by those preaching false doctrine. Bottom line: theology, doctrine and what you believe matters.
4. The Apostles faced much opposition in advancing the Kingdom. One of the things I like about post-moderns is they have rejected the name-it and claim-it, God-is-most-concerned-about-your-happiness prosperity gospel my generation too quickly embraced. Paul and the other Apostles suffered many trials and much opposition in their efforts at advancing the kingdom of God. I never saw that so clearly as I did reading the New Testament chronologically.
There’s much more I learned, but these are the four that come to mind today. I strongly encourage you to try this Bible reading plan, as you are sure to see much you have never seen. GS