Saturday, January 06, 2007

Catch-up Post IV: Love and Thunder


I trembled at the voice of God
A voice of love and thunder deep
With love He means to save us all
And Love has chosen you and me

~Andrew Peterson~

I’m going to try to read my Bible through in a year. I’ve never done it, though I’ve tried a few times. But I haven’t read many non-favorite books in so long (i.e., anything besides Psalms and a few short New Testament books) that I think this discipline will be exciting and much-needed. So far I’ve kept up faithfully for six days. Once school starts, 'twill be much more difficult, but I shall pray for grace. Here’s an excerpt from my journal entry today:

Today’s reading is exciting stuff! Abram and Lot come back from Egypt, Abram lets Lot choose land (that seems better, but it’s full of bad folks) because “there was strife” between their herdsmen. Then God makes another promise, or rather He expounds on the one He made before, promising him all the lands he could see and descendents as many as the dust. Then we have some battles and action, because several kings of those parts attack some other kings, and Abram’s nephew Lot is carried off. (Oh, one attacking king was Arioch, king of Ellasar…) But some fellow escapes to tell Abram, who takes his 318 fighting men out and attacks the attackers. They win, of course. I think it’s great that we’re told the precise number of fighters, and not a rounded number. These men were not forgotten, and later when Abram refuses to take any spoils for himself, he qualifies it with:

“I will take nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me.”

~Genesis 14:24a~

And this last may have been referring to his allies. This is also where Melchizedek, king of Salem and priest of God Most High, shows up. And Abram gives him a tenth of everything, our first example of tithing. I know he was rich, but that part still impresses me with how much he trusted the Lord. So everything seems wonderful, and God tells Abram in a vision that He is his shield and his reward will be great. But here we see what Abram really wants: a son. After the glorious victory, even after an act of faith in God with his possessions, he still was depressed. Is this a lack of faith that the Lord really would give him descendents? Or is it just humble, human questioning? Whichever it is, it’s followed by God Himself making a covenant with Abram. The thrilling part that struck me this reading is this:

As the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell on Abram. And behold, dreadful and great darkness fell upon him.

~Genesis 15:13~

It’s a bit of the “love and thunder from Andrew Peterson, a glimpse of the wildness of Lewis’ Untame Lion. Maybe it also carries hints of the “kabod,” the glory of the Lord that some Boundless articles lately have suggested we don’t think of much or take seriously. And it finally reminds me very much of Till We Have Faces, and the fearful beauty that must be hid in darkness. For to behold it truly, now, would mean death.

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