Through the Lectionary Desert

For any Bible reading plan, the latter part of Exodus (chs. 25-40) and all of Leviticus (chs. 1-27) is the desert. There are a few narrative oases (i.e., Exodus chs. 32-34, 40, and Leviticus chs. 8-10), but by and large, these chapters are a slog. If you invest the time to pay attention to what is being described in these chapters, it will tremendously boost your subsequent reading of Scripture--but you do have to make it through them, and the likelihood of derailing one's effort to read through the Bible is quite high.

The Continuation of the Covenant Under Isaac (Gen. 24:1-28:9)

The literary division of Genesis along the lines of generations (Heb. toledot) goes from 25:19 until the end of ch. 35, but narratively the focus shifts at 28:10 from Isaac and his immediate family to his son Jacob in particular.  In the Genesis narrative, the account of Jacob provides the pivotal connection between the patriarchal … Continue reading The Continuation of the Covenant Under Isaac (Gen. 24:1-28:9)

The Covenant with Abraham (Gen. 12-22)

There are multiple episodes in the development of God’s covenant with Abraham, but they should be treated as all part of one covenant.  Through all these experiences, Abraham not only grew in faith in trusting the LORD, but grew in covenantal love to the LORD. The term for this in the Old Testament is hesed, and the richness of the concept does not translate neatly into English.