Like many of you, I just finished reading through the Bible using Northside’s 2022 Daily Bible Reading calendar. It was a great way to remember to read and to spend time each day in both the Old and New Testaments.
I’ve ready through the Bible dozens of times using different reading plans, and I thought this one was very good. In case you missed it, there are 2023 Daily Bible Reading calendars in the foyer, so pick yours up and start reading the world’s most popular and, by far, its most important book.
It’s interesting that as often as I read through the Bible, every time I run across things I don’t remember reading before or ideas that I think I finally understand. Sometimes I read passages that mean more to me than ever before.
One of the last Old Testament books in the reading plan was Esther. The Jewish holiday, Purim, originated with the events retold in that book. I’ve read it many times before, but I didn’t remember that the word purim means “casting lots” because the Jews’ enemies cast lots to decide on which day the king would allow them to kill the Jews. The day on the Jewish calendar that was chosen is now the day Purim is celebrated every year by the Jews.
The Bible is full of fascinating, and sometimes humorous, stories. In Numbers 22, a diviner named Balaam was on his way to curse the Israelites when his donkey saw an angel in the road and tried to stop. This angered Balaam and he hit his donkey three times. God gave the donkey the ability to speak and explain himself, but the thing I find bizarre is that Balaam just started talking right back to the donkey as if it were something he did all the time.
And during a year that was challenging in many ways, it encouraged me when I read God’s promises, like the one in Jeremiah 19:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
What is God planning to reveal to YOU this year as you read through his love letter? It’s not too late to grab a calendar in the foyer and join with your fellow Northsiders to find out!