One of my goals for this year is to begin the process of reading the entire Bible from start to finish. I have studied the Bible for most of my life, but I have yet to read consecutively from Genesis through the book of Revelation. So I have made a commitment to read at least one chapter a day until I have completed this goal.
I am thoroughly enjoying the journey, but I seem to have a little trouble with staying on task. It seems that each time I read a chapter, I find a great passage that I want to investigate further. I find myself following scripture references, and I tend to get a little off course. So I have had to discipline myself to reading the entire chapter before going off on a treasure hunt.
That being said, while reading last night God revealed this sweet little jewel of His character. It is in Genesis chapter three. Adam and Eve had let temptation get the best of them and had eaten fruit of the one tree from which God had instructed them not to partake. Now, isn't that just like us?! God had provided them with everything they could ever want or need, and He asked only one thing in return. But here comes Satan with his smooth tongue and his sly, little lies, persuading them to disobey God's one and only command. This one act of disobedience brought seperation from God, sin, death, pain and heartache to not only them, but to all who came after them.
Adam attempts to pass the buck for his actions on to Eve. Eve, in turn, blames it all on the serpent. However, God in His infinite wisdom knows that each party is responsible for his or her own actions, and He assigns consequences to the serpent and to Adam and Eve as well. Then here comes the jewel. Genesis 3:21 says, "The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them." It seems like such a simple statement, but it struck me as profound.
God looked past their disobedience and met their need. He didn't have to provide them garments of skin. He could have let them wander in shame and need until they figured out how to properly clothe themselves. He could have turned His back on them allowing them to struggle hopelessly unprotected from the elements. Instead He provided for their need and their protection.
The Bible says He even went one step further. He not only made the garments for Adam and Eve, but he clothed them. He didn't just leave them on their own to figure out how these garments were supposed to be worn. He clothed them. They did not have to clothe themselves in and of their own power. No, He clothed them in much the same way that He desires to clothe us. He wants to clothe us in His love, in His power, in His peace, in His protection, in His grace and in His mercy.
Thank You, Lord, for Your provision and for Your divine help. Thank You that even while you hold us accountable for our actions, You offer us Your mercy and Your help in our deepest time of need. Please help me to be willing to submit to Your guidance. Help me not to fight against You in an attempt to do it all on my own. Help me to submit to Your divine power and to allow You to work through me. And please forgive me when I fail. In Christ's precious, Holy name I pray, Amen.
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