6 January: Genesis 15-17, John 4:1-26, Psalm 6
- Covenant 101. We get deep into the idea of covenant throughout these chapters. God asks Abraham to arrange animals cleaved in two about a trough that will fill with blood. Such a covenantal ceremony typically includes each party walking through this odd gauntlet to affirm their full commitment to the covenantal conditions. The ceremony becomes a statement "if I violate this covenant, let be torn asunder just as theses animals." Now for the profound observation — Abraham does not walk through, only God does so as both a firepot and a flaming torch. He passes through twice, once for Himself and once for Abraham, as if to say, "Even if you or your offspring break this covenant, I will bear the consequence." And so He does. Abraham's offspring rebel against the covenant, God makes good on his word through Jesus' sacrifice. Wow! And then God honors the blood of Jesus' sacrifice to establish a new blood covenant with us.
- Jesus brings the Samaritan woman to repentance and reconciliation with God through His vulnerability ("Will you give me something to drink?") and His exposure of her sin. There's a great lesson here for my personal effectiveness in helping seekers find God — I will likely be more effective through weakness than through strength.
- God brings about His gift of repentance by exposing (biblical synonyms: convict, reprove) us. I may not like the front end of this gift (exposure, conviction, reproof), but the end result of repentance is certainly refreshing.
- She seems to resist the exposure and thus redirects it toward religious questions about doctrine. What are my strategies to deflect reproof? I use humor or shallow humility ("wow, I'm convicted"). I'll deflect the gift of repentance if I deflect the means by which God gives me the gift. Looks like an application for me!
- David experiences a very difficult season of life. He fills his bed with tears. Then he takes great comfort in knowing that God hears his weeping. I can't relate right now, but it's a beautiful picture of comfort in the Divine despite the vagaries of the mundane.