In The Beginning…
– Emily Day
What have we gotten ourselves into?
This is frequently asked question around my room this week, as my three roommates and I find ourselves surrounded by charts, Bible dictionaries, colouring pencils, coffee, and the Word itself. The hardworking silence is often broken by failed attempts to pronounce names in Genesis, terrible Bible puns, and random outbursts of song to keep ourselves sane, as we wrestle through Genesis.
What are we doing, you ask? Well, besides living in one of the coolest places on earth (in my humble, Canadian opinion), we are participating in the Chronological School of Biblical Studies through YWAM Vancouver, and we are still wondering what we’ve gotten ourselves into.
Chronological School of Biblical Studies (CSBS) “is a nine-month course, where students will study each verse of every passage, of all 66 books in the Bible, allowing it to shape their worldview and transform their lives.” (Took that right from the website because I really can’t say it better.) This is what we are embarking on, and what an exciting new journey it is!
I am writing this after finishing my charts of all the chapters in Genesis and then preparing myself for tomorrow’s class by reading Exodus aloud in one sitting. For those who have read Exodus all the way through, you will know what I’m talking about when I say it’s easy to get lost during the passages about how the tabernacle is to be constructed (and then repeated when they actually build it as that are supposed to.) Take it from me, if you are reading it aloud, it’s a whole lot more fun if you try to rap it – and you will probably stay a little but more focused as well. (Just be sure your roommates can’t hear you, because if you’re anything like me, you are a terrible rapper.)
On top of the more academic-oriented work, we must do an “application” to take what God has highlighted to us in our study and apply it to our lives. This past week in Genesis, God nudged me as I read about King Abimelech.
Ladies and gentlemen, I hate to break it to you, but our “father of faith” Abraham had his faults. The one that gets on my nerves the most is that, twice, when he and his wife went to a new place, he said they were siblings so that no one killed him for his wife (because Sarah was a BABE, the Bible told me so.) This resulted in the king taking babelicious Sarah for his own, which is a big no-no in God’s eyes as she was still Abraham’s wife.
The second time this happens, God comes to the king (King Abimelech) in a dream and warned him not to sleep with Sarah. King Abimelech assures God that he has not approached Sarah yet because of the integrity of his heart. God reminds Abimelech that is was actually him, the Lord, who kept Abimelech from sin. This pattern of God reminding people that it was him who protected and provided for them is a HUGE theme throughout Genesis. And it hit hard.
When explaining this school to people back home, I LOVED the response I received. It’s a hard school, and people congratulated me on what I was about to take on. I got puffed right up, let me tell you. But through this theme of humility and giving glory back to God that was so prevalent in Genesis, God gently popped my bubble. I needed to be reminded that all the strength, energy, perseverance, determination, (and coffee) that get me through this school are all the provision of God.
The world we live in encourages bold independence, inner-strength, taking pride in what we accomplish and seeking self-glory. But that’s not what God encourages. God encourages working in relationship with him, dependance on him for strength, walking in humility, and giving glory back to him in everything we do.
As my classmates and I enter into this season, please pray for us that we would experience our need for God in a new way – that this school would force us to a place of complete reliance on him, resisting the temptation to be prideful in our accomplishments but instead we would experience the joy of giving glory back to God.
So, what have we gotten ourselves into? I have a feeling that it’s something amazing.
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