Discovering God In the Pentateuch
Studying the Bible in an intensive course has been amazing. I think the best part about SBS for me has been being in community while I study. God speaks so individually to each of us. The intimacy of people’s relationships with God has never been clearer than when discussing what God is teaching us through His Word. While I’m over here being blown away by one characteristic of God that He is highlighting to me, He is at work in my classmate’s heart showing them something completely different. It’s incredible! He is so relational with each of us. Although we are studying the same passages, we all seem to have very different take-aways.
I want to showcase what my classmates have been learning about God through the Pentateuch. So here we go:
“We don’t have to go through the stuff that the Israelites had to go through, because we have Jesus as that sacrifice for us. If I lived back then, God would have fried me in an instant. And I would have just killed my entire flock in two weeks. God’s holiness was made that evident in the book of Leviticus. It was huge for me. And even now. It changes the way that I step into His presence and go about my prayer times with the Lord. I used to always get frustrated with the first generation of Israelites in the first five books of the Bible. Like why do you have to be so stupid? But the Lord is changing my perspective to have sympathy for them. It just hadn’t clicked for yet for them. And we’re no different.” – Luke
“When you really dive into the Pentateuch, God reveals the consistency of his character in a whole new way as he pours out his heart for redemption on a broken world. He meets the Israelites where they’re at. And in abounding grace, He dwells among them to build up a nation, holy and set apart from the world around them.” – Andrew
“I was convicted about complaining and how easy it is for me to complain – I’m no better than the Israelites. Complaining is the opposite of being grateful really, and one of my applications was really to be more grateful.” – Randy
“I never realized how screwed up the Israelites were, and now I’m realizing how messed up I am too – and God still uses me like he used them. I was also blown away by Gods holiness. As painful as Leviticus was, I have this whole new perspective on Gods holiness. It’s definitely brought me closer in my relationship with the Lord. I have a whole new understanding now. I have a different approach at how I see this “angry wrath of God ” that the OT seems to portray.” – Dakota
“This is the closest I have ever been to God. I feel like I understand him better because of everything that we’ve learned. Just having gone through all the difficult passages and understanding them. I mean, they are still a mystery, but God became more tangible and real. It’s hard to explain, but I feel so much more secure in what I believe, just because of those five books. I’ve always struggled between the God of the OT and the God of the NT – but diving deep into it and seeing how faithful he is, and how he doesn’t kill righteous people – that was super important for me. God would always rather have mercy on people, but sometimes he just can’t because people are complete idiots. The God that we believe in is absolutely incredible.” – Amy
“I think my favourite book was Deuteronomy. I saw several times in there things that Jesus had said, or that were in the new Testament. And I was like, “Oh! I didn’t know that was in Deuteronomy.” So that was very cool to see that.” – Tina
“God’s really cares for and has a heart for the poor, the disenfranchised, and the people that society normally looks down upon. It’s obvious that this is God’s heart through Jesus, but I never realized that it was so obvious in the Old Testament as well. If someone was too poor to afford the full sacrifice, they could bring two birds and God received it. And it just shows that He was all about their hearts. God sets up so many ground rules in Deuteronomy about how to take care of the poor, lonely, and ostracized people in society, making sure they were provided for and that they were part of the celebrations. I was very convicted to ask God to give me more of his heart for people my society looks over.” – Emily (Me)
“One of the biggest things for me was a truth that I got out of Numbers. God values our obedience, let’s give it to him. When we value what is important to God, it becomes more important to us. It gave me more of an idea of how we are most definitely like the Israelites. There were always people telling me how we were like the Israelites, but it really clicked for me when I read Numbers!” – Natalie
I’m so thankful we have a God who loves to speak to us individually, and show us exactly what we need for whatever season we are in. And I’m also so thankful for these wonderful people I get to study the Bible with. God has been really good to us this first month of CSBS, and we eagerly await what he has in store for us as we move forward!
– Emily Day
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