God's Word for today

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Languishing in Leviticus, and numbed by Numbers

Part of my spiritual discipline is a daily time of devotion and Bible reading, which has been helped tremendously since my previous congregation at St Andrews gave me a "One Year Bible" as a farewell gift. In a previous post, I indicated that this particular version keeps the standard order of the books of the Bible, split into each day of the year, except that the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs are running parallel to each other (with the result that one gets to read a passage of each every day).

The New Testament readings are great, coinciding at the moment with the season of Lent (I don't think this was intentional; it's just the way that Easter has fallen this year). Psalms are such a blessing, particularly when one sees how David can praise God with such rich, lyrical prose and poetry. And Proverbs is such a treasure-trove of wisdom, so relevant to today's age despite being many thousands of years old.

But Lord, Leviticus has been such a DRAG! I've had about as much fun reading the Income Tax Act in my previous career, and believe me, that's NOT a particularly stimulating piece of legislation. For that's what Leviticus is - legislation for the Israelites, governing everything from sacrifices and sexual relations to forms of worship - even going down to providing detailed measurements for the Tabernacle.

And Numbers - wow! There were x number of soldiers from the clan of Reuben, y number of soldiers from the clan of Simeon, etc. etc... it's like reading a report from Statistics South Africa.

So why are these seemingly meaningless and oh, so BORING books included in the Bible? At the moment I guess that just as I would use the Income Tax Act as a point of reference to advise my clients when I still had my tax practice, so Jesus constantly refers to the Law when teaching during His earthly ministry. And if it was good enough for Jesus to understand, it's surely good enough for me to try and wade through as well.

I really wish I could get something more "spiritual" from reading these particular books. Then again, perhaps God is teaching patience and long-suffering? Some insights from others who have perhaps made a study of these books would be greatly welcomed!

No comments: