"All Scripture is equally inspired, but not all Scripture is equally applicable or relevant to every stage of life." - Andy Stanley
Reading scripture brings me closer to God. I have enjoyed engaging with the stories of the Bible throughout my life. While I have read through the entire Bible many times, I am delighted that new things continue to emerge with each reading. When we are able to share our insights and expand our understanding of scripture together, the experience becomes even more powerful.
Last month, the readings for the Bible Challenge included the book of Genesis. There are many familiar stories in this book, and parts of it can be easy to miss alongside the more profound moments. My father recently highlighted this, drawing my attention to the 23rd chapter. Abraham is seeking a burial place for his wife Sarah, two easily recognizable names from scripture. Then, Ephron comes to offer him a field with a cave; this part is less familiar.
Ephron begins by insisting that Abraham take the land to bury his wife. In the Common English Bible, it reads: "No, sir. Listen, I will give you the field, and I will give you the cave in it." Ultimately, Ephron and Abraham settle on a price of 400 shekels, and the process is witnessed by others. Often I have moved over this story without regard, yet it helps illustrate how the people of God conduct business. You may also note some humor in the exchange if you read it carefully.
Even if you haven't started yet, it's not too late to join us as we read the Bible this year. The page on the website is a great guide. In the weeks ahead, you will have opportunities to share your observations from scripture; I welcome your insights with anticipation and intrigue.