This week we finish up the end of Revelation for our first trip through the New Testament and begin the book of Genesis in the Old Testament. Following is a bit of background information to help you in your reading.
Revelation - This book is thought to have been written by the disciple John after a vision he received while in exile on the island of Patmos (Greece). It is written specifically to a group of churches in Asia (that was a province in the Roman Empire which encompasses modern day Turkey). The book deals a lot with sevens: messages to seven churches, the seven seal judgments, seven trumpet judgments and finally the seven bowl judgments. One of the big keys to understanding the book is found in the Old Testament - 278 out of the 404 verses in the book allude or refer to things contained in the Old Testament. Personally, I have found the most benefit when I read through Revelation thinking of it as God's great triumph over evil. And there is a lot of love and mercy to be found in the words as God continually provides opportunities for people to turn away from sin and turn to Him.
Next up is Genesis. Did you know that Genesis means "beginnings" or "origins"? And there are several beginnings and origins that are actually outlined within the book of Genesis as we move through it.....Creation, the flood story and God's covenant with Noah, the tower of Babel and the dispersion of the people, God's calling of Abram and covenant with him, the continuation of that covenant through Isaac and later Jacob, and finally the starting over of the Israelites under the protection of Joseph in Egypt. We should pay close attention as we read Genesis because this is the beginnings of our history as the people of God. Also because it is a point of commonality with at least two other major world religions who claim at least part or all of this story - Judaism and Islam.
I pray that your reading this week is inspired by the Spirit!
3 - Revelation 7-10
4 - Revelation 11-14
5 - Revelation 15-18
6 - Revelation 19-22
7 - Genesis 1-4
8 - Genesis 5-8
9 - Genesis 9-12
May God add his richest blessings to the reading, the hearing and most importantly the living out of His Holy Word. Amen.