Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Value of the Closed Door

This morning before I opened God's Word I prayed for wisdom. I asked the Lord to give me understanding. Although I am just writing on this blog as a form of personal accountability, it is open for others to read. It would be so easy to misunderstand a truth from God's Word, misinterpret it's meaning and then write something here that could cause confusion, or worse, lead someone astray. I feel like I should include a disclaimer: These are the thoughts of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of the Author. I pray that they will be His Word to me, but as I learned yesterday, error is possible. (To clarify - for those of you who read yesterday's post, on further research the Enoch in Genesis 5:18 is not the same Enoch in Genesis 4:17. I have now removed that information from my post.) Please give grace as you visit and know that I am not a Bible scholar, nor would ever claim to be. I'm a girl seeking to know her Father.

I also don't believe in going down rabbit trails. There are some things we will never understand in God's Word. That's the mystery of God. If we could explain everything about Him and the reasons why He allows certain things to happen then He would cease being God. There has to be an 'otherness' about Him. Nor can we explain all the actions and decisions of those we read about in the Bible. For example, today I don't know why Noah cursed Canaan, the son of Ham because of Ham's actions. I think maybe the whole story hasn't been included here. Possibly even Noah reacted in a moment of harshness and embarrassement. Have you not been there yourself? Have you ever handed out a punishment to your child that was greater than the act deserved at a time of peronsonal anger or because you were dealing with other issues totally unrelated to the offense, but it triggered your response? I don't think we have to try and figure out the how's, when's, where's and why's of our reading. We need to just bow the knee and ask the Lord what He wants to speak to our hearts today. This is not about gaining knowledge, but knowing Him.

Today as I read His Word, three things were impressed on my heart. The first truth is found in Genesis 7:16. This is what I read, "Then the LORD closed the door behind them." So often I pray for an "open door", but there is just as much value in the "closed door". There are times when the Lord, out of His love and mercy must close a door for our own good. We can't see the future and we maybe don't understand, but the closed door is for our protection and safety. The closed door keeps the storm from drowning our lives in a sea of unknowns. Oh, how I need to thank Him for the closed door. God will open it in His time. Genesis 8:15,16a says, "Then God said to Noah, 'Leave the boat...'". As Ecclesiastes reminds us, there is an appointed time for everything. We need to trust the Lord.

As the account of the flood was given, I realized for the first time that it rained for 40 days (OK...that part I knew); there was another 110 days of floating on the water before it came to rest on the mountains of Ararat, taking us to about 5 months that Noah and his family have been in the Ark. Now comes another 7 1/2 months of waiting before the Lord gives permission to leave the boat. Think about that. I'm sure the 5 month time seemed like an eternity, but at least you were doing were going weren't just sitting still. But, almost another 8 months of waiting! Wouldn't you just love to know what happened during that time? I'm guessing Noah and his family were kept busy with the care of the animals, but I think I'd be getting a little stir crazy. I'm not good with confinement. I'm not an elevator girl. I don't like having things closed all around me. I wonder if all on the boat waited with peaceful hearts, trusting in the One who had closed the door.

Finally, I loved reading the accounts of the descendants of Noah. What thrilled me was seeing the lineage expressed from two different books of the Bible, Genesis and 1 Chronicles, and the validity from two different writers. This was my first taste of seeing this in reading the chronological Bible. Although I have never doubted one word of God's Word, I would think seeing this could help skeptics and naysayers as more than one eye-witness pens the same account.

God's Word is true, trustworthy and timely. Praying that He will speak to you personally as you spend time with Him today.

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elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm always confused about things in the Bible. I finally let go of needing to have everything make sense. When I first got serious about studying God's Word, I wanted to "know" everything from the start. I realized that my years of sitting in the pews had left me bankrupt as far as my understanding of Biblical history, etc.

I've finally let myself off the hook in the matter. Now, getting to God and his Word and the "facts and statistics" behind the Bible is a slow and deliberate prod. I know more now then I did last year at this time, but I'm still in the dark about most things.

Thankfully, God's light is more than enough to illuminate and to guide me along the path.

Now in day fully.

Pressing on and pressing in to get there, my friend. So glad to be sharing the road with you as we learn!


Raylene said...

Joy, I too reread that this morning and found my error and realized Jared was in fact Enoch's father...sorry....please give me grace too....but I still agree that God can get ahold of those in families to bring restoration and healing....wasn't trying to cause confusion. Raylene

Anonymous said...

I really like these posts. I am not doing the chronological reading. I am working through Beth Moore's 90 days with John in the mornings because it is shorter, and when I get distracted with the kids, it is easier to get back into it.
I am already looking ahead to figure out what I am going to do next. I need some sort of devotional that will be short... scripture reading, maybe a few questions to answer, an area to pray, or a bible study that I can break up into several chunks, to last over several days. Do you have any suggestions?
Thank you for your prayers and encouragement for the things God has impressed upon me for this year. I don't know what is in store. But I choose to trust Him. As he has taken bits of my heart and healed them in this past year, I have found myself surrendering more and more of myself to Him. Something I found so hard in the past.

Please keep up with these posts. I will be praying that you will be able to keep up with the accountability, and keep up with the reading. I am so glad that you are able to do this! I love reading the insights you have, and the thoughts and questions as you go through this.

Love you, and God bless,

Marilyn in Mississippi said...

I'm with you Joy.....I don't even feel that I have to have everything in the Bible "explained"....because if we could understand it all we would be as smart at God...and that's never gonna happen! :) When I'm witnessing to people and talk to them about what God has done for us I always tell them that I don't understand it all but that that's what makes God so awesome! He's just too big to understand!

Have enjoyed reading your thoughts on our Bible readings.

God bless,