Fionnuala and I started a house group about a year ago. It didn’t really work out for reasons I won’t go into and we have since moved on from the church in question. But it did give me an opportunity to study the Bible and look at it more thematically and holistically, as opposed to on a story by story or book by book basis.
What fascinates me is here we have a book written over a space of thousands of years by dozens of people, many of whom didn’t know each other, yet there is a consistency and continuity throughout that allows it to flow seamlessly from start to finish. There are themes in Genesis that can be cross referenced to Revelation. Psalms and Isaiah are constantly hinting at what is to come as well as what has passed.
I began to pick themes from tbe Scriptures and trace them throughout the Bible, digging away for the meaning and message. The symbolism and strands, the diversity and depth are mind blowing at times. It is like a billion piece jigsaw that fits together verse by verse, chapter by chapter, book by book.
Within The Word there are words that jump out at me. Words repeated over and over like a drum pounding out a powerful message over the millennia. So over the coming months I am going to periodically study words and their biblical meaning and interpretation. The first word I’m going to consider is ‘Fire’. The series will be titled ‘The Words Of God.’
Fionnuala gave me a similar prompt when I asked her for some blogging ideas earlier today. ‘What does Heaven smell like?’ she hit me with. Whooooaaahhh! Heavy stuff! But it all emanates from a verse in Revelation about the prayers of God’s people rising up to Heaven like incense. The Bible is not a dusty old book. It is the living, breathing Word Of God. It is Jesus; vibrant, colourful, deafening at times. It is an assault on our senses. We can touch it, taste it, see it, feel it, hear it.
Which gave me an idea for another thematic study which I have cleverly titled ‘Making Senses Of The Bible.’ I’m not sure how this will pan out but it will encourage me to spend more time studying and probing at Scripture. I will keep my regular blogging going but this is just another strand to my bow so to speak.
Revelation 8:4 – ‘The smoke of the incense, along with the prayers of God’s people, went up before God from the angel’s hand.’
Have you favourite words or themes in the Bible?
What is your favourite smell?