I decided a few months ago that I wanted to read through the whole Bible again. Not in order, but reading one book at a time, mixing up the Old & New Testaments. I'm currently reading Genesis, & I am supplementing with John MacArthur's commentary. It never ceases to amaze me that no matter how many times I read the Bible, it's always fresh & I learn something new.
I've read through creation, the flood, Abraham's promise, & am now reading through Jacob becoming Israel & going toward the land promised to him. Something that has really struck me so far is the fullness of God's sovereignty. From the very beginning, He had a plan. Specifically, he desired to use Abraham (who was rewarded for his faith) to be the father of a nation of people, God's chosen people. He would prosper that family line for His glory. When you read through the stories of Sarah's barrenness & how she took matters into her own hands to give Abraham a son; through Isaac's favor of his oldest son, Rebekah's manipulation, & the dissension between Jacob & Esau; through Jacob's pursual of Rachel & Laban's deception & the crazy child-bearing competition between Rachel & Leah; you see that God had a plan the whole time & no matter what anyone did, His plan prevailed. He protected His chosen. Abraham lied to kings, Isaac ignored the words of God given to his wife & desired to bless the wrong son, Jacob wore fur to pretend to be his brother. But God protected Abraham despite his lies, Isaac unknowingly blessed the son through whom the line of God would continue, & Jacob was blessed despite his sin. Even though Jacob preferred Rachel, it was through Leah that the tribe of Judah would descend.
People are messed up! Even people who love Jesus. Even people who God wants to use. We are all one big mess. & that's okay, God can work with that! I am encouraged by these stories. I can't mess up God's plan - His big overarching plan, or His plan for me. He can use me even when I act like a feeble human. Phew! I (in my natural, human flesh-ness) tend to lean toward the "law" side of the balance between law & grace, & I see that God desires to show me more of His grace, that I might understand it & let it cover me.