Bible in a year: October

Catch up with Tom's October Bible escapades.

Just two months left to go! How does it feel?

I’m a bit apprehensive actually – what am I going to do next? I think I’ll enjoy looking back over everything and piecing it together as a whole, and then maybe re-read the books more slowly that I haven’t taken in so well first time around.

Are you behind? 

A couple of days behind as I write this! I’ve been getting into a bit of a pattern over the last couple of months – get several days behind in the week; catch-up over the weekend. It seems to work quite well.

Favourite thing you've read this month?

2 Timothy 2 is a great piece of advice. Get aligned with what’s important, run away from the dross. I think this also shows there are different types of Christians (see also 1 Cor 3.9-15) and we have choice which one we’re going to be; are we really going to go for it, and be the gold and silver? Or are we going to just slump along and be the wood and clay?

Anything left you scratching your head?

I’ve spent most of this month reading Jeremiah. God’s use of Babylon to punish Judah has been puzzling to me:

‘Babylon was a golden cup in the Lord’s hand’ Jer 51.7 (ESV)

God clearly uses Babylon for his purpose. He also describes Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian King, as his ‘servant’ (Jer 25.9). (I’m not sure Neb would agree judging by Daniel chapter 3!)

However God also makes it clear that Babylon are acting wrong and will be punished:

‘I will repay Babylon and all the inhabitants of Chaldea before your very eyes for all the evil that they have done in Zion, declares the Lord.’ Jer 51.24 (ESV)

So God used Babylon, even though they were evil, and later planned to punish them for it? This poses some questions. Is God in the business of using evil things for good in the end? Does God actually create situations that are seemingly bad in our perception, but are actually part of his plan?

And what implications does this have for international affairs today – is God still involved in directing circumstances? If we categorise a certain political regime as bad, does that mean that God isn’t using it for his good?

What's up next? 

Not long to go now – Revelation, the letters of Peter and John, Daniel, Nehemiah, Ezekiel are all still to come…

Tom Newbold is Bible Society's Digital Fundraising Officer. 

Following a Bible in a year reading plan? Let us know how you're getting on in the comments section below. 

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