I’ve been working on this blog post for quite awhile. I was trying to write something about Genesis 39:1-20, the story of Joseph at Potiphar’s house. I had several things I was working through. I was thinking about why Joseph resisted the temptation to sleep with Potiphar’s wife by saying he didn’t want to sin against God, instead of saying he didn’t want to anger Potiphar. I was comparing that to Psalm 51, when David says he sinned against God, not Bathsheba. They were interesting thoughts.
But nothing was clicking. Nothing was feeling personal or profound or worthy of a blog post. I couldn’t find a nugget of wisdom to offer the world. I wasn’t inspired. So, I thought about moving on. But philosophically, I want to have posts on my blog that are intentional reflections on intentional study of the Bible, not just my own journey, to make sure I am lighting up my path with God’s Word.
I finally realized what the core problem was. I was approaching the Bible with an agenda. I was approaching the Bible with an expectation that every story I read should supply me with a pearl of wisdom.
I have become acclimated to a culture of inspiration on demand. I can listen to a podcast in about 30 minutes or a TED talk in about 20. I can take 5 minutes to read a blog post or 1 minute to read a tweet. Inspirational talks, writings, and quotes are at my fingertips.
None of those things are bad. In fact, I find them all helpful as I try to wander my way through life. The problem is that the Bible is much more than a collection of pearls of wisdom.
The Bible is a rich history of Yahweh. It’s about the Creator of the universe, and his interaction with and love for his creatures. It is a story we can learn from. It is a story we are a part of.
So, though it is good to approach the Bible with an expectation that God will speak to me through it, I should not approach it thinking I know how God will speak to me through it. Sometimes there may be a nugget of wisdom just right for my day. But other times, it may be important for me to appreciate how God was working in and through the person I am reading about, regardless of how it affects me.
So, today, I have released my agenda and am appreciating the story. God was with Joseph in Egypt, and Joseph was faithful to God. Praise be to God.