This week’s reading begins with David capturing Jerusalem, which will eventually become the heart of Israel and the home of God’s temple. It ends with what might be David’s biggest defeat, his destructive sin with Bathsheba.
After all that has happened to Israel since the nation crossed the Jordan to fulfill God’s promise to Abraham, one would think that these images and memories would be hard-pressed into the hearts of the children of Israel and serve as a vivid reminder of God’s power and grace. But no.
Sadly, the list of man’s failures and bad decisions continues to multiply. God is forced to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Then Lot’s daughters behave badly. And Esau trades away his birthright. Clearly, left to our own devices, we cannot help but pursue that which is sinful and destructive.
The first several days of reading provide a panorama of concepts that will encompass the entire Scripture. In the first few chapters of Genesis we encounter creation, the Holy Spirit, covenant, sin, death, worship, renewal, selfishness, and much more. Perhaps the most distressing observation is that man’s selfishness can very quickly lead to his own destruction – a theme that will play out again and again in the Scripture.