February Progress Report

2 minute read

We’re about a week into February, so it’s time to check in on those resolutions. Some huge fraction of people have given up by now, less than 40 days in. How have my resolutions gone? Well, for one thing, it’s February, and this is the first e-mail this year. So… I’m in that fraction. But I haven’t been idle; some good things are happening.

Recently on VerseNotes

The Entire Bible, Chapter-By-Chapter

This year, as part of my devotional, I’m taking notes on every chapter of the Bible. Every weekday, I’m posting new notes on the website and on Facebook and Instagram. You can follow along with me there, or you can join me with the (free) template.

So far, I’ve finished Genesis and Matthew.

Is Esther an Advent Story?

I read and wrote a lot about Esther last year. So naturally, as we got closer to Christmas, I considered Esther through an Advent lens. It turns out that if you tell the story of Mary and Joseph and Rome, but remove the names, it looks an awful lot like Esther.

New Start Here Page

I’m trying to make VerseNotes easier to navigate, and step one is having a good place to start. Let me know if you think it’s doing its job. I know there’s still work to do.

Delight in the Details

Recently, I’ve been enamored with what I’m calling “Very Minor Prophets”: the ones who show up in Scripture, but don’t get their own books.

Zedekiah: When King Ahab Israel calls the prophets to divine whether he and King Jehoshaphat of Judah should go to war with Syria, one of the four hundred prophets he summons is Zedekiah Son of Chenaanah. Zedekiah makes iron horns and wears them around, saying Ahab will destroy the Syrians.

Later, Micaiah shows up and informs Zedekiah that he’s been tricked by a messenger of God to convince Ahab to go up against the Syrians and be defeated and killed. Zedekiah smacks Micaiah, but it turns out he was right: Israel and Judah are defeated, and Ahab is killed.

Et Cetera

Things I learned in my reading this week.

The Most Important Thing About Us

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”—A.W. Tozer

Moses Objects to God

Moses objects to God five times in Exodus 3 and 4, when God is calling him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt:

  1. Exodus 3:11 (“Who am I?”)
  2. Exodus 3:13 (“Who shall I say sent me?”)
  3. Exodus 4:1 (“They will not believe me”)
  4. Exodus 4:10 (“I am slow of speech and slow of tongue”)
  5. Exodus 4:13 (“Send someone else”)

Hammurabi Was An Amorite

Hammurabi, of the famous code was an Amorite, one of the tribes Israel encountered in Canaan.

Grouping the Plagues of Egypt

The first nine plagues of Egypt can be divided into 3 groups of 3, in each of which the first starts with Moses warning Pharaoh early in the morning as he goes to the Nile, and the last happens without warning.

Structure of Psalm 27

Psalm 27 follows a 2-7-2 structure, with the name of God repeated 4x in each 2-verse intro and conclusion and 10x in the body.

“The voice of the Lord” is repeated 7x in the body.

Malachi Was Definitely Right

Luke 1:17 explicitly says that John the Baptist will go in the “spirit and power of Elijah”, so it’s even weirder that the disciples didn’t know that later during the transfiguration.