I’ll tell you something which may make you change your mind about how you think of me. It is controversial enough that you may struggle to continue calling me friend (I truly hope this is not the case.).
Here it is: When I read a book, I almost always read the ending first.
To explain my reasoning, let me share a great analogy my husband used a few weeks ago. It describes a benefit of knowing the end before a story begins.
Suppose your favorite football team is playing their arch-rivals and the game is expected to be a nail-biter. Unfortunately, you have a commitment at the time of the game and will miss watching it on TV. So you record the game. Before you get home, your friend calls to congratulate you on the win. Now you know the outcome. But this does not deter you from watching it when you get home. Even though you already know the score and that victory is coming, the game is still crazy good, hard, stressful, and amazing. However, since the final outcome was revealed to you in advance, you watch the game with a different perspective. You have a certain sense of peace. Your team wins.
This is EXACTLY the case in a life with Jesus and God’s story told through the Bible. God shares the final outcome with us. Jesus wins!
Knowing this truth does not diminish the journey or the story one bit. We still have good days, bad days, stressful days, and amazing days. The only difference is we can always look at tomorrow with hope because God chooses to tell us the end of the story.
On January 30, I will begin my 2023 reading plan (see link below) by reading the books Genesis and Revelation together. Why? Because these two books tell God’s story from the perspective of the beginning and the end. Or another way of stating it: Genesis is the beginning and Revelation is the end with a new beginning.
Because of this, I LOVE reading Genesis and Revelation together.
- In Genesis, we see the introduction of God’s plan.
- In Revelation we discover the fulfillment of God’s plan.
- In Genesis we see paradise in a garden.
- In Revelation we anticipate a new paradise where God will dwell with us forever.
- In Genesis Satan is introduced.
- In Revelation Satan is banished and judged.
- In Genesis death is a result of sin.
- In Revelation death is overcome and has no more sting.
Through stories of people in Genesis, we meet a sojourner, a doubter, a deceiver, and a dreamer. They had faults. But they also had a whole lot of hope. We can identify with the beginners in Genesis because, like them, we too are part of God’s story.
Our story with God is further revealed in the last pages of the Bible. We are told that we will become victors, over-comers, worshipers, whole, a kingdom of priests, and permanent residents with God.
You see, reading the end of the story is not all that bad. Sure, you are about to discover some hard stuff in both Genesis and Revelation. But hang in there, because as you read, you’ll see a faithful, loving God who never gives up on his people – even to the last pages of the Bible.
Suggestions for reading Genesis/Revelations:
- Before you begin each day, ask God what he wants you to learn about him.
- Keep a list of all the firsts you discover while reading Genesis and Revelation.
- Write down any common themes in Genesis and Revelation.