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Online Bible Studies: Treasures of Darkness – Week 4

Welcome back!  You’ve survived what can be a controversial week.  I’ve taught through this study a handful of times now, and this week never goes by without in-depth conversation.  Oh how I wish I could be a fly on the wall for yours!  It was quiet around here last week.  I can’t encourage you enough to join the conversation by commenting below.  Leave your thoughts.  Comment on other people’s thoughts.  Let’s cultivate a rich environment as we continue this journey together.  Spurring each other on.

I’ve already emphasized my heart for the women for whom the word “wife” brings a piercing sorrow.  But I want to bring the point home again about our spiritual Husband.  Because the truth is that applies to every single one of us.  Married or not.  Our Maker is our Husband first and foremost.  Whether or not we have the physical counterpart.

As I re-read this Day One for this week, I also remembered another verse from another story.  One that nothing to do with marriage.  But everything to do with the role of a wife that we’ve been studying together this week.  And it was triggered by eight little words that Elizabeth George penned: Indeed, she delights in living in his shadow.

And I thought of a man that was hand-picked by God for a very important task in the beginning of Exodus 31.

Meet Bezalel.

He was the man with the holy calling of Chief Superintendent of the whole work of building the tabernacle.  (No pressure.)  But here’s the most interesting part: Bezalel’s name literally means “in the shadow of God” or “under the special protection of the Most High”.  And in those first few verses of the chapter, we see some bare facts:

– who God called
– why He called them
– how He gifted them
– what they were called to do

But what we don’t see?  Anything at all of Bezalel’s resume.  Nothing of what he did prior to this project, or what he went on to do after.  We know nothing of his qualifications.  We see nothing of his pride.  We see nothing of him using this divinely given position for selfish ambition.  He was not craving recognition or desiring to build a name for himself.  He was simply content to dwell in the shadow of the Almighty God.

As we chew on this week, preparing to go into next, may we (first and foremost) be like Bezalel.  Let’s delight living in the shadow of God first.  Because after that?  Everything seems to fall into place.

this week in review

What was the overall thing that hit home the most for you this week?  Let me know in the comments!

Day One:

Re-read the Elizabeth George quote at the end of Day One.  In what ways are you decidedly stepping back so that your husband (or Husband) may be noticed and honored?

Day Two:

You survived a not-so-pretty, in-depth look at how we can cause our husbands shame.  Let’s get a little bit more vulnerable: what is the one thing on that list that leapt off the page at you?  Thank goodness for grace, right?

Day Three:

Setting aside every cringe-worthy thing you’ve ever heard about submission and marriage, were you able to look at it in a different light this week?

Day Four:

How did the conversations go with your husbands this week?  Or, if you’re not married, how was your prayer time?

Day Five:

The last look at how we are the crowning glory of our husbands.  What is an example of a way you’ve adapted yourself to your husband, even though it wasn’t easy?

a peek at next week

We’re about to get into the heart of this study.  The meat of it.  The parts that I really struggled with through those few years of losing my best friend and staring down the seemingly unending road of delayed fertility.  And we’re starting with the topic of contentment.

This study was written in 2011.  And even as recently as last year, contentment was still an elusive topic.  Because when there is one deeply-rooted, years-long unanswered prayer lingering the depths of your Spirit, contentment is a daily battle.

I was emotional reading the introduction to this week in a different light.  Under different circumstances.  After coming to the end of myself.  And having God breathe new life into my faith and my body.  I’m no longer crying.  No longer discontent.  No longer in want of something I didn’t have but craved so deeply.  And even now, as I wait for this sweet babe to be born, I check myself.  Because he is not the solution to all this.  He is the answer to my prayer, but not the remedy to that soul-tension of unsettled desire.  Only God can fill that space.  And so I pray again: LORD, show me how, in the midst of this miracle, to still be entirely content with You.  Simply content to dwell in Your shadow.  Because everything else is just frosting on the cake.

Join the conversation by leaving a comment below and replying to other people’s thoughts!
Please Note: In an effort to maintain the security of this website, all comments must be moderated.  Because we are all in different time zones, comments might not be approved right away.  However, we will get to posting them as soon as we can, as often as we can!

Don’t forget to use the hashtags #TREASURESOFDARKNESSSTUDY and #OBSWITHJANEJOHNSON!

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