We’re starting this year off with Everything Bible, an integral part of the craft equation for Christian Writers. I invite you to join us on our journey through the Word of God.
For some, the Bible seems an enigma. It is a collection of stories, parables, epics, adventures, poetry, and prose. Relating history in all of these forms, the Word of God was given for teaching. It’s a learning tool. A reminder of the goodness of God. It binds us together. I could go on and on, but I have to focus. This month, I will share a few of my favorite stories in the Bible.
Every history has a beginning. The Word is our beginning. The Word came first (John 1:1). As a writer begins a new story and creates a world with his or her words, God created the world by speaking words.
We read in Genesis 1:1-5,
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.
And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. (KJV)
Thus begins a story of epic proportions, a moral tale at times, when bad choices result in tragedy (i.e. Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel). Its purpose, not just to relate history, but to inspire us to live according to God’s word. It’s not a rulebook, though it contains rules. Its ultimate purpose is to inspire us to love enough to live a righteous life, outside of rules. In spite of rules. Even some of the best have come up short, but God’s love for us is ongoing.
It is difficult for me to choose a favorite among the Genesis stories, but if I must, I will choose Joseph. His imperfections are what drive him to the top. Long before he became a world leader, his father gave him a “coat of many colors.” That multicolored coat was a “type” or foreshadowing of things to come. Joseph would eventually lead Egypt (he was second only to Pharaoh). Many nations (people and/or races) came to buy grain. This, in my opinion, is the significance of the coat.
Joseph was a dreamer. His dreams were vivid and memorable. They paved the way for his future. I used to think it was not too smart for him to share those dreams with his brothers. Was it ego or immaturity that drove him? Of course his older brothers hated him for it. The kid was already their father’s favorite. But I realized this too was God’s plan. How else would Joseph end up in a faraway prison at the perfect moment in history? Right place, right time. You can read Joseph’s story in Genesis 37, 39-47.
Joseph’s integrity remained intact, no matter what obstacles were thrown in his way. A story like this can inspire a writer to create a story of their own.
This week’s prompt: Some said Andrew was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Athletic and outgoing, he entered grad school with a 4.0 average. Then things went terribly wrong. A young woman with whom he was only slightly acquainted accused him of statutory rape. Within a matter of weeks, he’d lost his job, his scholarship, and most of his friends. He was acquitted of the crime, but his life was forever changed.
Can you come up with a Joseph-like ending to this story? If so, please post it as a comment or send it via our contact page to be eligible for our January prompt contest. If we have multiple posts, we’ll choose the best one and enter that one in the final drawing at the end of January for a $10 Amazon gift card. Watch for additional prompts each Friday and Tuesday for more chances to win!