Monday, September 26, 2011

The Air Up There

I'm amazed and a little humbled at how often God teaches me something new when I'm reading children's Bible books to my kids. Last week I started a "new" book series with the girls that I'm pretty excited about called The Bible Story by Arthur S. Maxwell.

Our set is copyrighted 1953 with a note on the inside cover for the child it was originally given to in 1954 - so sweet! I bought this 7-volume collection at a yard sale a few years ago for $10. (Current Amazon/Ebay searches have this set going for anywhere between $85 and $160. Score!) The series includes 250 stories spanning the entire Bible. It's sort of the "next step up" from all the short kid's picture/story Bibles we already have. The stories in this set are longer, more detailed and with fewer pictures. Too bad my kids cannot yet appreciate the 1950s illustrations the way I do.

Illustration by Harry Anderson
Well I've been anticipating the day when my oldest would have the attention span to begin this series that has been crammed up in the corner of her closet, not unforgotten. I decided it was time to give it a shot. We're only into story #3 so far but my intention is to read one story each day, during the day. (We wait for dad to read a chapter from Marian Schoolland's Leading Little Ones to God each night at dinnertime.) My 2 year old is hit or miss when we read The Bible Story but I invite her to snuggle with her sister and me on the couch anyways. After a few minutes she's usually doing somersaults next to me or has left the couch to "read" a different book to herself. My 5 year old does fidgit a little more than I hoped but we've managed to get through the first few stories with enough interested looks on her face to know that she is paying attention and learning something new about God, his character and our response. Plus I know when I need to pause to ask her a question or elaborate a little if she looks like she's starting to zone out. :)

So the first volume is titled "The Book of Beginnings." In story #1 we read that before creation, God always was, and he hovered in darkness over water. Story #2 was the first day of creation when God created the light by the power of his spoken words, separated the light from the darkness, and named the light "Day" and the darkness "Night." Today we read story #3 about the second day of God's creation when He separated the waters below (liquid/ocean) from the waters above (gas/clouds) and created the "firmament" which is the atmosphere, or the air between the waters below and above. 

Then it explained the perfect wisdom of God to create the air before he created the people and animals that would need it's oxygen to breath, the plants that would use it's nitrogen to grow, the birds that would need it to fly in and the rain that would use it to fall through. How many hundreds of times in my lifetime have I read or been taught about the six days of the creation of the world, never once having thought about the order of what was created and why. God prepared for the rest of his living creation by first creating air. He does nothing on accident and makes no mistakes.

"Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became his counselor? Or who has first given to him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." Romans 11:33 - 36

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