Five Golden Rings (The REAL Twelve Days of Christmas)

The Real Twelve Days of Christmas

Merry fifth day of Christmas!

The Christmas season, or Christmastide, doesn’t actually begin until Christmas Day, lasting for the next twelve days until the Feast of Epiphany on January 6, and celebrating the Incarnation: “God With Us”! These are the days referred to in the popular Christmas carol. So, we’re celebrating each day with a short explanation and thought. If you’re coming into the series late, click here to start with the first day:)

Here’s day five:

On the fifth day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me five golden rings…

Gold is valuable. One gold ring is a generous gift…but five? That’s an extravagant gift! The five golden rings symbolize the first five books of the Bible: the Pentateuch or Torah, five treasures worth far more than gold!

These five books of Moses lay the foundation – set the stage, if you will – for God’s entire unfolding plan of redemption. But they’re some of the toughest books of the Bible to get through, with all the genealogies, rules, and regulations.

Have you ever started out to read through the Bible only to get bogged down in Leviticus or Numbers?

I know I have. The first time I ever successfully read straight through the Bible without getting stuck in one of these books was when I did the Bible in 90 Days challenge. I know it sounds crazy, but I figured surely I could commit to 90 days, and it worked! It’s intense, like a sprint rather than a marathon. But that intensity is what I needed to push through those tough passages. And yes, I did benefit greatly, even reading that quickly! Since then, I’ve done it three more times, mentoring a group each time.

Bible-In-90-Days

Here are my thoughts after my first time through:

I really loved how I was able to get a “big picture”, “birds eye” view of God’s entire plan of redemption, spanning both Old and New Testaments. I have understood the historical “timeline” if you will, and even the flow of the books themselves, but it now has a whole new depth. I think especially reading it in such a short period of time allowed for picking up on things that might not be picked up on reading it in a longer plan. When I got to the Gospels and Epistles, it had literally only been a few weeks since I’d been reading the OT books that were being alluded to, so it was very fresh in my mind. Much different than flipping back and forth to see the cross references. I could remember reading the reference and what the immediate context was quite clearly.  I especially noticed this when it came to the Gospels, Hebrews, and Revelation.

Of course, I still love and value in depth study. It’s absolutely necessary. There’s value in both ways, and in many ways I see that a quick, intense reading straight through and deeper study actually complement each other. I know that things that came to light for me as I read will be applied when I go back to study in depth. I will definitely do the 90 day plan again…I feel certain that each time through will add another layer of depth to my understanding as more and more things jump out or hit home each time. (Read the whole post here.)

I definitely think it’s something everyone should do at least once! Personally, I’ll do it once every year or two. The results for me have just been incredible. In fact, I’m considering leading a challenge sometime this spring, after I finish the chronological plan I’m wrapping up in the next month or so. If you’re at all interested in possibly joining a challenge, fill out this quick form and I’ll let you know when and if I decide to do one.

I also highly recommend Nancy Guthrie’s Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament series, as I mentioned on day two! The volumes on Genesis and the books of the law are wonderful!

Tomorrow we’ll explore day six. Here’s a hint: can you think of any important events in the Bible that are associated with the number six?

Read the entire series here:

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