Some of the things I’m putting in my journal Bible are pieces I’ve written in the past about Bible characters and events. One such is a poem I wrote in 2003—“Presence Blessing” sparked by 1 Chronicles 13:14.
The backstory: David wanted to move the Ark of the Covenant from someone’s house to Jerusalem, the centre of worship. Instead of moving it in the prescribed way (carried on poles by the priests) he had it placed on an ox-pulled cart. In transit, when it shifted and threatened to fall, a man reached out to steady it. When he touched it, he fell dead. God’s power, that was on the Ark, was not to be tampered with.
David was shocked and grieved. He stopped the Ark right there and left it in the house of Obed-Edom.
It was in Obed-Edom’s house for a mere three months. Yet during that time, it was obvious to everyone that God’s blessing was on him and his family (1 Chronicles 13:14). How might that have looked and felt, I asked myself. “Presence Blessing” was the result of my musing on those questions.
Method and Materials: To do my Bible journal entry I decided to use some decorative rubber stamps of fruits and vegetables I had from years ago (typifying the bounty I imagined Obed-Edom experienced as God’s blessing). The glaze that came with them is long dried, but I found that loading them with brush marker ink worked fine.
I tried it out on scrap paper and saw that the ink bled through even copy paper, so I knew it would wreck the thin, unprotected pages of my Bible. Thus I prepped my page with transparent gesso before doing any stamping.
The plan was to decorate the right margin of the Bible page and attach the poem, hand-printed on tracing paper, as a tip in. I stamped the page fine, but then the washi tape wouldn’t adhere to the gesso-treated page. Need a Plan B.
I decided to attach the poem to the facing page instead. Once attached, it felt like it needed a little decoration behind, but nothing with words as the tracing paper is pretty thin and words under would make the poem hard to read.
I came up with idea of a rainbow, which I coloured with pencil crayons.
After it was all done, I was happy with the look of it. And on second thought, I realized the rainbow is a wonderful symbol of God’s presence.
Some rainbows in the Bible:
- Gods first rainbow was a covenant with the people of Earth – Genesis 9:12-17.
- Rainbow light surrounded God’s throne in both Ezekiel’s and John’s visions – Ezekiel 1:28; Revelation 4:2-3.
- A little article I found on rainbows in the Bible concludes with this thought about them:
“All mention of rainbows in Scripture have a direct connection to the power and glory of God.
“The sign of the rainbow was meant to be ‘for all future generations’ (Genesis 9:12). When we see a rainbow now, we can let it be a reminder of our covenant-keeping God and His indescribable beauty.”
And so with that little experience, I’m finding that Bible journaling is not only fun and creatively challenging but it’s taking me, sometimes consciously, sometimes intuitively, in good, even prophetic directions!