Well, a very busy day, followed by the last night of VBS, has definitely taken its toll on me, and I fear that I am not going to do today's reading justice. But here goes...
OT: I Chron. 22:1-23:32
In today's reading, David made "extensive preparations before his death" for the building of the Temple. He also made a speech to Solomon. There was also a genealogy. And lastly, we learned about some of the priestly duties in David's time.
Here are the things that struck me while reading about all that:
--I don't really know what to think about all of David's prep work for the Temple. God specifically told him not to build it, and yet, it is like he can't help himself. He has to get involved. In his actions here, is David being imprudent, or is he being passionate for God? It could go either way. Based on my understanding of the point of Chronicles so far, I think we are supposed to interpret David's actions positively.
--I was again struck by the idea that David was not allowed to build the Temple b/c he had too much blood on his hands. That is especially fascinating b/c David's military victories are usually celebrated in the Bible as coming directly from God. And yet, the Bible has made clear that God hates bloodshed. Apparently, then, bloodshed is a necessary evil, and even "good" bloodshed, such as David's, has spiritual consequences. In forbidding David to build God's dwelling place, it seems like God was putting some distance, some spiritual restrictions, between himself and David. It is kind of ironic: David was described as a man after God's own heart, and yet his bloodshed did separate him from God.
--Also, did 2 Samuel mention David's preparations? I am too tired to look it up, but I don't remember that. However, my brain tends to delete vast quantities of information on a daily basis, so I could have very well already read about all this in detail.
NT: Romans 3: 9-31
Whoa--I am way too tired to make much sense of Romans tonight. It's weird--I love Romans. And yet, I always find the opening chapters a bit dense and complicated. And that's unfortunate for me because there are some seriously deep, foundational, core ideas contained in these chapters. In today's passage, Paul expands his description of the depravity of man from those who deny God (Rom. 1) and those who have God, but are hypocrites (Rom. 2), to everyone, including himself. According to the oft-quoted verses 10-11, "There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God." Verses 12-18 go on to slam all of humanity in no uncertain terms.
And then, Paul lays out atonement theology. Finally! After nary a mention of the atoning nature of Christ's sacrifice in Acts, we have it written out in detail here. And I loved all of that, of course, but what confused me tonight was still the relation between this new righteousness and the law. In verse 21, Paul proclaims, "But now a righteousness apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify." But then in verse 33, Paul says this: "Do we, then, nullify the law by this faith? Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law." I know that these don't contradict each other, but my sleep-deprived brain is not putting the pieces together. Instead, I just have questions about the use of the word, "law." Why is it capitalized in that one place, but not in any others? What does "apart from law" mean? Why not, "apart from the law"? Why do I not know Greek? I took a year of it. Where did that knowledge go?
Oh well. Remind me to think of this tomorrow when I'm more in my right mind.
David bemoans the lack of godly people and cries for God's help.
I liked these verses on wives b/c I'm fortunate enough to have a husband who considers me a prudent wife, despite any and all evidence he has seen to the contrary:).