Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2

OT: 2 Chron. 32:1-33:13

In today's passage, Sennacherib, king of Assyria, comes to threaten Hezekiah and to talk some serious trash. I compared the story to the version in 2 Kings 18-19, and it lined up well. It's funny--I didn't remember the destroying angel from Kings, but sure enough, it was there (2 Kings 19:35, 2 Chron. 32:21).

Next, Hezekiah got sick, and the chronicler sums up the story in one verse: "In those days, Hezekiah became ill and was at the point of death. He prayed to the Lord, who answered him and gave him a miraculous sign" (32:24). This version is definitely condensed from Kings' 11-verse tale (2 Kings 20:1-11). I wasn't too big a fan of that story anyway, so I like the short version:).

After a bout with pride and his subsequent repentance, Hezekiah went on to have a successful reign, only to be succeeded by the horrible Manasseh. He did all the usual bad stuff, and for his efforts, got deported by God to Babylon. When he repented, God let him come back.

Romans 15:23-16:7

Now that we are at the close of the letter, Paul gets down to some business details. He makes travel arrangements, talks finances, and sends some specific greetings to his friends.

All in all, I didn't have too much to say about this passage, though I did note a "first" for the NT. In 15:31, Paul requests prayers for his personal safety: "Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there." I can't decide whether I am disappointed or relieved by this request. I'm a little disappointed b/c I sure loved the idea of the selfless bravery of the NT Christians. And of course, this prayer request doesn't negate their bravery, or even Paul's bravery. I mean, of course, Paul wants to live to fight another day, and he elsewhere claims that his desire for life is strictly for Kingdom-minded purposes (Phil. 1:21-24). Still, I like the idea of a perfect, no-praying-for-your-life streak in the NT. Oh well. At the same time, I'm also relieved. It's kind of comforting to know that, as radical as Paul was, he wasn't totally crazy. He was cognizant of his life and its benefit. So anyway, it was with mixed emotions that I read that verse.

Psalm 25: 16-22

David takes a turn in the second half of the psalm, giving vent to his despair in a way that he abstained from in the first half. He tells God that he is "lonely and afflicted," and that "the troubles of [his] heart have multiplied" (16-17). He then concludes by once again imploring God to rescue him.

Proverbs 20:16-18

I didn't get verse 16:

"Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if he does it for a wayward woman."

Seeing several alternate versions (KJV, NLT, NASB), I see that an alternate translation for "wayward woman" is "foreigner." And I was also able to glean that in the first case, a garment will do, but in the second case, you need money. Maybe?

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