OT: Isaiah 62:6-65:25
Well, now that the fifties are done, I'm back to being confused by Isaiah. Often, it helps me to walk through it:
62:6-12 tells the people to beg God to reestablish Jerusalem and guarantees that once He does, it will never be destroyed again.
63:1-6 describes the wrath of God through imagery depicting Him trampling down grapes in a winepress. I can't be sure, but I think the grapes were Jerusalem in that analogy.
63:7-9 makes an abrupt transition to God's kindness toward His people, only to have them rebel in verse 10.
63:11-64:12 describes the punished people begging for God to have mercy on them and to do great things as in the days of old.
65:1-7 describes God's frustration with these people.
65:8-16 continues the theme, but also emphasizes that a remnant will be saved.
65: 17-25 describes the coming of "new heavens and a new earth." Much of this section seems to point to end-of-time stuff (there is even the wolf and lamb imagery in verse 25), but I did get tripped up a bit on the idea that the average man would live for at least a hundred years. If it's the end of time, shouldn't the people live forever?
Well, writing out the progression did help me see the bigger picture. When I was reading it, it seemed like such a hodge-podge, but writing it out helped me see the coherence of it all.
NT: Philippians 2:19-3:4a
A lot of today's reading was personal stuff between Paul and the Philippians, so there wasn't a ton that I took away from it. I did note Paul's interesting statement in verse 21. After describing how Timothy was unique in his concern for others, Paul adds, "For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ." Taken a certain way, that statement could seem a bit bitter. What I see in it, though, is discouragement. The statement reminds of some that Paul makes at the end of 2 Timothy about people deserting him, and reading those really makes me feel for Paul. He was so passionate, so "sold out" for God, and it makes sense to me that he would be discouraged sometimes by the lack of passion of those around him. I cannot claim to be anywhere near the level of Paul, but I, too, sometimes get discouraged when I think about humanity. And I find it oddly comforting--in a "misery loves company" sort of way--to know that I am not alone in that. Paul sometimes felt that way, too.
As I read this psalm this time around, I kept thinking, "Man, Job would have liked to have had this psalm." It would have really helped when he was trying to make his point to his friends that the wicked really do prosper sometimes.
Also, I really liked the last verse:
"But as for me, it is good to be hear God.
I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge;
I will tell of all your deeds."
"It is good to be near God." I like that.
Compares wisdom to honey. I just printed off some free lessons on building integrity in children, and they came with lots of cool object lessons. It occurs to me that Solomon seemed to be doing the same thing with his son here. I actually thought, I could do an object lesson with my kids using these verses. I have honey in the pantry!:)