Tuesday, October 5, 2010

October 5

OT: Jeremiah 4:19-6:14

Well, I am not a Bible expert, but I have to disagree with the One Year Bible's interpretation of verse 19. When the verse begins, "Oh, my anguish, my anguish!" they insert that it is the Lord who is talking: "Oh my [the Lord's] anguish, my anguish!" What? In light of the rest of the section, I just can't see it. God's heart pounds within Him? He is scared of the battle cry of the trumpet? He is worried that His tent is going to be knocked down? No. I really think this is Jeremiah talking. God starts talking in verse 27, where it says, "This is what the Lord says..."

That's my interpretation, at least.

Today's reading continues the theme of Judah's impending destruction for her wickedness--and in terms of the imagery used, Judah is very much a "she." The country is compared to a woman pointlessly putting on makeup to impress men who despise her, which is possibly another reference to Josiah's surface-level, and thus, pointless, reforms (4:30). And she will soon experience pain comparable to a woman in childbirth. I have thoughts about all these comparisons to women, but I'm not sure how to express them. So I won't. I will just say that I find them interesting.

Today, the text also emphasizes that God will not completely destroy Judah, but will instead save a remnant.

NT: Colossians 1:21-2:7

In verses 21-22, Paul reminds the Colossians of their past sins in order to emphasize the beauty of their reconciliation with God. However, he adds a warning in verse 23 that the future state of this reconciliation is contingent on whether or not they "continue in the faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel." Clearly, something is going on with the Colossians, which has occasioned this letter. (Did I just make that a verb, or is it really one?) I have read a few theories, which will be introduced when we get to the appropriate verses. What I get from these verses is that something is causing them to drift away. By his warning, Paul indicates his fear that they are not firmly established in the faith. I will also add that these verses kind of fly in the faith of the "once saved, always saved" idea, but since I don't fully understand the reasoning behind that theory to start with, I won't go after a straw man.

According to Luke Timothy Johnson, verse 2:1 indicates that Paul did not know the Colossians personally. I can certainly see how you might interpret it that way, but I don't see it as definite. Combined with the verses in chapter one that said that Epaphrus had taught them the gospel, though, I do think that it's a correct interpretation to say that Paul didn't know them.

I'm kind of being nitpicky today, b/c for whatever reason, I don't have a ton to say about the content of the message itself. Basically, Paul tells the Colossians to hold firm to the teaching they have received, and he emphasizes that that teaching is pretty amazing. After all, they now know "the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints" (26). I agree--that's pretty cool.

Psalm 77:1-20

This psalm seems Davidic to me, but it is by Asaph! Good job, Asaph! It is a very personal testimony of how Asaph cried out to God in distress and then comforted himself with his knowledge of the great things God has done in the past. I looked ahead to see if it would be continued tomorrow, but nope, that's the whole psalm.

Proverbs 24:23-25

Emphasizes the importance of justice and impartiality.

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