OT: Ezekiel 27:1-28:26
For half of today's reading, I was thinking, "Who the heck is Tyre, and why is Ezekiel going on about them?" And then, the lightbulb came on: Tyre is code for Babylon.
Or not. I just looked it up in my Bible handbook, and according to it, Tyre is code for Tyre. Oh well.
I actually kind of enjoyed reading about Tyre's wealth and their trading habits. Ezekiel painted a picture of a beautiful, thriving civilization. I can see how, living in that civilization, you would be tempted to think you were invincible. In fact, when I don't watch myself, I tend to think that about my own civilization. Thinking about the destruction of Tyre provided a sober reminder that no country is invincible.
And as with the other countries, the result of Tyre's destruction is, "Then they will know that I am the Lord" (28:24).
NT: Hebrews 11:17-31
Today, the hall of faith continues, and it occurred to me that (duh), this section is yet another retelling of Israel's history. I love seeing the Israelites' treatment of their own history, especially their artistic slants. In Psalm 105 and 106, for example, the psalmist(s) tell the same history, but employ contrasting themes to organize their renditions. The Hebrew writer, on the other hand, takes the theme of faith and chooses to view all of Israel's history through that lens.
It's funny how the best thing he can think to say about Jacob is that, "when he was dying, [he] blessed each of Joseph's sons, and worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff." One of my Bible professors pointed out that lame "praise" earlier this year when we discussed what a sleaze Jacob was. But hey, I'm glad the guy was able to find the positive:).
I also like that Rahab was included. She was also included in the lineage of Jesus, which shows just how far faith will carry you in the NT. And when I think of God's dim view of prostitution (Oholah and Oholibah, anyone?), I am reminded how the story of Rahab provides a stark example of God's grace.
A praise psalm, which concludes with the famous proverb, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (10).
Prov. 27: 15-16
Against quarrelsome wives.