Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22

OT: Zechariah 2:1-3:10

In another vision (or perhaps a continuation of the same one), the angel again assures Zechariah that God will plunder "the nations that have plundered you" (7-9). He also tells Zechariah that, "Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great numbers of men and livestock in it...and [God Himself] will be a wall of fire around it and...its glory within" (4-5). This vision of the walls of Jerusalem being removed and replaced by God Himself seems to be a vision of inclusiveness, which is continued in verse 11: "Many nations will be joined with Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you."

Then, we have an interesting section about the high priest, Joshua. I kept trying to make it about Jesus somehow (Joshua and Jesus are the same name, I think), but it didn't work b/c Joshua had soiled clothes, which represented his sins, which God then purified (3: 3-5). There still was something messianic about the whole thing, and verse 8 even said that the men involved were "symbolic of things to come," but I couldn't make it all work out in my head.

NT: Revelation 13:1b-18

Oh my goodness. No idea, no idea. There are beasts and dragons and horns and heads, and...I just don't know. If I had to guess, the two beasts represent countries? And the second beast is a country that formed an alliance with the stronger first beast? And I have no idea what the mark of the beast is, or what significance the number 666 has.

I did sort of like verse 10, as fatalistic as it was:

"If anyone is to go into captivity,
into captivity he will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
with the sword he will be killed."

I don't know what appealed to me about such a fatalistic and bleak verse, but there is something kind of freeing, I guess, about realizing that what will be, will be. Oddly, it kind of takes the worry out of it for me, and helps me to just relax and turn myself over to what is going to happen. I'm not sure why it has that effect on me, but that's how I felt when I read that verse.

Psalm 141:1-10

I loved verses 1-4 of this psalm:

"O Lord, I call to you; come quickly to me.
Hear my voice when I call to you.
May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
Set a guard over my mouth, O Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil,
to take part in wicked deeds
with men who are evildoers;
let me not eat of their delicacies."

I have recently tried my hand at liturgical prayer for the first time, and I have to say, I like it. Verses 1-2 strike me as a great opening for a prayer, and verses 3-4 seems like a great later part of the same prayer. I particularly like the request for God to set a guard over my mouth. I definitely need that!

Prov. 30:18-20

No idea. The guy is talking about things he doesn't understand, like eagles and snakes and ships and relationships. I guess he's unmarried?

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