I am officially 3 months behind on the Year-Long Bible Reading posts. Sigh. Bear with me!
Daily Scripture readings for January, set #1:
Notice the origin of Cyrus’ action on behalf of the people of Judah: “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom” (Ez 1:1). Those of you that have been following along with my year-long Scripture reading comments know that this is not an isolated incident. God stirs the spirits of human beings to act according to his will, or in this instance, according to his prophecy.
I can’t wait to dive into Proverbs. I mean, it’s amazing that the wisest man on earth wrote a book in order to share his wisdom (cf, Prov 1:2-6). As I begin yet another reading of this book, I’m reminded of the foundation nature of chapter 1, verse 7: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge .” The BEGINNING. The place from which one proceeds to all other places.
Luke 13:1-5 is a tricky passage. Jesus’ overall point seems difficult to pin down, and as a result I’ve heard different commentators use the text to prove mutually exclusive points. My paraphrase: Death can come at the hands of murderers or by random chance, but ultimately it is a punishment for sin, of which we are all equally guilty. I think?
“The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions” (1Tim 1:5-7). This is so convicting to me. The POINT of following Christ is to love others sincerely and purely, not to accumulate knowledge and use it to hammer needless debate.
Daily Scripture readings for January, set #2:
“But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away” (Ez 3:12-13). Basically, the new temple was shaping up to be such a dismal representation of Solomon’s temple that those who had known Solomon’s temple were reminded of their sorrow at its destruction. Total buzz kill.
Proverbs chapter 2 has more evidence that wisdom comes from God. “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding” (vs 6). More interesting to me than verse 6, however, are verses 1-5, which seem to suggest a concrete answer as to how one can “understand” the Biblical concept of “fearing” the Lord.