Firing At Random

Daily Scripture readings for December, set #19:

2 Chronicles, chapters 17-19
Psalm 144
Luke 11:29-36
2 Thessalonians 1

“But a certain man drew his bow at random and struck the king of Israel between the scale armor and the breastplate” (2Chron 18:33). It’s fascinating to me that the term “random” is used in this verse. Oh, you know, some guy just randomly shot his arrow in the air and it just happened to land squarely in the ONE SPOT where a king has armor. The Lord declares death for Ahab, and he subsequently gets shot. And the word used IN SCRIPTURE to describe Ahab’s death is “random.”

“Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle” (Ps 144:1). It’s interesting to cross-reference a verse like this with Matthew 5:9. Are these two verses incongruent, or are they perhaps addressing different things entirely?

“For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation” (Lk 11:30). A sign of what? A sign of their own condemnation. But it is SIMULTANEOUSLY also an indication of God’s at-the-ready mercy.

“They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might” (2Thess 1:9). This is the plight of the non-believer – those who would reject Christ and his offer of redemption/forgiveness.

Daily Scripture readings for December, set #20:

2 Chronicles, chapters 20-21
Psalm 145
Luke 11:37-54
2 Thessalonians 2:1-5

Sheesh. Today’s reading in 2 Chronicles is packed with intense/good/awful stuff. The thing I’m most struck by, at least at this particular moment, is verse 22 of chapter 20: “The Lord set an ambush against the men of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah, so that they were routed.” The LORD set the ambush! The people of Judah hadn’t even arrived at the battlefield yet. This checks out with verse 17, where the Lord tells the people that they won’t even need to fight in the battle.

“The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season” (Ps 145:15). The eyes of ALL. What does “all” mean here? All… of Israel? All… of every living thing? Well, “every living thing” is the exact phrase used in the very next verse (vs 16), so presumably we can equate that with the term “all” in verse 15.

In the midst of Jesus’ verbal beat down against the Pharisees is this gem: “But give as alms those things that are within, and behold, everything is clean for you” (Lk 11:41). It is the heart, not the appearance, that matters.

Remember Harold Camping? “Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way” (2Thess 2:1-3). It really seems like it couldn’t be any clearer here.

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