Daily Scripture readings for March, set #15:
The people of Judah disobey the Lord’s clear word to not go to Egypt, and the Lord promises punishment. It’s interesting to me, however, that the punishment isn’t universal. Apparently the Lord decrees certain punishments for certain people. “He shall come and strike the land of Egypt, giving over to the pestilence those who are doomed to the pestilence, to captivity those who are doomed to captivity, and to the sword those who are doomed to the sword” (Jer 43:11).
“For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil” (Eccl 12:14). We cannot hide from our deeds. We will give account for them. What will be your plea?
“See, you are well! Sin no more,that nothing worse may happen to you” (Jn 5:14). An interesting connection from Jesus on being physically healed of a disease and continuing in sin.
The language Peter uses here is slightly different from what I normally hear and would expect. “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God” (1Pet 1:20-21). We are believers in God… THROUGH Christ. In other words, we not only have access to God for salvation through Christ, but even our very belief in God is through Christ.
Daily Scripture readings for March, set #16:
“Why do you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands, making offerings to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have come to live, so that you may be cut off and become a curse and a taunt among all the nations of the earth? Have you forgotten the evil of your fathers, the evil of the kings of Judah, the evil of their wives, your own evil, and the evil of your wives, which they committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem?” (Jer 44:8-9). The current sins of the people are here linked to their having not remembered the sins of their ancestors. Implicit then is the idea that acknowledging the sins of past generations can help to keep us from falling to the same temptations in our own day. Is this OT prophecy’s version of the famous “those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it” quote?
What are the Songs of Solomon? On one level it’s clearly a love story between a man and a woman. Jewish rabbinical traditional holds it as a typologyy of God’s love for his chosen Israel, and many modern Christian commentators go further to see the “he” and “she” as Christ and the church, making all of us as believers the “she.” It certainly informs the reading of the book to know that these multiple themes and interpretations are present.
John 5 contains some great Trinitarian language. For example, verse 22: “The Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son.” Here we see the Son doing something that the Father does not do. This of course emphasizes the DISTINCTION between Father and Son, something that I think my default cognition of the Trinity tends to minimize.
“They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do” (1Pet2:8). Whew. I wish this verse wasn’t so direct. I wish it didn’t say what it says so clearly and so directly. I wish there was a way around the fact that this verse teaches that sin is part of some (if not all’s) destiny. But what I wish doesn’t matter. God’s word is God’s word.