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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Day 92 (Same but Different II)

[reaction to OYB's Oct. 9-11 readings]

First, Jeremiah is a little confusing on the question of hope. For example, in some parts God actually tells Jeremiah not even to try praying for these miserable Israelites. Even if Samuel and Moses were there it would not be enough. Jer. 15. Then in other places Jeremiah compares the looming doom to putting metal in a forge or labor pains.

The same-but-different comes from comparing 1 Corinthians 7 to Jeremiah 16. In both passages, the author is warning people that this is not the time to change things. In both cases it is based on the coming of a new world order. Of course, the major difference is that Paul is anticipating the new world, while Jeremiah dreads it.

Oh, and Jeremiah 9:20 says, "Now, O women, hear the word of the LORD; open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail; teach one another a lament." Question: Is Teach Your Daughters How To Wail a Toni Morrison book? If not, don't you think it should be?

Day 91 (Same but Different)

[reaction to OYB's Oct. 6-8 readings]

Consider these two ideas. First from Jeremiah, "'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh—Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the desert in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.'" Second from Colossians,
8 See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ.

9 For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, 10 and you have been given fullness in Christ, who is the head over every power and authority. 11 In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature,[a] not with a circumcision done by the hands of men but with the circumcision done by Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead.
Notice that neither thinks one is saved by being physically circumcised. The difference is Jeremiah finds it necessary but not sufficient, while Paul thinks it is unnecessary. Nonetheless, both writers provide the notion that adherence to ritual and tradition is not the main point.

Oh, and here is some grammmar trivia. Where would you put the quote marks in this passage. By my count it is roughly this, Jeremiah writes, "God said, 'Jeremiah I want you to say to Israel, "The Lord says, 'Israel you are bad and what can you say for yourself, "Oh, God we're sorry!" Why should I believe you?' " ' ".

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 90 (Israel, you ignorant slut!)

[reaction to OYB's Oct. 2-5 readings]

First, an OT to YT vocabulary connection. Consider Jeremiah 2:20, "Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds," and Philippians 4:3, "Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cuse of the gospel." Being yoked to the Gospel or to YHWH are both good. (Fyi, 2010 version of NIV drops yoekfellow in favor of co-worker. Probably better. Little lost, although finding the similar idioms is kind of cool.)

Most of Jeremiah is bashing on Israel. Israel is a theif (Jer. 2:26), a camel or donkey in heat (2:23-25), but mostly a whore. I can't decide what I think about it. I think Jeremiah is conveying the level of betrayal. The intimate nature of it. That said, I'm not sure how well it would fly as a metaphor in modern sermons.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 89 (Life After)

[reaction to OYB's Sep. 30 - Oct. 2 readings]

Both Isaiah and Paul were looking for things to get better. Isaiah was still predicting a restoration of the nation of Israel. He expected things to turn around and for the descendants of David to return to their thrones, and in fact enlarge the reign to include the whole world. Isaiah saw the coming of a new heaven and a new earth. Isaiah sounds like John's Revelation from time to time, writing:
See, the LORD is coming with fire,
and his chariots are like a whirlwind;
he will bring down his anger with fury,
and his rebuke with flames of fire.
For with fire and with his sword
the LORD will execute judgment on all people,
and many will be those slain by the LORD.
Isaiah 66.
Paul writes to the Philippians about another vision of life after.
I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, so that through my being with you again your boasting in Christ Jesus will abound on account of me.
Phil. 1. Notice that Paul is undeniably talking about a reward in the afterlife. As surely as Isaiah was talking about a return to worldly power of the Israelites. Similarly, he writes, "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body." Phil. 3.

I think they are both right in that faith in God holds hope for all. I think they were both wrong about how it would be manifest.