Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 87

The scriptures read are Judges 1-3, Psalm 73, and John 7.

Judges 1. In Peterson's introduction to Judges, he writes, "God, we are learning, does some of his best work using the most unlikely people." That's a good lesson to draw from this book which chronicles a kind of Wild West situation that arose between the time of Joshua and the first king of Israel.

Judah and Simeon capture and burn Jerusalem! It's part of a campaign to chase the Canaanites out of the land. They have successes but can't subdue the coastal cities. Those folks had iron chariots. Must be the latest in military equipment.

The men of Benjamin can't oust the Jebusites from living in Jerusalem with them. Up in the north they aren't having much luck getting the Canaanites or Amorites to leave either.

Scorpion's Pass! That really sounds like the Wild West.

Joshua 2. God's angel scolds the Israelites for not getting rid of pagan altars. And we are told that after Joshua and his peers all die, there arises a generation with no direct knowledge of God and what he's done for Israel. A cycle starts. The people sin, fall prey to an oppressor. They cry to God, he sends a leader (called a judge) to lead them against their enemies. But as soon as the judge dies, the people go back to their idolatrous ways. This book takes us through several of these cycles. 

Joshua 3. The first cycle involves the king of Aram oppressing the Israelites. They are delivered by the Spirit-led Othniel, nephew of Caleb. But after 40 years he dies and the people backslide. And so the cycle repeats itself.

Ehud, the second judge, assassinates a very fat tyrant in a rather gross scene. Result: 80 years of peace. Then the people of Israel...oh, you know.

Psalm 73. The psalmist speaks of a time he was tempted to follow the wicked. Their lives seemed better than the hard life the psalmist had. Then he woke up to the reality of the situation. It was a close call but now he is getting ever closer to God.

John 7. Jesus faces skepticism from his brothers. Later he does a "Prince and the Pauper" thing at the Feast of the Tabernacles and overhears the gossip as they talk about Jesus.

Jesus finally puts in an appearance at the feast. The whole thing develops into chaos as folks debate his identity. Nicodemus tries to help Jesus but is shouted down.

No comments:

Post a Comment