Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 122

The scriptures read are 1 Kings 10-12, Psalm 101 and Acts 16.

1 Kings 10. The Queen of Sheba visits. No hint of an affair. The whole chapter is like a breathless fan magazine drooling over Solomon and his wealth and throne and crib and wisdom and boats and chariots and horses...

1 Kings 11. ...and women. Solomon is as bad as his father in this department except he ends up with 700 wives and 300 concubines! (True story: I once won a trivia contest with this question and won a couple of nights in a nice resort for my wife--just the one--and me.) Many of these marriages might be for sealing political alliances and treaties but the foreigners seduce Solomon away from God with their gods and this gets Solomon's God mad! So he raises up some enemies and promises to rip the kingdom away from the house of David, all but Judah.

1 Kings 12. And under his son, Rehoboam, it happens. The people want some respite from Solomon's extravagant spending and building. Rehoboam decides to be hardnosed and call their bluff. Only it isn't.

Jeroboam becomes the first king of the northern kingdom called Israel (the southern kingdom, the Davidic one, is now called Judah). Jeroboam starts off on a bad foot by setting up rival pagan shrines to the temple in Jerusalem. So God's people are once more straying.

Psalm 101. A king's psalm that, had Solomon heeded, would have let him avoid a lot of unpleasantness.

Acts 16. Paul picks up a protege named Timothy. He circumcises him to avoid offending Jews (!)

Paul receives a vision that leads him to northern Greece, after he has been blocked from taking his missionary band to other areas.

Also the author joins the crew. Notice the "we" in the passages. Dr. Luke is on board.

The first European convert is a woman named Lydia. She is apparently a wealthy woman.

Paul and Silas get arrested and beaten. But as the two are having a midnight hymn-sing, an earthquake opens all the cell doors. Paul manages to stop the jailer from committing harakiri over what he thinks was a mass escape. The man becomes a convert. And the next morning Paul gives the city officials a nasty shock when he reveals that he and Silas are Roman citizens and should never have been whipped. Lots of bowing and scraping and apologies follow.

Congratulations! You are a third of the way through the Bible Challenge. You've finished 14 books and are midway through 3 others. Keep it up! 

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