Saturday, May 11, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 128

The scriptures read are 2 Kings 1-3, Psalm 106 and Acts 21.

2 Kings 1. The new king of Israel isn't very bright. Not only does he send messengers to a foreign god (Baal-Zebub; sound familiar?) but he arrogantly sends men to arrest Elijah when the prophet gives him a prognosis not to the king's liking. Only after 2 groups of 50 soldiers get zapped from heaven, does the captain of a 3rd group approach Elijah humbly. The king still doesn't like what the prophet says. But then he dies, so his opinion doesn't really count, does it?

2 Kings 2-3. Elijah makes a big exit and Elisha inherits his spirit. Elisha reels off a bunch of miracles. And some people still don't learn: never make fun of a prophet.

Elisha has water flood the wilderness. And apparently, he uses music to inspire him!

Psalm 106. A psalm about the Exodus but this time emphasizing the sins of the people. Obviously written during or after the exile because the psalmist asks God to gather his people from among the nations.

Acts 21. More foreshadowing that Paul's trip to Jerusalem is not going to be a vacation. But Paul is running into a lot of Christian friends, including "Philip the Evangelist, one of the Seven." What Seven? None of my commentaries even deal with this. Still, Philip seems to have settled down where we last left him in Acts 8, 20 years ago. He has 4 unmarried daughters who prophesy. So women are allowed to speak in church. (Paul himself says women can pray and prophesy, as long as their heads are respectably covered [1 Cor 11:5], so his prohibition in 1 Cor. 14 is rather limited, possibly to disrupting the service by asking questions.)

Ironically the crisis over Paul happens when he is doing something to show he hasn't abandoned Judaism! And it's a mistaken idea that gets the mob started. The Roman soldiers actually rescue Paul. Before they can take him away, he asks to speak to the crowd...

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