Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 145

The scriptures read are 1 Chronicles 19-21, Psalm 119:73-112 and Romans 8.

1 Chronicles 19, 20. David's battles. I was arrested by the first line in chapter 20: "That spring, the time when kings usually go off to war..." (Eugene Peterson's The Message) It's still true. Armies rarely fight when the seasonal weather is likely to hinder them. Still it makes it sound like tourist season or the like.

1 Chronicles 21. In this version it is Satan not God who incites David to take the notorious census. At this point in the Bible, everything is seen as coming from God, good or ill, even if indirectly. Satan is possibly seen as God's instrument, as in Job, so that in a sense, this can be said to happen because of God permitting it. The Jebusite's threshing floor becomes the site of the temple.

Psalm 119: 73-112. The psalmist knows that God made him. He is persecuted but trusts the Lord to rescue him. At verse 105 we get the famous lines: "Your word is a lamp to my feet, a light for my path."

Romans 8. A magnificent chapter in which Paul lets everyone see how great is God's grace. And I am wishing for a different translation than the Message. Peterson makes small lines gleam. But this glorious chapter feels a little flat in his paraphrase. The main message can be discerned but the older language of other translations absolutely sings through this whole chapter: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ...For I consider that our present sufferings cannot even be compared to the glory that will be revealed to us...If God is for us, who can be against us?...Who will separate us from the love of Christ..." Breathtaking!  

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