Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 160

The scriptures read are 2 Chronicles 29-31, Psalm 130 and 1 Corinthians 5.

2 Chronicles 29. Hezekiah's first act is to unshutter the temple and get it cleaned up. Then he had it rededicated. I wish I could have heard the music and singing. I'll pass on the animal sacrifices.

BTW, 2 Kings doesn't mention the reopening and rededication of the temple, just Hezekiah's destruction of pagan shrines. You may have noticed that the Chronicler is very interested in the condition of the temple under the various kings of Judah.

2 Chronicles 30. Some interesting details to note: first, the king and the priests change the time of Passover to a month later in order to have time to get everyone consecrated and ready. And God has no problem with that. Secondly, the Levites seem to be better prepared than the priests. Thirdly, during a lull in Assyrian aggression, Hezekiah tries to unite the people of both the northern and southern kingdoms by inviting everyone to his Passover celebration. Only a few of the Israelites take him up on it. (The Chronicler is very interested in events where the 2 kingdoms come together over their common history with God. Only he records how the prophet Oded shamed the Israelites into returning the captive Judeans rather than making their kinsmen into slaves, back in chapter 28.)

2 Chronicles 31. The aftermath is an abundance of gifts for the temple and support for the priests and Levites.

Psalm 130. The psalmist calls upon God from the brink of death or some national disaster and waits for God's forgiveness and the redemption of Israel.

1 Corinthians 5. Paul deals with a scandal in the church. A member is sleeping with his stepmom. Paul tells the church to call an assembly and excommunicate the man. The purpose, you'll notice, is so that he repents and is saved. (According to 2 Corinthians 2:5-9, it worked and Paul urges them to forgive and comfort the guy.)

Paul says we can't stay away from all sinners or we'd have to set up a moon colony. But inside the church, there are certain standards of behavior. (We've seen what happens to our witness to the world when we let people within the church get away with being sexually immoral, greedy, or swindlers.) Elsewhere Paul counsels restoring a Christian caught in sin gently (Galatians 6:1). But the point is to deal with it rather than ignore it.    

No comments:

Post a Comment