Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 209

The scriptures read are Ecclesiastes 7-9, Psalm 21 and Colossians 2.

Ecclesiastes 7. There are a couple of bursts of proverbs, interspersed with the Quester's musings on people. He concludes that nobody is purely good and we have done that to ourselves.

Ecclesiastes 8. The Quester endorses obeying the king. (He would if he was a king. Traditionally, Solomon.) He tries to make sense of the fact that good people often suffer while bad guys sometimes get away with it. It doesn't make sense, not from a purely earthbound viewpoint. He just can't work out God's plan.

Ecclesiastes 9. Why does everyone, good or bad, have but one fate? (Remember, Jesus hasn't come. Revelation hasn't progressed to the point where the afterlife is at all clear. It seems to them at this point in time that if there is an afterlife, it consists of a gloomy existence in shadowy Sheol.)

So the best the Quester can do is conclude to embrace life. God made a world of pleasure. Living a good life doesn't exclude having a good life with your spouse, grabbing for the gusto and welcoming each day as a gift from God. Life is short and uncertain. Be wise.

Psalm 21. A reflective version of psalm 21 here.

Colossians 2. This is the rare letter where Paul is writing a church he's never visited. He wants them to know that he is nevertheless on their side. And they don't need to learn a lot of mystical mumbo jumbo, or follow tons of laws, or go through secret rituals. If they were baptized, that's all they need. That united them to Jesus, their immersion and rising from the water paralleling the burial and resurrection of Christ. The important thing is not just studying Jesus but putting him to work in your life.

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