Friday, July 26, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 207

The scriptures read are Ecclesiastes 1-3, Psalm 19 and Philippians 4.

Ecclesiastes 1.  The Preacher/Teacher (Peterson translates it "Quester") is a Davidic king who has had it all, seen it all, done it all and it's all like a morning mist, ephemeral, transitory. He's pretty jaded about life. It's always the same thing.

Ecclesiastes 2. More "been there, done that." Then this king realizes that even the achievements that will outlast him, the stuff he worked hard to create and amass, will just go to another person. You can't take it with you.

Ecclesiastes 3. Here you find the famous list of all the actions in life and the fact that there is an appropriate time for all. And if you can't read this without thinking of the famous version by the Byrds, well, neither can I. (Here it is.) The writer even questions if there is an afterlife. This is the Old Testament with very little said about the afterlife and most of what is said is grim. And this is a sobering thought. The philosophy of Ecclesiastes is the best you can do if there is no recompense after this life.

Psalm 19. Such a beautiful psalm and so few videos that (a) cover the whole thing and (b) feature good singers and decent sound quality. But I really like this version in Hebrew, complete with phonetic pronunciation and English translation.

Philippians 4. One of the most beautiful closing chapters of all Paul's letters. His advice on how to turn everything into song, what to meditate on (most Christians should think about these things) and his expression of contentment in spite of circumstances need to be read over and over.

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