Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 233

The scriptures read are Isaiah 46-48, Psalm 40 and 2 Timothy 4.

Isaiah 46. We may not worship figurines but the problem with idols even today is they reduce God to something you can comprehend, carry around and put on a shelf. But God is not only bigger than we imagine but bigger than we can imagine. (Apologies to J. B. S. Haldane.) As it turns out, God is the one who is carrying us.

Isaiah 47. It's time to take Babylon, the First Lady among the nations, down several pegs. Even her magicians and astrologers don't have a spell to prevent this.

Isaiah 48. God talks frankly to his people, although they have a bad track record of listening to him. He could have washed his hands of them but he didn't because that's not who he is. He's always told them what was going to happen ahead of time. Now he's telling them to get out of Babylon. Cyrus is coming and God will redeem his people.

Psalm 40. This version does a good job of paraphrasing most of the psalm. However, half the versions labeled Psalm 40 are this catchy pop song loosely based on it. I can understand why. Enjoy. (And try to ignore the now ubiquitous misspelling of a common contraction.)

2 Timothy 4. Once more Paul tells Timothy to stand firm, no matter what others do. Paul is perhaps feeling alone right now. He's facing death and everybody is gone, except Luke. He asks Timothy to try to get to him before winter sets in and travel becomes harder and more dangerous. Bring his winter "coat." And his books! Love that.

He asks Timothy to bring Mark, who has evidently risen in Paul's esteem since the time he and Barnabas parted ways over the young man. And finally greetings to everyone on Timothy's end.

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