Saturday, August 31, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 243

The scriptures read are Jeremiah 7-9, Psalm 49 and Hebrews 5.

Jeremiah 7. Jeremiah is ordered to stand at the Temple gate and buttonhole the people coming in. He is to tell then to change the way they live and not to listen to the lies they will hear in the Temple. Once again the sins are both against God and against one's neighbor. They think they are safe because of God's Temple. Ah, but there used to be a temple at Shiloh and it's gone now! Because his people don't listen, God will do the same for the Jerusalem temple.

BTW we get the verse about the temple being turned into a den of thieves that Jesus uses when he cleanses the temple.

God tells Jeremiah not to pray for his people. He won't listen anyway; they are so far gone.They are even burning their children alive to other gods, in the valley of Hinnom. In Jesus's day it will be the city dump where they burn the trash and will be called Gehenna, Jesus's preferred term for hell!

Jeremiah 8. The worst thing for a Middle Eastern person was to have your body left unburied. But that's what awaits the people. They sure haven't learned much about God after all this time. They act like nothing that's happening is that serious. Poor Jeremiah is heartsick over his broken people.

Jeremiah 9. After painting a picture of how two-faced and treacherous his people are, Jeremiah gives us this chilling image of a land empty of all life, an unnaturally quiet moonscape that is the aftermath of the coming judgment. Bodies everywhere. People brag of their smarts, their strength or their wealth when they ought to brag only if they know and understand God. He will do the right thing.

Psalm 49. The psalm in Hebrew but no on-screen translation this time. Just enjoy God's word in the original.

Hebrews 5. The author is developing his theme of Jesus as the superior high priest. He introduces the idea of the priestly order of Melchizedek. If you remember in Genesis 14, after Abram rescues his hapless nephew Lot from some outlaw kings, the king of Salem, Melchizedek, who is also a priest, brings out some bread and wine and blesses Abraham. Then he's gone as suddenly as he appears. So the author is using Melchizedek as an archetype for the superior high priest.

Jesus learned how to obey even when it meant suffering.

The writer stops to upbraid his audience for having to dumb everything down for them. They should be able to handle more advanced stuff by this time.

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