Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 253

The scriptures read are Jeremiah 31-33, Psalm 57 and Hebrew 13.

Jeremiah 31. Image after image of restoration. God will not abandon his people and they will come back to their home and to Zion.

The key is the new covenant God will make with his people. This time it won't be carved into stone but into their hearts.

Jeremiah 32. The Babylonian army is besieging Jerusalem and Jeremiah in in the royal jail for predicting that Babylon will win. Yet while he is in prison, Jeremiah is told to buy a field as a prediction that God will restore things eventually. But in the short term, he will let the Babylonians loot and burn the city.  

Jeremiah 33. The coming destruction is like the demolition that comes before building something new.

We get a glimpse of the Messiah and God's assurance that he will not let his covenant with David's descendant fall apart.

Psalm 57. Fascinating combination of the first half of the psalm sung in Gujarati and a sweeping view of the Indian countryside from a train. For the second half I offer this contemporary Christian version of the psalm.

Hebrews 13. Lots of good advice as the letter wraps up, encouraging hospitality, identifying with prisoners, sexual fidelity, contentment with what you've got, supporting your pastors, etc. I like the push to go outside, to go out of your comfort zone, metaphorically going where Jesus went to be crucified. The church shouldn't be a fallout shelter but a supply depot and rest stop for those following Jesus.

It ends with a beautiful benediction.

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