Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 258

The scriptures read are Jeremiah 44-45, Psalm 62 and James 5.

Jeremiah 44-45. Incredibly, the survivors who fled to Egypt will not give up idolatry nor return to Judah. So God's judgement will fall upon them as well. It is interesting that they use the same excuse churches do for not changing: "But we've always done it this way!"

Chapter 45 is more of a postscript to 44. Odd it should be that short. Archbishop Stephen Langdon, the guy who divided the Bible into the chapters we now have, must have fallen asleep in the middle of 45, woke up the next day, thought he'd finished with the chapter he was working in and just picked up with the next number. (The old joke was that he did his work while on horseback traveling from parish to parish. Whenever the horse stumbled, he inadvertently made a mark in his Bible and that became a chapter.)

Psalm 62. This rousing if loose paraphrase of psalm 62 is practically the only version available. It is a good song so enjoy it!

James 5. This is the only book in the Bible that does not distinguish between the rich who got that way through honest hard work while being generous to the poor and the rich who did it by exploitation and cheating workers out of their pay and even murder. It sounds like it was written by someone from Occupy Wall Street. I wonder how rich televangelists and prosperity gospel preachers and religious CEOs interpret these verses?

James closes with a list of good advice. Be patient waiting for Jesus' return. Quit complaining about each other. Pray. Sing. Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another. Don't give up on those who have strayed.

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