Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 276

The scriptures read are Ezekiel 15-16, Psalm 77 and 3 John.

Ezekiel 15. The wood of the vine isn't really good for anything other than fuel. And that's how God is looking at Jerusalem right now.

Ezekiel 16. An extended metaphor in which Jerusalem is likened to an abandoned infant whom God made flourish, whom he cleaned up and when she was mature, he entered into the covenant of marriage with her. But she was unfaithful to him and became a prostitute, a madam with many brothels. She took the gold and jewelry God gave her as gifts and made them into pornographic idols. Then she sacrificed her children to the idols. So God judges and punishes her.

BTW, notice that the sin of Jerusalem's "sister," Sodom, was enjoying luxury while ignoring the poor and oppressed. Period. And in the final tally, God says Jerusalem was worse than Samaria and Sodom. God even looks forward to the day when he will restore their fortunes and Jerusalem's repentance will be seen when she receives them back. God will remember his covenant with his people and make a new one.

Psalm 77. Not a vocal but an evocative piano solo capturing the mood of this psalm.

3 John. This short letter, written to a Gaius, is all about hospitality. It is a much neglected virtue today but important enough for John to write about. When Christians traveled, such as their missionaries, there were no motels and so members of the church gave them room and board. John singles out a person who not only isn't hospitable but discourages it in others! This of course goes against John's refrain that we should love one another, repeated often in his other two letters.

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