Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 320

The scriptures read are Amos 7, Psalm 113 and Matthew 15.

Amos 7. Amos receives a vision of destruction: locusts poised to eat all the crops in Israel. Amos pleads with God and God relents. The same thing happens when Amos receives a vision of a firestorm. God relents. God does listen. He doesn't change his character or his aims but he may change the method he will use. A good lesson for us.

The priest of the shrine at Bethel confront Amos, who isn't even from Israel but Judah. Amos reveals he wasn't a prophet but a farmer and gardener. God called him to prophesy to Israel.

Psalm 113. The techno version of this psalm will get stuck in your head.

Matthew 15. Why did Jesus object to handwashing before meals? It wasn't done for physical but for ritual cleanliness. It isn't required by scripture and it was concerned with externals. The Pharisees are willing to come up with a work-around when it comes to the commandment to honor your parents. Declare the money you would have used to help your folks to be a gift dedicated to God (after you die) and you don't have to spend it on mom and dad. Plus it's not external filthiness that defiles people; it's their hearts. If they are full of bad intentions and schemes, then the state of their hands is the least of their worries.

Jesus challenges a Gentile mother to give him a good reason for him to take his mission outside of the Jewish people. She does.

Jesus feeds four thousand this time. As we will see the disciples still don't get it.

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