Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 331

The scriptures read are Micah 2, Psalm 119:113-144 and Matthew 24.

Micah 2. God denounces those who plan evil, taking the land of others and bullying their neighbors. And he is against preachers who tell people what they want to hear rather than what they need to hear, like how the people treat the defenseless and the children, subjecting them to violence and vice.

Yet God plans to lead a remnant back out of exile.

 Psalm 119:113-144. Here's a contemporary jazz version of this psalm.

Matthew 24. The disciples ask 2 questions: "When will these things (ie, the destruction of the temple) happen?" AND "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the world?" The trick is to figure out which verses refer to which question.

 First up, the events of the Jewish revolt that lead up to the destruction of the temple in 70 AD. This part at least goes up till v. 27. The abomination of desolation could easily be the horrific state of the temple with lakes of blood from the slaughter by the Zealots and its burning by a Roman soldier. (Check out these passages from Josephus, an eyewitness, if you want more details.)

Secondly, Jesus' return will be obvious so don't listen to imposters. Keep alert but don't get too worked up trying to figure out when exactly it will take place. Even Jesus (at least at this point in his human life) doesn't know. So just make sure you're busy doing the work he gave you to do when he returns: ie, loving God and loving others and telling them the good news.

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