Monday, February 18, 2008

Day 49/90: Judges 20-21, Isa 37-42, 1 Cor 10-12

Reading Highlights:
  • The end of Judges is an awesome and terrible testimony to what theologians call the "passive" wrath of God - because God in his wrath simply allows men and women to go their own way and face the consequences of their actions - this is what we read in Judges. They are doing "what is right in their own eyes" as we all do from time to time and ignoring God, and He is allowing them to discover where their depravity leads. Another reminder of how dependent on grace we are every day.
  • While some of Isaiah has been repetitive up to this point, this section of Isaiah takes on a whole new flavor - Isaiah records the narrative history of his role in advising Hezekiah, the king of Judah, during the threat of Sennacherib, king of Assyria. This is a beautiful picture of why we should always trust God's ways above our own ways, why we should follow the words of God and not just what our eyes can see. When God tells us He will do it, we can trust Him wholeheartedly. And we all need to remember that God's hand is mighty to save - no matter what the odds against may be.
  • And what can you say about Isaiah 40? This may be some of the highest literature in the Bible when it comes to describing the glory and goodness of God.
  • More to come of the beginning theme of the servant in chapter 42 - this image will return several times through the end of Isaiah and contains some of his most amazing prophetic sections.
  • 1 Corinthians 10 took on new meaning tonight as I read it, especially the section about temptation. I have memorized 1 Corinthians 10:13 for years as a good reminder that God is faithful to provide a way out of temptation when we face it. What struck me tonight about reading it in context is how Paul is using the history of Israel as his theological foundation. In fact, many of the examples he uses, we have just read. In other words, what Paul is saying is that the temptations we face are similar to the temptations Israel faced as the chosen people of God, and that we can learn from them how to not stumble over temptation - wow.
  • Chapters 11 and 12 contain so much controversial stuff that there is no way to touch them here, but I was reminded during my reading that order and the spiritual gifts are all about showing love to other believers and building them up. This is the question we have to ask: "Am I using my gifts and my authority to build up others or simply to exalt myself?"

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