Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Numbers 21 – The king of Arad, just west of the Dead Sea in the Negeb, comes out to fight the Israelites and takes some captive. Verse 3 refers to a vague later time when the Lord will deliver them up to the Israelites but that time is not now apparently.
They set out on the Red Sea road to bypass Edom; and again the people grumble against God and Moses – this time about the wretched food. The Lord sends saraph [burning] serpents to punish them, and they repent and ask…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 16, 2013 at 6:14am — No Comments
Leviticus 24 –A perpetual flame of olive oil shall burn regularly in the lamp-stand of the sanctuary. “It shall burn there before YHWH from evening to morning continually. This is a perpetual law for your descendants: Aaron is to see to the lamps on the pure lamp-stand before YHWH, continually” (24:3-4).
Showbread of fine flour shall be baked into twelve cakes and put in two piles on the gold table that stands before YHWH (24:6). On each row, there must be…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 3, 2013 at 6:18am — No Comments
Exodus 30 – The incense altar (not previously mentioned—possibly an addition) is 18” long and 18” wide and 36” high (using the Today’s English Version so as to get away from cubits). It has “projections,” rings and poles to make it moveable. And it is placed “outside the curtain which hangs in front of the Covenant Box” (30:6).
There shall be incense burned morning and evening for all time to come. No holocausts or cereal offerings or libations shall be made…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 11, 2013 at 5:55am — No Comments
Exodus 27 – The altar or “slaughter-site” [Schocken] shall be a square – five by five cubits, three cubits high. It is to be made of bronze and there are to be “horns” on each corner of bronze. Like the ark, it too shall have poles so that it may be carried.
The courtyard of the sanctuary should be enclosed with linen curtains hung on silver hooks and rings. The curtain shall be decorated “with beautiful embroidery in blue, purple and scarlet thread”…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 8, 2013 at 6:10am — No Comments
Genesis 41 – Two years after this, the Pharaoh himself has two disturbing dreams that he cannot understand. “In his dream he saw seven fat, healthy cows come up out of the river and begin grazing in the marsh grass. Then he saw seven more cows come up behind them from the Nile, but these were scrawny and thin. These cows stood beside the fat cows on the riverbank. Then the scrawny, thin cows ate the seven healthy, fat cows!” (41:2-4). He wakes up and then sleeps again. “This…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 19, 2013 at 6:18am — No Comments
Genesis 26 – A severe famine strikes the land, so Isaac moves to Gerar, where Abimelech, king of the Philistines, lives. “The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, ‘Do not go down to Egypt, but do as I tell you. Live here as a foreigner in this land, and I will be with you and bless you. I hereby confirm that I will give all these lands to you and your descendants, just as I solemnly promised Abraham, your father” (26:2-3). So Isaac stays in Gerar.
But when “the men…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 1, 2013 at 6:17am — No Comments
Genesis 24:33-67 - They show the servant of Abraham great hospitality; he tells them the whole story about Abraham – his success in making the move he did and the prosperity he came into with God’s help. He explains why his master sent him and how he came to believe that Rebekah was the intended bride for Isaac.
After hearing all the details, Laban and Bethuel [Rebekah’s brother] agree to the marriage; they only ask that she remain with them for ten days. Abraham’s…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 1st mo. 30, 2013 at 5:56am — No Comments
Psalm 31 – “O Lord, I have come to you for protection; don’t let me be disgraced. Save me, for you do what is right. Turn your ear to listen to me; rescue me quickly. Be my rock of protection, a fortress where I will be safe. You are my rock and my fortress” (31:1-3).
“You see my suffering; you know my trouble . . . Be merciful to me, Lord, for I am in trouble; my eyes are tired from so much crying; I am completely worn out. I am exhausted by sorrow, and weeping has…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 12th mo. 11, 2012 at 8:10am — No Comments
Judith 10 – Judith removes her sackcloth, washes and dresses herself up in all her best clothes, jewelry and perfumes. She looks beautiful. She goes to the town gates and there finds the town leaders, Uzziah, Chabris and Charmis. She tells them they should leave the town gate open so she can come and go. And then she takes off toward enemy lines.
As she comes down through the valley, a unit of the Assyrian army seizes her and asks her which side she is on and where she…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 9th mo. 6, 2012 at 7:30am — No Comments
Judith 9 – Judith throws herself to the ground, scatters ashes on her head and cries out to the Lord. This is her prayer:
“[Y]ou have made the past, and what is happening now, and what will follow. What is, what will be, you have planned; what has been, you designed” (9:5).
“See the Assyrians, boasting in their army, glorying in their horses and their riders, exulting in the strength of their infantry. Trust as they may in shield and spear, in bow and…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 9th mo. 5, 2012 at 6:49am — No Comments
Sirach 14 – “Happy the man whose own soul does not accuse him, and who has never given up hope” (14:2).
I can relate to this one very deeply. I have not always been a “believer.” Or, it’s more complicated than that – I have not always felt comfortable with the very deep sense I always seemed to have that there was/is a God. I’ve always had a deep intuition that there must be, but my “reason” has not always been comfortable with that intuition. For some years I just…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 7th mo. 17, 2012 at 7:55am — No Comments
Jeremiah 48 – Oracle against Moab – Bitter enemies of the Israelites (conquered by the Babylonians in 582 BC, two years after Jerusalem. “Because you trusted in your works and your treasures, you also shall be captured” (48:7). The Lord says through Jeremiah, “Moab has always lived secure and has never been taken into exile. Moab is like wine left to settle undisturbed and never poured from jar to jar. . . So now, the time is coming when I will send people to pour Moab out…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 24, 2012 at 8:14am — No Comments
Jeremiah 42 - The leaders of the remnant, Johanan and Azariah, beg Jeremiah to intercede for them with God. They sound as if they are REALLY ready to be obedient to whatever the Lord wants from them. Jeremiah takes ten days to consult with the Lord, but when he returns and tells them they must not go on to Egypt, they disobey YET AGAIN. They give in to their fears: their fear of the Chaldeans, their fear of starvation and battle. The message of Jeremiah…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 21, 2012 at 7:53am — No Comments
Jeremiah 36 - Years 605-604 BC. Jeremiah sends for Baruch to write a scroll containing all of his prophesies he has made from the beginning, during the reign of Josiah, down to the present. He hopes that if the people hear them all, then certainly they will repent of their unfaithfulness before it is too late. During a fast, Jeremiah says “I cannot go to the house of the Lord; I am prevented from doing so” (36:5). So he sends Baruch to the Temple to read it. He reads it all…Continue
Deuteronomy 25 – Flogging may be imposed on a person found guilty of an infraction, but not more than 40 strokes – “more than that would humiliate him publicly” (25:3). Do not muzzle ox treading out grain—even animals have a right to a reward for their labor. If brothers live on the same property, and one of them dies with no son, the surviving should take a deceased brother’s wife as his own so that children may be brought forth for that brother’s line. Now…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 3, 2012 at 7:58am — No Comments
Deuteronomy 21 – The laws we are reading about in this section of Deuteronomy are among the 613 that make up the full “Law of Moses” – the “mitzvoth.” Some very odd laws are put into place in this code, none stranger than the few here described: the concerns are understandable but the methods of dealing with them are hard to understand. If a dead body is found – a murdered person – you need to go to the leaders of the town nearest to where it’s found, get a young cow (under a year)…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 2nd mo. 1, 2012 at 9:39am — No Comments
Deuteronomy (Introduction) - The ancient name for this book was “mishne tora” or “copy of the Torah. But it goes beyond that according to editors of the Schocken Bible [modern English translation]. The whole mission and destiny of Israel is “recast” here. Here the man who thought of himself as halting of speech gives a series of eloquent speeches. Though Moses died on the steppes overlooking Jericho, its outlook seems to entail a knowledge and reverence for the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 1st mo. 15, 2012 at 10:15am — No Comments
Psalm 137 – “By the rivers of Babylon we sat down; there we wept when we remembered Zion” (137:1). How many times have I sung these words? In Zion, the Babylonians forced the Jews to sing, to entertain them. And then the psalm ends with a horrendous plea for vengeance – “Happy are those who pay you [Babylon] back for what you have done to us – who take your babies and smash them against a rock” (137:8-9). It is very hard to read these words and know how truly they…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 1st mo. 12, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
Psalm 120 – Save me Lord from liars and deceivers. David speaks of the people around him as people who hate peace. Just imagine what it would be like to be a ruler in these days with attacks coming from all sides and having to deal with them. If you loved God and wanted to live in peace, how torturous would that be.
Psalm 121 – Famous words: “I look to the mountains where will my help come from? My help will come from the Lord who made heaven and…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 1st mo. 9, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
I talk with two Emily's about how their summers at Quaker camps shaped the people they are today. The first Emily attended Camp Dark Waters with me, and shares how the experience showed it her what it meant to be valued; the second featured Emily (Emily Higgs) speaks of how her years at Camp Catoctin in Maryland influenced her religious…Continue
Added by Friend Speaks My Mind on 10th mo. 4, 2011 at 10:30am — No Comments