Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Job 24 – “Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? (24:1). Job sets out a picture of the world where the wicked freely persecute the poor and the poor quietly go about trying to survive. “The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the wounded cry for help, yet God ignores their moaning. Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways or say in its paths” (24:12-13).
Job seems to take some comfort in the fact that evil-doers…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 7, 2013 at 6:02am — No Comments
Job 22 – Eliphaz now talks: He seems to say the Almighty gains nothing by the conduct of the virtuous man. But then he goes on to accuse Job of iniquity, the kind of iniquity that some think the rich are always guilty of. Job was, after all, a very wealthy man before he was struck down:
“You exact pledges from your fellows without reason, and leave them naked, stripped of their clothes; you do not give the thirsty water to drink; you deny bread to the hungry.…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 6, 2013 at 5:53am — No Comments
Job 20 – Zophar speaks out of an emotional response to the insults he hears from Job. The joy experienced by those who are “wicked” is always brief. “Though evil is sweet to his taste, and he conceals it under his tongue; though he saves it, . . .holds it inside his mouth, [t]his food in his bowels turns into asps’ venom within him” (20:13-14). This is what God does to the wicked man.
Job 21 – Job replies: He rebukes Zophar for thinking he is assailing him.…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 5, 2013 at 5:57am — No Comments
Job 18 – Bildad offers his piece: Too much talk, he says. Why does Job view us [his “friends”] as stupid “brutes”? (18:3)
What does Job expect? That the order of the universe will be upended because he is angry?
The “wicked” [like Job??] will be led “into the net” (18:8) of oblivion. “All memory of their existence will fade from the earth; no one will remember their names. They will be thrust from light into darkness, driven from the world” (18:17-18).…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 4, 2013 at 5:35am — No Comments
Lamentations 4 – This section of Lamentations is about what it was like to be in Jerusalem after its fall in 586 BC. As much misery as we may have experienced, it is not anywhere near the desolation that affected the inhabitants of this city. There are places in the world where life is as terrible, but I have not known anything like this.
“Happier were those killed by the sword, than those pierced by hunger, whose life drains away, deprived of the produce of the field.…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 31, 2012 at 7:53am — No Comments
Lamentations 3 – If you are not torn apart by the words of this lament, I do not understand it. The comments I have in my notes on this reflect the many different “states of mind” I have brought to it over the years. It slays me every time.
Here are the first three verses:
“I am one who knows what it is to be punished by God. He drove me deeper and deeper into darkness and beat me again and again with merciless blows. He has left my flesh open and raw,…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 30, 2012 at 7:11am — No Comments
Lamentations 2 – “The Lord has become like an enemy; he has destroyed Israel . . . he has destroyed his tabernacle . . . and in his fierce indignation has spurned king and priest” (2:5-6).
“The Law is no longer taught, and the prophets have no visions from the Lord” (2:9). ” All the favors and blessings God’s people have enjoyed, all the marks of redemption, are destroyed or rejected.
“My eyes are worn out with weeping; my soul is in…Continue
Lamentations is a poetic description of the desolation Jerusalem suffered in the wake of its destruction in 586 BC—attributed to Jeremiah. Each “chapter” of Lamentations consists of a 22 verse poem.
Lamentations 1- “How lonely lies Jerusalem, once so full of people! Once honored by the world, she is now like a widow; the noblest of cities has fallen into slavery” (1:1).
The “bride” of Yahweh cries and is without any allies or…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 28, 2012 at 8:01am — No Comments
Jeremiah 51 – Oracle Against Babylon Again – Jeremiah here repeats that the “moral arc” of God’s dealing with Israel and Babylon will be long, but in the end Babylon whom God used to punish the unfaithfulness of His people, will also be brought low by its “kingdom from the north” [Persia].
“The Lord made the earth by his power; by his wisdom he created the world and stretched out the heavens. At his command the waters above the sky roar; he brings clouds from…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 27, 2012 at 8:00am — No Comments
Jeremiah 49 - Oracle on the Ammonites – The lands of Gad, on the east bank of the Jordan, had been taken by Ammonites after the collapse of the northern kingdom. (Amman, Jordan today). Milcom is the God of the Ammonites. Jeremiah promises destruction of them as well and eventual restoration too
Against Edom – an implacable enemy of Israel, they profited from Judah’s downfall. They were renowned for their wisdom, but it does not…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 26, 2012 at 7:39am — 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 44 - For the Jews in Egypt, Jeremiah continues to rant and rave against them. It is because of the evil they did to provoke God that they have seen Judah and Jerusalem destroyed. “Though I kept sending to you all my servants the prophets, with the plea not to commit this horrible deed which I hate, [sacrificing to strange gods] they would not listen or accept the warning to turn away from the evil of sacrificing to strange gods” (44:4).
Why do they keep…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 22, 2012 at 7:32am — 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 40 - The next several chapters are very dramatic and show the chaos surrounding the whole broken Judaean region following the Chaldean conquest. Jeremiah is taken with the captives who are being led into exile with their Chaldean captors as far as Ramah, but is then told that he does not have to go into exile; he can go wherever he wants to go. He is advised to go to Gedaliah, whom the king of Babylon has named governor of Judah. Gedaliah comes from a family that was deeply…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 20, 2012 at 8:14am — No Comments
Jeremiah 38 - Jeremiah counsels surrender again. The princes want him dead because he disheartens the soldiers and people of the city with his words. The king, Zedekiah, seems to give them leave to do what they want. So they put him in a cistern that is in the Court of the Guard, a cistern filled with mud. A man named Ebed-melech, a Cushite (Ethiopian), pleads with the king to let him take Jeremiah out and he does. The king seems very easy to manipulate. Zedekiah…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 19, 2012 at 8:56am — No Comments
Jeremiah 37 - Chronologically, this chapter follows 34:1-7. Zedekiah is installed as king by Nebuchadnezzar, and he will not listen to Jeremiah. But he does send people to ask Jeremiah to intercede with God for the people. Pharaoh’s army is on the move to Jerusalem and the Chaldeans (Neo-Babylonians) will abandon the siege of the city for a time. But the Lord warns Jeremiah that the Egyptians will turn back and when they do, the Chaldeans will return to destroy the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 17, 2012 at 7:19am — 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
Jeremiah 35 - In the days of Jehoiakim (609-598 BC), Jeremiah said go to the Rechabites and take them to the Temple, give them wine. The Rechabites were a nomadic clan that upheld the ancient religious practices of the desert. They didn’t live in houses but in tents close to the soil. They had been driven into Jerusalem around 605 BC, by bands of Syrians sent out by Nebuchadnezzar to harry the countryside according to JB note. Jeremiah does what the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 15, 2012 at 7:47am — No Comments
Jeremiah. 34 - With Nebuchadnezzar at the gates, Jeremiah is told to go to King Zedekiah, and tell him the Lord is handing the city over to the king of Babylon. If he obeys, he will die in peace; if not he will die by the sword. Only the fortified towns of Lachish and Azekah hold out.
Zedekiah had agreed to emancipate all Hebrew slaves (presumably to provide more defenders for their side; but maybe also because they knew they had not obeyed the command of YHWH to…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 14, 2012 at 8:51am — No Comments
Jeremiah 33 - Jeremiah is still in prison at the Court of the Guard when a second message from God reminds Jeremiah that despite the destruction they will suffer, God also promises restoration: “I am going to fulfill the promise I made to the House of Israel and the House of Judah.” A virtuous branch will grow for David (33:15). Yahweh would sooner break his covenant with day and night, with nature and its laws as break his covenant with David and the Levitical priests…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 3rd mo. 13, 2012 at 8:30am — No Comments