Wednesday, February 29, 2012

February 29, 2012 – Sirach 25 - 26

I am at a loss on what to write about. There is a lot in here that I think most women would find very offensive. If you are one of them, I would love to tell you that this is the Old Testament, written 1000’s of years ago and the lessons do not really apply. If I did, I would be lying. If I told you I completely understand the teachings in this text about women and their roles or purpose, I would be lying as well. Reading through this, you get a sense of women being made insignificant and second class. I going though these readings and learning about Catholic teaching, I can tell you that is not what the Church teaches. I read this as to men about women, maybe because I am a man or maybe that is the way it was written. What if you read it as a guide for women. Does it read differently to you. I tried it after I thought that and I am not sure I thought any differently. But, reading through it again, it doesn’t sound all that terrible. Make your husband happy, be loyal, be good, don’t be jealous or wicked. Seems reasonable to me.

I also was reflecting on the idea that wickedness can come through physically or that a beautiful woman can look less beautiful because of her heart. I agree with that, I think. I was trying to think back on women I have known and had relationships with. Some were not top models, but attractive because of who they were. Then there were some would call very attractive, but I just never saw it because I knew that they were not the kindest person. Granted, I have been blind to flaws because of beauty, I am not 100% at seeing this, but I do believe it is true. I don’t know if it works as well on men. That would be a question for the ladies to answer.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

February 28, 2012 – Joshua 21:9 - 21:45

My last comment on Joshua was about the refuge cities and what the people there might have thought of being in them. We see here that most of them are given to the Levites. I guess that makes sense. The priestly people, the ones serving God, would be in the best mind set to be welcoming to someone in that situation. Plus, because they were not given a land to possess, they are probably not as concerned with someone new coming into the city, whereas other tribes would be concerned about having to give up more of their land for this new person coming in.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012 – Catechism 1356-1361

I don‘t know if I have ever thought about the Eucharist and the Mass as a celebration of Thanksgiving for all creation. I knew Thanksgiving was at the root of what was going on, but I always thought of it being limited to a Thanksgiving for Christ and what He did and for God’s great love. It makes sense if you are thanking God for His love and what He has given, that includes much more than just Christ and His sacrifice. It includes all things good that surround us and that God brought into being and continues to keep in being for our good. I will reflect on that the next time I am in Mass (or try my best with trying to keep Paul under control) that the Eucharist is a celebration of Thanksgiving for all that God has done. What a wonderful thing to do every week, to get together and say Thank you to God for all that He has done.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

February 26, 2012 – Hebrews 11:12 - 11:40

Again, a very full list of actions brought on by faith. None of these figures are praised for having faith alone, but acting on that faith.

We had the reading about the mother and 7 sons martyrdom yesterday. In this reading it talks about the many that died for God before Christ. The theology of what happened to them while they were waiting for Christ is very interesting. I will explain it the way I understand it. The afterlife was divided into two parts. There were those that were destined for Heaven and those destined for Hell. A couple of things I don’t know is whether those destined for Hell were actually in Hell yet and those that would have had time in purgatory had a similar portion before Christ. But there was a great divide between the two (see parable of Lazarus and the Rich man). Those destined for Heaven could not get there because Christ had not bridged that gap yet. They were just waiting. I have always been interested in time in the afterlife. I cannot believe it works in any way we can understand. There appears that there is chronology to it if you look at Revelation, but other than that, we really don’t know. So, whether Abraham was waiting the full 2000 years for Christ or whether it seemed much less, we don’t know. But after Christ died, that gab was bridged and Christ went down to the section of those waiting for Heaven and led them all up. (Obviously the directional are not really certain either. The waiting area and Heaven are not physically above, below or anywhere we can physically get to) That is something that we don’t seem to recall around Easter. Imagine the celebration of that group that was waiting for that moment. All at once they lead a grand procession into Heaven of all the grand characters that we read about in the Old Testament. Reflect on that celebration.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

February 25, 2012 – 2 Maccabees 7

This is a very graphic scene of martyrdom. We usually only think of martyrs coming during the Christian era, but here we see Jewish martyrs, laying down their lives in the most cruel ways to uphold the law of God. And the topper is that this was done in front of the mother. Not only did the mother witness this, but encouraged her sons to stand firm to God’s law. What an inspirational scene. In a world of relativism in which people change their beliefs to the most easily attainable, we should be inspired to seek Truth and to stick to Truth with our dying breath. Everything that calls us away from that is like the King tempting the youngest son with goods and power. We are called to seek God alone and if that means suffering and pain, that is not to be avoided. The path of least resistance is not the path God calls us to. The easy way is not the best way. Imagine how these 8 rejoiced when Christ came down and brought them up to Heaven for their full and eternal reward.

Friday, February 24, 2012

February 24, 2012 - Joshua 19:32 - 21:8
I think the whole idea of a city that people escape to is interesting. I may have written about this before, but what would the other citizens of the city think of this. Would people

go there voluntarily if they knew it was going to be a refuge for people that have caused the death of someone else. Obviously this only applied to accidental deaths, so they are not morally bad people, but you still wouldn't think people would be enthusiastic about the situation. Thought it would be interesting to map out the cities and see where they all were.
20:7 - 9 So they set apart Kedesh in Galilee in the mountain region of
Naphtali, Shechem in the mountain region of Ephraim, and Kiriath-arba
(that is, Hebron) in the mountain region of Judah And beyond the Jordan
east of Jericho they designated Bezer in the wilderness on the tableland
in the tribe of Reuben, Ramoth in Gilead in the tribe of Gad, and Golan
in Bashan in the tribe of Manasseh. These are the designated cities to
which any Israelite or alien residing among them who had killed a person
unintentionally might flee to escape death at the hand of the avenger of
blood, until the killer could appear before the community

Thursday, February 23, 2012

February 23, 2012 – Catechism 1348-1355

I have heard it said a lot that Catholics should just allow everyone to come to receive the Eucharist. Many do not see why people are restricted from it. If it is God and God wants everyone, Catholics shouldn’t keep it from people. If you think this, do you understand what the meaning of communion is. To partake of the Eucharist is to say, not only that you believe it is Christ (body, blood, soul, and divinity), but also that you are in full communion with the Catholic Church and everything that she believes and teaches. If you cannot say those things, you should not go up and take part in Communion, because it is a lie. The reason I think that the argument gains so much traction is because there are so many Catholics in name only that receive the Eucharist and do not believe it is Christ or do not follow Catholic teaching. This is a grave sin and should not happen. But he priest does not know the mind of the person coming forward and only in extreme cases have people been denied Eucharist when coming forward. I personally think it should happen more because scandal is such a damaging thing and there are many public people that openly defy the Catholic Church and yet claim to be good practicing Catholics. Not allowing non-Catholics to come forward is to protect them from committing grave sin because “for anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself.” 1 Corinthians 11:29

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February 22, 2012 – Hebrews 10:26 - 11:12

This section has a lot on the power of faith and the faith of the fathers in the Old Testament. Many would argue that a passage such as this is a strong argument for the theology of faith alone. If you are in agreement with that, I would ask that you read the section over again. Faith is mentioned a lot, and although the word “works” is never mentioned, the actions of those that have faith is mentioned with every example. Cain’s faith allowed him to make a good sacrifice. Noah’s faith allowed him to build the ark and warn people of what was coming. Abraham’s faith allowed him to leave his homeland. Faith alone has no part in this section. It is the faith that they had and the actions that it led them to doing. If you have all the faith in the world and sit idly by doing nothing, can that faith save you. No. So, faith alone cannot save you. Your faith has to result in something or bring about action in you. I think the word “works” is often used to misguide people, especially because of the Pauline discourses on “works of law” and how they cannot save you. Works might not be the best word to describe what Catholics believe, but we do not believe that you can earn your way into Heaven. Works (or actions) and faith are needed together. Two parts of the same things, a both/and, not an either/or.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February 21, 2012 – Wisdom 17

I think the whole idea of being in darkness is interesting to reflect on.  This whole chapter describes a people that live in darkness.  The Egyptians had their light taken away.  The sun would not shine on them, their lanterns would not light in their homes, all light was taken from them.  They weren’t made blind, but it must have felt very similar because without light, we cannot see the things around us. 

In dealing with a toddler I am getting a better sense of what darkness can do to a person.  It brings about irrational fear.  Any noises that cannot be identified cause fear because of the darkness.  If Paul could see what was making the noise, he would not be afraid, or at least not as afraid.  But in the dark, the wind, the thunder, the loud car driving by, and Paul says he is afraid.  But the fear that comes from being in the dark is irrational.  I try to explain that thunder is a sound and a sound cannot hurt you, but it doesn’t seem to sink in.  Most, maybe all, fear is irrational.  Verse 12 seems to say the same thing.  “For fear is nought but the surrender of the helps that come from reason”.  Fear is what happens when you leave reason behind. 

The following verse I also found very interesting.  I hear a lot about moral relativism and have talked about it here before.  Verse 13 seems to speak on that issue.  When your expectations are not certain, the more you will fear what is coming because you do not have any certainty.  Living in the dark is a good image of moral relativism.  If whatever you feel is right is right, and the person next to you feels whatever they feel is right is right, where is the certainty in what is considered right tomorrow.  Basically there is none.  It is like walking around blind.  You have no idea what will be right or wrong tomorrow because it is based on something that moves and is usually based on the majority or the powerful. 

What scares a moral relativist?  According to this chapter and the analogy, everything.  They do not see anything coming and are living in complete uncertainty, so everything should scare them.  Would you say that people are more confident about life in general today than the used to be or would you say that our world is a world full of fear. 

If you are blind, you live in fear.  Fear is defeated by Light, the Truth.  Those that know the Truth should not fear.  Know that if you are following the Truth, you have nothing to fear, that fear is irrational and against the Truth, and any fear that you do feel is not from the Truth but that which opposes Truth influencing you.  If you have fear, first, you are human.  But try to understand your fear in light of the True Light and trace your fear back to its origins.  Somewhere along the way you diverged from the Truth.  Live in the Truth and you will have no fear because there is no darkness in the Light.   

Monday, February 20, 2012

February 20, 2012 – Joshua 19 - 19:31

If all of these sections were to be the same size, I wonder what they were based upon.  Were they all the same population, same number of cities, same amount of land area.  It looks like the 7 might be close to the same land area.  Here might be a better map than the first one I found.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 19, 2012 – Catechism 1341-1347

I think it is very interesting that the consecration does not happen until or during a prayer of Thanksgiving.  Giving thanks is such an important thing for us to do and yet it is one that we seldom do or do not do often enough.  I wonder how many know that Eucharist is Greek for giving thanks.  That is such a wonderful message and it is at the very heart of Catholic belief.  We know that we have nothing, are nothing, without what God gives us.  Being thankful is the very foundation of what it means to know what God is. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

February 18, 2012 – Hebrews 10 - 10:25

When you think about the Old Testament and the treatment of those that were unclean or sinful, the idea was to keep them out of the community.  The Lepers would have to yell “unclean, unclean” and warn you that they were near.  Here we see in the Early church community that those sinners were not to stay away but you are called to draw them near.  Christ changed the way you deal with the unclean and sinful.  You do not keep them at a distance.  You bring them in so you can bring about their healing.  No one can be cleansed while they stay outside the community.  We so often keep people at a distance for one reason or another.  Remember that whenever we do that, we are going completely opposite of Christ teaching.  We are called to be welcoming of everyone into are community so that we can help them on their way to healing. 

This does not mean to be tolerant of everyone’s viewpoint.  That can sometimes be understood as what Christ was about.  He accepted everyone and ate with sinners because of His tolerance and acceptance of people’s views or sinful ways.  That is the wrong notion.  Christ was completely aware of what sin was and knew that people around Him were sinful.  He did not allow sinful people around because He was tolerant of their sin.  He brought them around to heal them from it, to show them the Truth and the falsity of their ways.  We have a duty to welcome people into our community but also a duty to lead them to the Truth in our community.  If you understand Christ tolerance of sinners as an instruction or a basis for moral relativism, then you are sadly and greatly misunderstanding Christ and His message. 

Friday, February 17, 2012

February 17, 2012 – Wisdom 6

You wonder why anyone would take on a leadership role.  There is so much responsibility.  Not only to do the job that you are asking for, but the responsibility to lead people morally.  I am not sure if most people that take on roles now have that same sense that they are responsible for people on a moral level.  When you lead someone in a direction that is not moral, you are responsible for them to a certain degree.  In many ways, the decline in people thinking there are not really any morals gives people an out that they don’t feel this responsibility.  But it is still there.

That got me thinking about how leaders used to be selected by birth and now they are more voluntary.  You used to be born into the role as king or queen and the responsibility of the leading the people was not a choice you made but one you were stuck with.  Now, people choose to be in the leader role, no one forces a person to be President or Senator.  For that reason, I think they are held to a higher standard when it comes to the morals of those below them.  Yet, it also leads to those seeking these roles for reasons of greed and power lust.  When you choose to take on a leadership role today, you are taking on so much responsibility that has nothing to do with the job description.  That is why it is even more disappointing when you see the behavior and attitudes of those that we see in charge.    

Thursday, February 16, 2012

February 16, 2012 – Joshua 18

It appears that the surveyors were to divide the land into chunks and then lots were chosen as to who got what. This way the surveyors would be just. Same idea as having the one person cut the pie and the other person pick the piece. You have motivation to make them equal because if you make one too big, you will get less.

13 sections, 3 on the East side of the Jordan, 3 to Judah, Manasseh west, and Ephraim, then the 7 pieces here. The 3 in the East asked for them. Caleb got Judah a bigger chunk because of his faithfulness and Joseph’s boys got chunks because of his special relationship with God. Then the Levites did not get any because of their priestly role. Everyone else gets these chunks. When Israel splits into two later on, I wonder how much of this division now plays a role in that.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

February 15, 2012 – Catechism 1333-1340

I think it is so vital to understand that the teaching of the Eucharist and Christ teaching that His body and blood must be consumed is a teaching that He never backed away from and allowed people to leave if they did not accept it.  We have not gone over John 6, but it is a chapter that anyone who has question about the Eucharist should read and reflect on. 

We have talked about Christ words at the Last Supper and how those “words” are powerful.  (maybe we didn’t, after 2 years I sometimes forget).  God’s words have infinite power.  7 loaves to feed 5000 by His words, water to wine by His words.  We believe He has the power to turn bread and wine into His Body and Blood (who would argue that God does not have that power).  We believe He instructed us to eat His flesh and drink His blood (why would He instruct us to do something that we could not do).  There must be a way, for us, to follow His instruction and it could only be by the power of God that it would be possible.  Show me any other Christian church that follow the instructions laid out by God or believes that by God’s power they bring about Christ Body and Blood in order to follow His instruction.  I am not sure the burden should be on Catholics to explain why we believe in the Eucharist.  It is a mystery that is beyond our complete understanding and is always going to leave those that are looking for a reason not to believe dissatisfied.  I think the burden lies on non-Catholic christians to explain how they obey Christ command in John 6 without a method of bringing about Christ Body and Blood to be consumed. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

February 14, 2012 – Hebrews 8:7 - 9:28

Many want to use language like this to say that the Old Covenant is meaningless. Christ never said that. He says I have not come to abolish the Law, but fulfill it. Obsolete does not mean meaningless. When looking at science, disproven theories are not seen as meaningless. Aristotle, Galileo, Einstein. We learn from and build on what is newly revealed.

New covenant, but it is the same God. It is logical that there would be similarities. There must be a reason to the Old Covenant. It is a guide to understanding the new.

I heard a video talk that talked about there being no Communion without Sacrifice. We see that this is understood in the Moses Law. There could be no communion with God without Sacrifice. Christ sacrifice allowed that communion. It is different because it is purer than Moses sacrifice, it was God sacrificing Himself. But it is foreshadowed and developed in the Sacrifice of Moses and the Law.

Monday, February 13, 2012

February 13, 2012 – Daniel 9

I think it is interesting that he prays for the sins of the nation. Do we ever do that. I know we pray for the nation, for our leaders, but do we ever ask for forgiveness for the sins of the nation. I know the Pope has asked for forgiveness for the sins of the Catholic Church over the years. I don’t remember the nation ever asking for forgiveness for its sins.

Years and dates, the footnotes say are approximates, but the footnotes also talk about some very specific people that Daniel appears to be talking about. I have talked before that Daniel was written during a time of Jewish persecution and was written to motivate the Jews. He is writing here that although it is dark, they are leading towards a light.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 2012 – Joshua 17

I have been looking at precinct maps and getting ready for elections and take it for granted how nice it is we have maps.  Imagine trying to get your precinct ready when all you have is a description.  I am sure it is written down somewhere in a worded description, but I haven’t look at that.  I have only relied on the maps.  Someone else has done the hard work for me.  There might have been some primitive maps of the area, but it would have mostly relied on these worded description.  Imagine if the lot you bought your house on was only a worded description and the trouble that would cause.  

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February 11, 2012 – Catechism 1322-1332

We come to the part of the Catechism which is about the Eucharist.  The “source and summit of the Christian life.”  Such an important part of Christ mission, His message, and His Church.  Yet non-Catholics don’t participate in it and a good chunk of Catholics don’t actually believe in it.  Maybe by going through these paragraphs we can learn something new about the Sacrament, understand why Catholics believe what we believe, and understand the necessity of this Communion with God. 

Friday, February 10, 2012

February 10, 2012 – Hebrews 7 - 8:6

We hear about the priest Melchizedek a lot in the Catholic Church, especially in certain prayers of the Mass.  I don’t remember it ever being explained quite in these terms.  Jesus was in the line of Melchizedek, who has no lineage in the Bible, only shows up and is revered by Abraham.  The importance of the priesthood of Melchizedek is the need to have a special priest, outside of the law, outside of the Levite line.  As it says, if Jesus were only human, He would not have been a priest, because He comes from the line of Judah.  But because of His divinity and special nature, He claims the line of priest from Melchizedek. 

Melchizedek does not have a beginning or an end in the Bible, so his priesthood is considered eternal.  Thus when Christ takes on that line, it is a priesthood of an eternal nature and one that is outside the law of Israel. 

Thursday, February 09, 2012

February 9, 2012 – Zechariah 6 – 7

We often think that we are fasting for God. Even in the Gospels, this is brought as a question to Christ. Here we see that it is very clear, fasting is not for God, it is for us. How many times to we need to be told that God needs nothing from us. Everything He ask us to do is for us, for our relationship with Him, to bring us closer to Him. Fasting is not going to benefit God or make Him more anything. Fasting is for us, to remind us of what God has given us, remind us that we do not need everything we think we need, to help us pull away from the material world we cling to, and to rely on God for our strength. I do not fast enough. The two times we fast for Lent and maybe one other time a year. We have started not eating meat on Friday as a fast as a family, but I feel fasting should be made a more prevalent part of our prayer life.

By the way, I found a web-site that has audio of (as far as I can tell) the whole Bible. I enjoy listening to the scriptures. There is just something about the spoken word as opposed to reading it. You can’t get all the footnotes, but you can look at those if you have a question. Just thought I would give you the web-site.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

February 8, 2012 – Joshua 15:48 – 16

I really can’t add anything about this. Just another list of the conquered. I will try to think about something to write, because there will probably be a few of these chapters coming up and I don’t want to have just blanks (it is bad enough I don’t get these out on time).

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

February 7, 2012 – Catechism 1312 – 1321

I didn’t realize that Confirmation is also recommended for infants that are in fear for their life. I did not ask my friend who recently lost their 3 day old if that occurred. I do know the child was baptized. I don’t know if this is a common practice for priest in hospitals or not. Obviously, the bishop does not go around to hospitals to do it, but it allows for priest to do it in extreme circumstances, which a dying infant, or any child not confirmed, would apply.

Monday, February 06, 2012

February 6, 2012 – Hebrews 5 – 6

I love the visual of infants needing milk before solid food. Having a nursing baby, this really makes sense. We have just started giving Noah rice and will be starting oatmeal. It is so fitting that we cannot handle everything all at once, but need to gradually understand God’s revelations. That is why it is so interesting that a person can think they can start their own church, disregarding 2000 years of Scriptural interpretation and understanding. No one can come to that kind of knowledge of the scripture in their life time without help and God did not intend for us to interpret the Bible for ourselves without help. We need guidance and a Church that teaches us what has been revealed over the last 2000 years. To go it alone is like trying to give an infant a steak.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

February 5, 2012 – Zephaniah 2:12 – 3

When I look at 3:7 I can’t help but think of the choices we have made as a nation and yet the fact is that we continue to push forward with the same ideas. This piece below is in regards to contraception, but the idea could be applied to our financial attitude, idea of obtaining material goods, etc.

The Promises of the Contraception Advocates:

  1. Happier Marriages and a lower divorce rates since couples could have all the sex they wanted without “fear” of pregnancy.
  2. Lower abortion rates since there would be far fewer “unwanted” children.
  3. Greater dignity for women who will no longer be “bound” by their reproductive system.
  4. More recently contraceptive advocates have touted the medical benefits of preventing STDs and AIDS especially by the use of condoms.

Paul VI in refuting these benefits made a few predictions of his own.

What were some of the concerns and predictions made by Pope Paul VI? (All of these are quotes from Humanae Vitae)

  1. Consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity (Humanae Vitae (HV) # 17)
  2. A general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. (HV # 17)
  3. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. (HV # 17)
  4. Who will prevent public authorities from…impos[ing] their use on everyone. (HV # 17)

Saturday, February 04, 2012

February 4, 2012 – Joshua 15:13 – 15:47

There are a lot more cities listed here than there were in the conquering narrative. It made me wonder about their status. God put most of the cities that were attacked under a ban in which they were killed. It appeared that most of these were the large fortified cities. These towns mentioned may have been smaller villages that surrounded them. I suppose there are 3 explanations. One, when Israel came, these smaller villages went to the closest large fortified city for protection and were killed under the ban. Two, when Israel came through, these villages were killed under the ban and just not big enough to mention. Three, these villages were left until all the land around them was taken and then surrendered. The last doesn’t seem to follow God’s instruction. Israel was meant to get rid of the inhabitants so as to get rid of their temptation. The fact that some peoples are mentioned that stuck around and became servants or were not destroyed logically implies that if this is not described, they were destroyed. With the closeness of all the larger cities that were destroyed and these smaller ones being in the surrounding areas, I think the first option with a couple of instances of the second is the likely explanation.

Friday, February 03, 2012

February 3, 2012 – Catechism 1302-1311

I do not have much to say about these paragraphs. When I have been reading about Confirmation and when trying to teach young people preparing for it, I get a sense of regret for how ill informed I was when I received mine. I wonder what I might have felt if I had taken it serious or realized in the least bit what was going on. I was not well informed and taught very little. Knowing what I know now, I do not want my children growing up uninformed about the beauty that is in the Catholic Church. I have come to love and cherish every aspect of being Catholic and will do everything I can to pass that on. I worry that they will chose to follow some other path, knowing they have their own free will. It scares me to know how little I knew in the very formative years I had and how things might have been different. I also see a world going mad around me and I feel very strongly that the Catholic Church is a pillar that we need to cling to in order to save the world. I have years before Paul is ready for Confirmation, but, God willing, he will not go into it as blind as I did.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

February 2, 2012 – Hebrews 3 – 4

Another definition look-up.

Midrashic - an early Jewish interpretation of or commentary on a Biblical text, clarifying or expounding a point of law or developing or illustrating a moral principle. Footnote for 3:1-6.

I think sometimes we have a short memory. We forget what God has done for us and lose our focus in our Spiritual journey. Here we see a warning against that and the use of Israel in the wilderness as an example. Even thought they saw God’s miracles, were released from slavery, had Manna in the dessert, they were disobedient and lost faith. We are called to not lose that faith, to remember what God has done for us and to continually rely on God.

The idea of entering into God’s rest and the relationship with the Sabbath is interesting. Here, it does not relate so much to a day of the week, but the eternal Sabbath that comes after all time or that we enter into after our earthly life is over. Everyone will rest at that time. Whether you enter into God’s rest, depends on whether you did God’s work. God did His work and on the 7th day rested. We are called, not only to live this out on a weekly basis, but throughout our lives to do God’s work, so that we can enter into His rest on the Eternal Sabbath. I don’t think I have ever seen it explained that way before.

Pierced by a two edged sword is something that we discussed in a Bible study I was in. I had the imagery that a two edge sword would be used more for piercing, for finding the crack in the armor and piercing it. It seems that with a one edged blade, you are striking at the person instead of trying to pierce them. Think of a sword stabbing verses an axe chopping. This may not be historically accurate with weaponry, but it was no accident that a two edge sword is described and described as piercing. God is not a glancing blow, He is a piercing strike that drives deeply into us.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

February 1, 2012 – Zephaniah 1 - 2:11

1:12 - “The Lord will not do good, nor will he do harm.”  This seemed an interesting sentiment to me.  It has the appearance of the “lukewarm” that will be spit out.  It is the same feeling you get today when you hear people talk about religion.  They say it is a private thing, a personal matter, it isn’t suppose to effect the public world.  They have the attitude that God will really do no good.  But they don’t fear God either or that He will do them any harm.  It isn’t exactly atheistic, because it believes in God.  But it takes away all God’s power.  I don’t know what category that belongs to. 

After chatting with some people, indifferentism appears close to what this might be called.  Catholic Encyclopedia says this, “ This error (indifferentism)  is shared also by the Deists, who, while they admit the existence of a personal God, deny that he demands any worship from His creatures.  That seems close to what I was looking for.  They believe in God, but don’t believe He needs to be worshipped (I take that also to mean obedience).  They would not look for any good or ill to come their way from such a God.