Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Day Seventeen (17)

Reading Today: Genesis 37-38, Psalm 17, Matt 7:1-14, Acts 10:1-23

Genesis 37-38
The story of Joseph begins...It amazes me the people God uses to accomplish His purpose. Jacob shows such extreme partiality which goes against the very nature of God (Matt 5:45 and in many other places). Yet, he is humble enough to receive Joseph's dream and consider it rather than being filled with the jealous of Joseph's brothers.

The conversation between the brothers is ironic when one thinks of Jesus' teachings about murder (5:21-22). Their debate is pointless because either way, they have already murdered Joseph in their hearts as a result of their attitude towards him.

What's with Reuben? Does it have anything to do with Gen 35:22?

Psalm 17
I love verse 6 - "Bend down and listen as I pray". We have this image of God right beside us, among us, which is true, but I think it lacks the reverence the Jews have towards God. Bend down, Father, because you are so great, so high above the heavens, bend down so you can hear the prayer of a small, broken, humble human being whom you have chosen to love intimately.

Matthew 7:1-14
The log and the speck. This hit me pretty hard this morning. I have a personality that expects other people to think the same way I do and understanding things the way I do. As I learn more and more in seminary (a blessing!), I have become more and more aware that I sometimes treat people with less compassion and grace than I should because they don't see things in the same way as I do. How lame! Dallas Willard writes that the log is contempt - contempt of other people destroys their humanity.

Verse 6 about giving the sacred to dogs sort of still puzzles me.

So does the narrow gate. I mean, Jesus' message is universal salvation for all if they follow him and receive the gift of the Kingdom! I suppose his point is that although it is a gift, it is still a choice, and a harder one than following the patterns of the world.

Acts 10:1-23
Peter and Cornelius meet...What if Peter hadn't dedicated specific time to prayer? He never would have had this vision revealing that the Gospel was indeed for not just the Jews but for everyone else too! I love that they meet and neither has a clue what God intends, but they trust and know that He is at work...v. 33 "Now here we are, waiting before God to hear the message the Lord has given you". Awesome!

v. 42 - "God ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is ordained of God to be the judge of all..." We often don't like to talk about the judgment of God. But if we leave that out, we don't understanding the incredibleness of our forgiveness in that same moment!

The Holy Spirit falls upon the Gentiles before being baptized...yet again, we see that these things are in God's hands and there is no prescribed order for things such as baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit.

1 comment:

Alex said...

What do you think, please, of Obadiah Shoher's interpretation of the story? (here: samsonblinded.org/blog/genesis-37.htm ) He takes the text literally to prove that the brothers played a practical joke on Yosef rather than intended to murder him or sell him into slavery. His argument seems fairly strong to me, but I'd like to hear other opinions.