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August 6 2009

August 6 2009

Opening prayer: Lord God, I've become unnecessarily addicted to the things of this earth. I get gloomy when I think about the possible loss of stuff, when I get concerned for the future of “my” things. I even complain about slow internet! Yet you are never slow, never hesitant, though your timing and mine are frequently on different scales. Let me not forget that the rocks that would cry out in praise of you would praise your faithfulness, your steadfastness. I must not forget this.

Proverbs 6:1 →Ah, but what to do when the government has us putting up security for everyone? And our grandkids putting up security for us?

Non-biblical political rant: Why does it seem like the current middle-age demographic, down through my generation, is insistent that they not buy their own cars? We got our parents to buy them when we were young, and now we want our kids, some of whom aren't even born yet, to buy us cars now through the government. How does that make sense? Sorry. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Proverbs 6:6-8 →Wisdom involves preparing for ourselves, and not needing anyone to tell us to do so. This passage, though, does not negate the Lord's teaching in Mathew 6:24-34. We are to trust God for his provision. There is wisdom, but hoarding and selfishness is not wisdom, but sin. God gives us that we may use to expand his kingdom. Not that we may sit on and watch it grow.

Proverbs 6:10-11 →I'm fighting with this verse. If not for this verse, I'd sleep much later in the day. It's not the financial poverty I fear as much as the spiritual poverty. How many of us make a habit of 15 extra minutes of sleep and no minutes of prayer or in the Word? And how many times do we let things suck away our time? I'm not talking about when you are sick or when you are truly exhausted, but are we living a lifestyle that mandates every non-working minute be sleeping and eating and no time for our spiritual life? Something's wrong, there.

Proverbs 6:30-31 →Even being able to justify a crime does not take away the need for restitution. A thief who steals just for food is still required to repay what he took, with added on penalties. Why do we seek to justify ourselves and think there will be no consequence?

Proverbs 6:34-35 →Husbands are not easily softened when someone is trying to take their wife. They tend to be unreasonable in that situation. Solution? Husbands, heed chapter 5 and stay happy with your wife. Don't abandon her, and she will likely not abandon you. And don't go trying to remove someone's affections from their spouse. Really. That's just not right.

Gospel Reading: Matthew 14:13-21 →v. 13 shows that the crowds don't often allow time to breathe, reflect, grieve. And does Jesus send the crowd away? Not yet. He heals the sick, teaches His disciples a lesson, feeds the crowd, and then sends them home. He recognized the needs of the moment, whether they were important and urgent or important/not urgent or not important/urgent or not important/not urgent. He took care of it. I need to be more that way.

I like how some of the early church fathers find symbolism in everything, without doubting the miracle. There are some more modern authors that remove the miraculous and keep only the symbolic, but why is that necessary? Can the feeding of a multitude not also have a symbolic or didactic purpose? One author sees here the 5 books of the law represented by the 5 loaves, and the preaching of the prophets and John the Baptist in the two fish. From this comes enough for the multitudes (perhaps us Gentiles) and leaving 12 full baskets (perhaps the 12 Tribes of Israel.) Entirely possible that the Lord chose to do this miracle in this way to communicate that point.

If that's the case, why not record the explanation? Possibilities: 1) That meaning is not right; 2) That meaning, while right, is not necessary to know (I think this would be definite, if it was necessary, it would be there); 3) The Gospel authors thought the meaning there, useful to know, and so obvious there was no need to write it down (compatible with some theories of inspiration, but not all. And not mine.)

Revelation 22:10-21 → v. 10: Do not seal up! Don't neglect to tell people: JESUS IS LORD, and HE IS COMING BACK!! v. 18-19: Don't add to the Word of God, and don't take away from the Word. Really. He's pretty serious about this.

Closes with v. 21 →With all you face, may the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. May you realize you are not alone, and you are not defeated.

1 Peter 3:18 →Christ's death is once for all: all people, all time, all sins. Though only those who accept receive the benefit. This is necessary to know: He is righteous, and we're not. Exactly how it works, through terms like “ imputed righteousness” and “justification” are not as crucial as knowing that it does. (Learning how God works is part of the growth process of believers. Learning that God works is part of becoming a believer.)

1 Peter 3:21 →Baptism is not inherently salvation, but is so closely related to it, through the picture it paints and through the outward sign of obedience, that the two are hard to separate.

When the flood passes, we will see the joy.


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