07 January 2010

Jan 7

Reference links:
Old Testament

Today we read the account of Sarai giving her maid Hagar to Abram as a wife so that he can get her pregnant.  Once Hagar actually gets pregnant, she starts to queen it over Sarai and Sarai gets angry at her.  Whenever I read this story I wonder whether this idea was really Sarai's or Abram's (assuming the whole thing happened, of course).

Genesis 17 starts out with a story that is kind of odd.  God appears to Abram and makes a covenant with him.  God promises that Abram will have countless descendants.  Then God told Abraham that he would have a son by Sarah (oh yeah, God renamed them as part of the covenant). Abraham laughed because he thought he was too old to have children.  This passage is strange because just yesterday we saw God making approximately the same covenant with Abraham.  Why do it twice?

Right after this, we get the story of how some angels stopped by Abraham's tent and told him that Sarah will have a son.  She doubted this and laughed.  Now, you could see these as three separate events.  You could also see these as repetition to emphasize the point that God was going to give Abraham descendants.  To me, it looks like the compiler of Genesis was trying to synthesize multiple oral traditions into a single narrative.

New Testament

Yesterday and today's passages from Matthew emphasize the plausibility of the claim that one of the sources for that gospel was document containing saying of Jesus.  The passages from yesterday and today read like a series of pithy sayings strung together.

Psalms and Proverbs

It seems that these first psalms share a common theme. The author (presumably David) needs to be saved from enemies.  God feels anger at those enemies. The author has a pure and true heart and so God does not direct anger toward him.  Evil people will get the punishment they deserve.  Ultimately, these Psalms reveal a desire for the world to ultimately be fair.  A very understandable sentiment.