28 February 2010

Feb 28

Reference links:
Old Testament

Really dull day today. We read a little bit more about offerings (defects are bad), and then we read about a number of festivals that God wants the Israelites to observe. The most entertaining of these festivals is the one labeled "The Festival of Shelters", which I believe is Sukkot (סוכות).
For seven days you must live outside in little shelters. All native-born Israelites must live in shelters. This will remind each new generation of Israelites that I made their ancestors live in shelters when I rescued them from the land of Egypt.
I want to spend a week living in a little shelter that I build out of branches! Although, given that I do not live in a climate anything Israel's, the weather in late September to late October might make this rather disagreeable. (Based on my experience, however, this would be delightful in Israel even in November!)

New Testament

Jesus had trouble getting time without the crowds.
Leaving that region, they traveled through Galilee. Jesus didn't want anyone to know he was there, for he wanted to spend more time with his disciples and teach them.
At least in the days before mass communication, it was easier to hide your location.

Jesus teaches his disciples that to be the greatest in the Kingdom they must be the servant to everyone else. They must be like a little child. We also read Mark's version of Jesus' hopefully symbolic self mutilation instructions,
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It's better to enter eternal life with only one hand than to go into the unquenchable fires of hell with two hands. If your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It's better to enter eternal life with only one foot than to be thrown into hell with two feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It's better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where the maggots never die and the fire never goes out.
Jesus does not approve of divorce. God only allowed it in the Mosaic law because the people of the time could not handle not being able to divorce their wives at all. (Must resist making comment about the U.S. legal system and the sanctity of marriage.)

Psalms and Proverbs

Today's psalm: God is awesome because he destroyed the enemies of the ancient Israelites. Yay for God led genocide?

And Proverbs contains an injunction that God may very well have been meant for bloggers:
Too much talk leads to sin.
Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.