10 February 2010

Feb 10

Reference links:
Old Testament

Sneak preview! Later in the Bible, God will get super angry at David for taking a census. God does not explain why he is angry. Today's reading gives a possible reason. God tells Moses,
Whenever you take a census of the people of Israel, each man who is counted must pay a ransom for himself to the Lord. Then no plague will strike the people as you count them. Each person who is counted must give a small piece of silver as a sacred offering to the Lord.
So maybe God's anger at David was because David failed to have the people ransom themselves with silver.

God gives details for making a wash basin, anointing oil, and incense. He then tells Moses that the people should keep the Sabbath holy and gives him a couple stone tablets with the terms of the covenant written by the finger of God.

New Testament

Plot summary: Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss. Armed men arrest Jesus. One of Jesus' followers moves to defend Jesus, but Jesus tells him to stop, but not until an enemy ear has been detached from its owner. The disciples flee. The high priests and teacher of religious law try to trap Jesus with false witnesses. Jesus is finally convicted when he does not deny being the Messiah or the Son of God and says that he will someday sit at the right hand of God.

Now, I do not believe in killing people for blasphemy, but I think I have to agree with the religious teachers that this is something they could legitimately consider blasphemy. So everyone deserves some blame here. On the one hand, the religious teachers plotted Jesus' death because they saw him as a threat. On the other hand, it would be difficult to say that he was convicted of blasphemy unjustly.

On thing is clear, however. the subsequent beating of and spitting upon of Jesus by the gathered crowds is not how civilized legal proceedings should conclude.

Psalms and Proverbs

Today's reading from the Psalms has more good sense once you ignore the bit about God and the Christian conception of sin and replace them with more humanistic notions.
When I refused to confess my sin,
my body wasted away,
and I groaned all day long.
When you do something wrong, and you know it, and you cannot get rid of the guilt, it does eat at you. Your emotional state effects your physical well being and your ability to live your life properly. It has nothing to do with God's discipline, but the effect is certainly real.

Proverbs continues to personify wisdom. Almost to the point where, if these passages were to be taken literally, Wisdom could be considered the Goddess consort of God the creator.
I was the architect at his side.
I was his constant delight,
rejoicing always in his presence.
And how happy I was with the world he created;
how I rejoiced with the human family!