17 July 2010

Jul 17

Reference links:
Old Testament

Boring day! The reading talks about various roles at the temple and how they were assigned. In short, it's more lists.

The most interesting aspect of today's reading is that all of these roles were assigned using sacred lots. I've talked about lot casting before, and I still think it's a silly way to make decisions and am glad that most churches these days agree with me.

Actually, I would love to see churches that do not believe in letting women in leadership roles assign roles by sacred lot. The set the lots were being chosen from would have both men and women. If, across many such churches, the lots choose only men for leadership positions, then that would be an indication that choosing by lot is a valid way to determine God's will and that their interpretation of scriptural pronouncements on leadership were correct. If not, they would know that at least one of those things was wrong.

New Testament

Paul discusses how the faith of Abraham shows that it is faith, not adherence to the law, which justifies one with God. This is probably the least annoying passage from Romans yet. Actually, while I certainly do not agree with it*, it is not really that annoying at all. While other Jews may not agree with Paul's exegesis, it is not disrespectful of the Jewish interpretation in the way that yesterday's reading was.

* Nor do I disagree with it. It is hard to do either when someone is discussing the subtleties of something that you think is irrelevant.

Psalms and Proverbs
Lazy people sleep soundly,
but idleness leaves them hungry.
I wonder if the Hebrew had the opposite that is obviously implicit in the English: that diligent people do not sleep as soundly but have full bellies. Even if the Hebrew does not have that implication, it is certainly there for me.

It reminds me of Jesus' proclamations about Jesus' teachings which tell his followers to be like the lilies and the sparrows and not worry about where their food and clothing will come from.

Although the proverbs certainly seem in favor of hard work, other parts of the Bible remind us that there is a balance to be struck.