09 August 2010

Aug 9

Reference links:
Old Testament

My conclusion, based on today's reading, is that Ezra is a drama queen. He makes it to Jerusalem and then goes all ballistic on the folks who had married with the locals. He cites the prohibitions against marrying or making treaties with the natives of the land back from Joshua. Now, in addition to being applicable in circumstances very different from the present, it seems rather hypocritical of Ezra to cite authorities who say that peace should not be made with other nations when their remnant only exists by the mercy of the Persian empire.

New Testament

Paul tells the Corinthian church, through a specific example of immorality, that they should banish those who violate their cultural norms from their community. However, what I find more interesting is that Paul makes it clear that the community of believers are only to apply their standards to others in the community of believers. Their standards are not meant to be applied to those outside of that community. Perhaps there is a lesson here that might be applicable to many modern hot button issues.

Psalms and Proverbs
People may be right in their own eyes,
but the Lord examines their heart.
Rather appropriate given the recent readings in Corinthians. Yet Paul's words make me read this in a different light. Without our recent readings from 1 Corinthians, I may have thought this was a proverb of condemnation, and maybe that was the original intent. But Paul makes it clear that while the possibility that you are right in your own eyes buy not the eyes of the Lord is something you should be wary of, he does not present it as something bad. On the contrary, he presents it as something unavoidable.