31 October 2010

Oct 31

Reference links:
Old Testament

Today we finish Lamentations. Both of today's poems are rather despairing. The first describes the starvation and loss of health of those who remain in Jerusalem. The images, especially the ones about the starvation of children, are heartbreaking. The poet explores the reason this happens. It was, he believes, the Lord pouring out well deserved anger. As a result of this, the Lord has brought destruction and scattered his people. The poem ends on a vengefully hopeful note: Jerusalem's punishment will end, but Jerusalem's historical enemies will also be punished.

The second poem focuses on the reverse of fortunes of the people of Jerusalem. Slaves have become masters, plenty has been replaced with starvation, and the women and girls of Jerusalem, once praised for their virginity, are raped by their enemies. Jerusalem is a terrible place to be. The poem and the book end on a note of sadness and rejection.

To bring things back in context a bit here, this is set sometime after the fall of Jerusalem to Babylon, or so it is believed. Thus, when we read about things like widespread rape by the enemies, it seems most natural to suppose that these enemies are the very officials and soldiers of Babylon that Jeremiah was encouraging the people to submit to. No wonder there were guerrilla leaders who were trying to murder the representative of the king and reclaim power. What right minded person would submit to a conquering nation that was allowing its women to be raped and its children to starve?

New Testament

Today's reading contains a discussion of Jesus' relationship to God, his relationship to man, and his affect on man's relationship to God. Continuing yesterday's theme, the author contains more quotations from the psalms and treats them as if they were about or spoken by Jesus.

We also see the start of the comparison of Jesus to the ultimate High Priest.

Psalms and Proverbs

Today's proverb is, essentially, don't judge a book by it's pretty cover, but with clay pots and glaze.