03 November 2010

Nov 3

Reference links:
Old Testament

Predictions of death, disease, doom, destruction, desolation, and despair. As well as other things which don't begin with 'd'.

Then Ezekiel has another vision. This time, he God shows him the idolatry occurring in Jerusalem and the temple. Because of this, in this vision, God commands the murder of everyone who is participating in the idolatry. It's been awhile since we have had any good God commanded mass murders and genocide. Babylon was supposed to be God's weapon of destruction, but it's good to get a direct reminder of God's ugly violence.

New Testament

An early verse in today's reading struck me for its contrast to our OT reading:
And [the high priest] is able to deal gently with ignorant and wayward people because he himself is subject to the same weaknesses.
What a contrast to the God of Ezekiel who cannot deal gently or show understanding of human beings and their weaknesses. Who murders instead of dealing gently. This contrast certainly makes the desire for a mediator messiah make more sense than any more than any modern notion that God is love. If God were loving, it would seem to less the the need for, as Hebrew puts it, an ultimate High Priest. However, if God is an easily angered, violent killer driven by pure justice with no mercy, the need becomes clear.

I am also struck by a slightly later verse:
That is why Christ did not honor himself by assuming he could become High Priest.
This seems to support the idea that Jesus was the adopted son of God, not the begotten son of God. For if he were the begotten son of God, he would be the only one who could take on the role of High Priest. But this sentence implies that God could choose to call anyone for the role.

The adoption guess seems further supported by:
And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.
The reading ends with an amusingly harsh criticism of the believers this essay is directed to:
There is much more we would like to say about this, but it is difficult to explain, especially since you are spiritually dull and don’t seem to listen. ... You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food. For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn’t know how to do what is right. Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.
Psalms and Proverbs

Nothing particularly noteworthy.