01 December 2010

Dec 1

Reference links:
Old Testament

Last month!

Another vision Daniel saw during Belshazzar's reign.

In this vision, Daniel sees a ram overpower everything in its path. That ram is eventually defeated by a goat that does even worse things, including rebelling against the armies of heaven. The vision ends with voices which say that the goats desecrating rebellion will lass 2300 days.

This time around, Daniel has the angel Gabriel to explain the dream. Meeting Gabriel was rather a terrifying experience for Daniel. The ram, Gabriel reveals, represents the empires of Media and Persia. The goal which defeats the ram represents the Greek Empire which will eventually have a ruler who causes terrible destruction but will eventually be defeated. And apparently, these empires, the Median, Persian, and Greek, are doing their destroying at the end times. Of course, all those empires passed away a rather long time ago now.

Apparently, this vision made Daniel sick. Poor Daniel.

New Testament

Believers should model their lives on Jesus and take as their primary commandment the command to love each other. If they sin, Jesus will advocate for them, but the believers' obedience to God's laws will show how much the believers know God.

This seems like generally good advice, except that the author of John emphasizes loving fellow believers and seems to ignore loving others generally. Yet the story of the good Samaritan emphasized that it was important not only to love the people you recognized as fellow believers but to recognize as neighbors those who you might generally consider to be outsiders.

The discussion of love is followed by a poem addressing the letter's recipients and a warning not to love this world.

Psalms and Proverbs

Today's proverbs condemn greed and trusting your own insight.