Scripture Sunday (29)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

With what shall I come before the Lord
and bow down before the exalted God?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?

Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousand rivers of olive oil?
Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

-Micah 6:6-8

Why I chose it:

I’ve been reading a lot in the prophets and the histories lately, about how the Israelites are doing a lot of lip-service in their worship of God, but still worshiping other gods alongside Him and doing lots of things He doesn’t approve of. God really, really dislikes their offerings when their hearts aren’t in it.

It’s convicting for me because it’s easy for me to do all the right things and put forward all the right appearances, but inwardly I’m not really paying attention or thinking of it as worship.

Anyway, like the above verses explain, God wants us to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with Him more than he wants our overtly-religious showcasing.

Scripture Sunday (27)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

Then a voice said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

-1 Kings 19:11-13

Why I chose it:

It’s a classic and I love it and I couldn’t help it.

Scripture Sunday (26)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

All things are wearisome,
    more than one can say.
The eye never has enough of seeing,
    nor the ear its fill of hearing.
What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
Is there anything of which one can say,
    “Look! This is something new”?
It was here already, long ago;
    it was here before our time.
No one remembers the former generations,
    and even those yet to come
will not be remembered
    by those who follow them.

-Ecclesiastes 1:8-12

Why I chose it:

I would have posted the entire book of Ecclesiastes if I could. It’s my favorite book of the Bible, taken in its entirety. I relate to so much of it: feeling hopeless; getting irritated at the rat race; feeling despair when evil people have perfect lives and good people are murdered; or the above verses, when I just feel like everything is in a weary cycle of sameness.

The conclusion of the book, of course, is the best part, and always refocuses me. I RECOMMEND ECCLESIASTES.

Scripture Sunday (25)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

Extol the Lord, Jerusalem;
    praise your God, Zion.

He strengthens the bars of your gates
    and blesses your people within you.
He grants peace to your borders
    and satisfies you with the finest of wheat.

He sends his command to the earth;
    his word runs swiftly.
He spreads the snow like wool
    and scatters the frost like ashes.
He hurls down his hail like pebbles.
    Who can withstand his icy blast?
He sends his word and melts them;
    he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow.

-Psalms 147:12-18

Why I chose it:

I love the active quality of God’s “word” here. He sends his word; his word runs; he sends his word; his word melts them.

Scripture Sunday (24)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

“The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,
    before his deeds of old;
I was formed long ages ago,
    at the very beginning, when the world came to be.
When there were no watery depths, I was given birth,
    when there were no springs overflowing with water;
 before the mountains were settled in place,
    before the hills, I was given birth,
before he made the world or its fields
    or any of the dust of the earth.
 I was there when he set the heavens in place,
    when he marked out the horizon on the face of the deep,
when he established the clouds above
    and fixed securely the fountains of the deep,
when he gave the sea its boundary
    so the waters would not overstep his command,
and when he marked out the foundations of the earth.
Then I was constantly at his side.
I was filled with delight day after day,
    rejoicing always in his presence,
rejoicing in his whole world
    and delighting in mankind.

“Now then, my children, listen to me;
    blessed are those who keep my ways.
Listen to my instruction and be wise;
    do not disregard it.
Blessed are those who listen to me,
    watching daily at my doors,
    waiting at my doorway.
For those who find me find life
    and receive favor from the Lord.
 But those who fail to find me harm themselves;
    all who hate me love death.”

-Proverbs 8: 22-36

Why I chose it:

I adore this entire chapter. Wisdom is personified as an actual person, a woman who stands by the gate to the city and challenges people to seek her out and value her. In this section of the chapter, Wisdom tells us her backstory and explains how important she is to humans for living. I really love anthropomorphism, and this chapter does such an awesome job of making us think about Wisdom in a whole new way because it’s not just an abstract quality or characteristic, but a person we can interactive with and talk to.

Note: after putting this post together, I realized it would be posted on Mother’s Day. I’m grateful to have a mom who has many similarities with the lady in this chapter of Proverbs!

Scripture Sunday (23)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

From my reading this week:

Your word, Lord, is eternal;
    it stands firm in the heavens.
Your faithfulness continues through all generations;
    you established the earth, and it endures.
Your laws endure to this day,
    for all things serve you.
If your law had not been my delight,
    I would have perished in my affliction.
I will never forget your precepts,
    for by them you have preserved my life.
Save me, for I am yours;
    I have sought out your precepts.
The wicked are waiting to destroy me,
    but I will ponder your statutes.
To all perfection I see a limit,
    but your commands are boundless.

-Psalm 119:89-96 (Lamedh)

Why I chose it:

This is really beautiful. I love the contrast between the immovable permanence of God’s Word and the speaker. I love the contrast between worldly “perfection” and God’s perfection, which is “boundless.”

Scripture Sunday (22)

Scripture Sunday is a weekly quote-post to highlight Bible passages I’ve read recently that I found particularly interesting. My translation is the New International Version.

I missed a post last week, so you get a bonus round this time!

From my reading this week:

David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel — I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”

-2 Samuel 6:21-22

Why I chose it:

Ok, I know this is a classic, and it’s sort of over-used in Bible reading circles, but it is just SO. GOOD.

In my own life, it’s been especially relevant lately: sometimes there’s nothing for it but to come across as a silly fool who believes in unscientific things like a supernatural being who created everything and that a carpenter-turned-radical saved us all by dying and coming back to life. Fortunately, God values more important things than dignity.

PS Michal deserved better but that’s another post.

Bonus Round:

Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded.

Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?”

-2 Samuel 14:28-31

Actual Trash Fire, Absalom son of David.