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 (28)

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:

So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.”

But Naaman went away angry and said, “I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?” So he turned and went off in a rage.

Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.

-2 Kings 9-14

Why I chose it:

Moral of the story:

Stop being such a drama queen and just obey God.

 

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 (21)

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:

In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
Like clothing you will change them
    and they will be discarded.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.
The children of your servants will live in your presence;
    their descendants will be established before you.”

-Psalms 102:25-28

 

Why I chose it:

God is awesome!

Scripture Sunday (19)

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 people all said to Samuel, “Pray to the Lord your God for your servants so that we will not die, for we have added to all our other sins the evil of asking for a king.”

“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. “You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart. Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless. For the sake of his great name the Lord will not reject his people, because the Lord was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.”

-1 Samuel 12:19-25

Why I chose it:

What I love about this passage is that even though the Israelites have been REAL DISOBEDIENT LATELY, they’ve realized and repented and Samuel, their mentor/advisor/priest/judge guy, encourages them to look toward future choices, not past ones. They can’t think, “Wow, we’ve made all of these mistakes and probably made God hate us…we might as well run from Him and find some other god or thing to serve who can take care of us since we clearly aren’t worthy.”

Even when I make one mistake, or ten more in a row, that doesn’t mean I should just keep on making more because “it’s too late.” Now is always a good time to try to do better and do the right thing.

Scripture Sunday (18)

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:

Next Abimelech went to Thebez and besieged it and captured it. Inside the city, however, was a strong tower, to which all the men and women—all the people of the city—had fled. They had locked themselves in and climbed up on the tower roof. Abimelech went to the tower and attacked it. But as he approached the entrance to the tower to set it on fire, a woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and cracked his skull.

Hurriedly he called to his armor-bearer, “Draw your sword and kill me,so that they can’t say, ‘A woman killed him.’” So his servant ran him through, and he died. When the Israelites saw that Abimelech was dead, they went home.

Thus God repaid the wickedness that Abimelech had done to his father by murdering his seventy brothers. God also made the people of Shechem pay for all their wickedness. The curse of Jotham son of Jerub-Baal came on them.

-Judges 9:50-57

Why I chose it:

Tag yourself; I’m the millstone.

In all seriousness, though, every time I read Judges it’s like I’m reading it for the first time, and I am completely blown away by how wild and dark it is. A few people make good choices but mostly it’s just a long series of bad choices. Even Gideon, famous for routing an enemy army with only 300 men because the Lord is with him, winds up (accidentally???) leading his people into idolatry and then one of his sons (Abimelech) murders all of his other sons.

So like, make good choices, and if you wind up in a tower surrounded by a murderous army, don’t lose hope!