Joshua 19:1-20:9; Luke 19:28-48; Psalm 88:1-18; Proverbs 13:12-14
God's word is full of real situations and real people, real places and real emotions.
For example, I love the unpolished aspects of the lot divisions: "east toward the sunrise" (Josh. 19:12); "passing Cabul on the left" (vs. 27); "the large tree in Zaanannim" (vs. 33). It reminds me of the way I need directions given to me: "Turn at the street just past the little donut store and drive up and then down that hill." Earthy and real, and not neat and tidy.
On a more sober note, I was struck by the emotional cost of the Passion Week. In today's reading alone, there's the jubilant celebration of Palm Sunday, a minor conflict with the Pharisees, Jesus weeping over Jerusalem, and the cleansing of the temple. Joy, tension, sorrow, anger - so many, so varied feelings. I feel emotionally depleted merely reading it! How exhausted Jesus must have been by the end of the week, and still with his greatest task still ahead of him.
Couldn't Psalm 88 have been spoken by Jesus by the end of this seven-day period? Did not his companions desert him (Ps. 8, 18)? Did not God turn away (vs. 14)? Was not he despised and derided and isolated (vs. 3-6)? This psalm is almost painful to read in its raw cry.
And couldn't Proverbs 13:12a have been spoken by the disciples at the cross? Their hope was more than deferred; their hearts were more than sick.
God knows our emotion. He feels his own emotion. The Bible reflects these truths. Messy and painful as emotions can be, I'm glad to know and be known by a feeling God. Only such a God could love.
- Sarah Marsh
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