Saturday, June 10, 2017

June 10

I Kings 7:1-51; Acts 7:30-50; Psalm 128:1-6; Proverbs 16:31-33

What an interesting reading!  There was so much that caught my attention, and not much unifying thread, so I'm going with the bullet points again today.

* Why does it take seven years to build the temple (see I Ki. 6:37-38) and thirteen years to build Solomon's palace (7:1)?  Is it because his attentions were divided, and the lion's share was given to the temple, so the palace lagged behind a bit?  Is it because - as I fear - the palace was more important to Solomon and thus its elaborate design and extravagant decoration were given more time?

* Was Huram's mother married twice, once to a Naphtalite man who died and then to Huram's father, a man from Tyre?  Or is this verse saying that she herself was from the tribe of Naphtali and then married Huram's father who has since died, making her a widow?  And why is her status as a widow included at all?  So very specific... (see I Ki. 7:14.)

* I Kings 7:15-37: Such an attention to detail.  Every aspect of the temple is adorned and beautified.  God is aware of beauty (see Gen. 2:9) and commands that his people serve him in beautiful ways (think of the colors and richness of the Tabernacle in Ex. 35-38).  This permanent structure is no different: it reflects the majesty of God.

* I Kings 7:21: Jakin probably means "he establishes" and Boaz probably means "in him is strength."  Great names, especially for pillars marking the entrance.

* Stephen's sermon amongst the Sanhedrin is really a history lesson.  He hasn't directly answered their charge ("Did you speak against the temple and the Law [that is, Moses]?" [see Acts 6:13-14]), but he's reminding them of their past.  He puts Moses in his proper place - a mighty prophet, yes, but subject to a much-mightier God (7:32-33) - who himself experienced rejection and rebellion.  We can clearly extrapolate that Jesus, as the son of God, is mightier than Moses, though he experienced rejection and rebellion.  And Stephen also points out that God is not tied to a specific physical place, quoting both Isaiah 66 and referencing a portion of Solomon's prayer that we'll read tomorrow!  This history lesson addresses the two charges, but also points out the narrowness of the Pharisees' interpretations and the supremacy of Jesus.

* I LOVE this psalm.  I freely admit that I love it in part because we have a quiver full of children (see Ps. 127, from yesterday), but I am so drawn to the poetic imagery of the fruitful vine and the olive shoots around the table.  I looked at our teenage son this morning and realized how he is springing up and stretching out.  Even if I buy shoes with taller heels, I'm not able to stay ahead of him!  What a benediction this psalm is.  What a blessing it gives those "who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways (Ps. 128:1): satisfying work (vs. 2); contentment in marriage and strong children (vs. 3); peace (vs. 5); long life and many descendants (vs. 6).  Amen!  Let it be so in my life, Lord.

* Silver is appearing in my hair, quite noticeably against the dark of my Armenian heritage.  Guess I'm living the righteous life (Pr. 16:31)!  (Though maybe this is just wishful thinking - the silver indicating a righteous life, that is.  The silver itself is definitely not wishful thinking.)

* Proverbs 16:32 is so unexpected.  Think about the historical context of the time.  Strength in battle was an imperative for any ancient society, as raiders and foreign invaders could appear at any point.  David, in fact, is praised for his battle prowess (see I Sam. 18:7) - his strong leadership at the head of his army inspired his men and led to military success and, ultimately, peace.  Yet "a patient man...who controls his temper" is better "than a warrior...who takes a city."  That is an incredible statement, and a significant challenge. 

- Sarah Marsh

How did God speak to you in Scripture today? Click here to share your reflections on God's word or read past posts. We'd love to hear from you.

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