I'm just discovering, and enjoying doing so, Goldingay's commentary on the Psalms.
Why does Jesus spend forty days in the wilderness, confronting public enemy number 1 (Satan, the accuser of the people of God), immediately after he has been declared Son of God (echoing Psalm 2) at his baptism?
I know that one answer is that it relates to the 40 years Israel spent in the wilderness. Jesus must be faithful at the exact point at which they failed.
After Saul failed to follow the Lord’s instructions (to destroy Amalek totally, together with their livestock), the Lord rejected him as king. The incident is related in 1 Samuel 15.
Saul’s excuse was that they spared the livestock in order to offer sacrifices to God.
Last week I was doing a bit of work in the garden, cutting back the ever-encroaching bramble and gorse bushes.
I found myself wondering why there are so many of the things in the garden. It’s a bit of a pain.
Not that it required much thought. Genesis 3:18 solves that one for me – they serve as a reminder of the fact that life in rebellion of God’s law is never a fulfilled / happy / pain-free one. God judges those who rebel against him.
A few of us spent a good hour, a few weeks back, reading and reflecting on Psalm 42-43.
We did talk about when Jesus might have prayed such a Psalm, and thought that Gethsemane was the kind of moment.
What we didn’t pick up
This is a “just noticed this parallel” post.
As he was drawing near- already on the way down the Mount of Olives- the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” (Luke 19:37-39)
The first half of the book of Leviticus describes many different kinds of sacrifices and offerings that the people were to make in Old Testament times. It describes circumstances under which they were to be offered. Who was to offer them. Exactly how it had to be done. And so on.
Here are a few quotations.
Before you read this post, see my post yesterday about a funny coffee shop you could imagine me running…
“What conclusions would you draw, if you saw such a price label, about my intentions in selling this particular coffee?”
Let me suggest a few.
Imagine, if you will, that I start to run a coffee shop. Not one that sells cups of brewed coffee. One that sells packs of freshly roasted coffee beans, to be ground at home and turned into a cup of the very best.
Here’s the price label on a 250g bag of single-origin, know-the-farmer-personally, roasted-yesterday Guatemala.
For those who cannot afford £5, the price is £2.
Those who cannot afford £2 may pay £0.50.”
What a funny kind of shop I would be running.
Hmm. Not sure.
It’s often been said that the golden calf is a breach of the 2nd commandment, rather than the 1st. That is: It’s not worshipping another God. It’s worshipping the right God in the wrong way – by use of images. In support of this is Aaron’s declaration: Behold, your God who brought you out of the Land of Egypt.
But I wonder.
The contrast between Moses up the mountain and what goes on as the people below get bored is striking.