Sunday, November 06, 2016


"These verses [Joel 2:12–14] employ שוב [šwb] positively, twice commanding the people to return to YHWH, and once holding out the prospects that YHWH will return to the people and bless them. These actions are contingent upon one another. Only if the people שוב to YHWH is there a chance that YHWH will שוב to them. YHWH responds by offering a series of blessings (2:18–27), contingent upon the response to the call to repent in 2:12–17."—James D. Nogalski, “Job and Joel: Divergent Voices on a Common Theme,” in Reading Job Intertextually, ed. Katharine J. Dell and Will Kynes, LHBOTS 574 (London: T&T Clark, 2013), 135

<idle musing>
Why is it that as humans we want to grab the promise part (apodosis) and ignore the conditions (protasis)? We want the blessings, but we don't want to turn/repent. But, as we שוב to God, he will שוב to us. James 4:8 says the same thing, "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." (ἐγγίσατε τῷ θεῷ καὶ ἐγγιεῖ ὑμῖν).

But that requires that we change our ways—which requires that we acknowledge that we are wrong! No way! Can't do that! Too damaging to my self-worth to admit I might be wrong! Or so says our culture. So we wander and struggle and fail. Oops, can't say fail, too damaging to my self-worth! Better find a synonym.

Personally, I think I'm better off abandoning the cultural paradigm and embracing the biblical one. It offers me hope, something woefully lacking right about now.

Just an
</idle musing> for a Sunday morning

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