In the following verses and chapters, one gets a sense that Jeremiah has powerful enemies. The people of his home town Anathoth want to silence his attacks on Judah’s two-faced religious life ( Jer 11:18–19). In other words, on the one hand, Jeremiah suffers at the hands of his people who persecute him for his unpopular prophetic warnings, and on the other hand, Jeremiah grieves over the coming misfortune of the people in faithful intercession. On top of this, the prophet wrestles with God over his calling, his role, and the divine will. Jeremiah’s exceedingly difficult ministry context finds expression in a number of stormy conversations with Yhwh.—Standing in the Breach, page 357
Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Monday, October 30, 2017
Sunday, October 29, 2017
note the second person masculine plural form תִּסַּבּוּ the dot in the ת is a dagesh lene, the dot in the ס is the assimilated nun, the dot in the ב is the doubling of the geminate root, and the dot in the ו is the sign of the shureq.Fun stuff!
Friday, October 27, 2017
Thursday, October 26, 2017
Wednesday, October 25, 2017
So, I repeat, where does that put the US as a country?
Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Monday, October 23, 2017
Interestingly, all but one of the four references to God’s restraint on intercession appear within chaps. 11–20. These chapters contain several laments of the prophet that give expression to the suffering that was evoked through Jeremiah’s calling as a prophet. One could almost argue that the fourfold command not to intercede is matched by the fourfold lament of the prophet (Jer 11:18–12:6, 15:10–20, 18:18–23, 20:7–18). Strictly speaking, Jer 15:1 is not an explicit divine ban on intercession. Nevertheless, it is instructive to observe the interweaving of the references to God’s restraint on intercession and the prophet’s laments. It looks as though God’s prohibition to intercede violates the very core of Jeremiah’s prophetic self-understanding and thereby gives rise to great pain and confusion.—Standing in the Breach, page 338
There's so much I could say here. I was recently talking to someone who told me that he was convinced that God was going to judge the US. I asked him if he thought revival was possible. He said no, that God always had to judge a nation when it went too far—and in his opinion, the US had. I asked him about the role of intercession. He downplayed it, saying there was no hope. I pushed back, but to no avail.
So, here's my challenge, to those of you who are convinced that Trump is the greatest thing and to those of you who think he's the worst thing that has ever happened to the US: Intercede! Shake the heavens for revival. Realize that all human rulers are transient and what really matters is the human heart.
I recently read a book review that concluded that by 2060 climate change will have destroyed humanity. The final sentence was something to the effect that "may the next species that rules the earth be better than we were at being stewards." Wow! I'm not that pessimistic! But, are we interceding with God for mercy? Or are we throwing up our hands in despair? Or are you convinced that the rising temperatures and strange weather are God's judgment?
Either way, Intercede!
Friday, October 20, 2017
[c] MT has prophets.
Thursday, October 19, 2017
The canonical portrayal of Jeremiah raises the question of what sustained and enabled the prophet to endure all the physical and spiritual hardship over the long years of his prophetic vocation. Jeremiah’s profound joy in the words of the Lord may have helped. The prophet ate them and they “became a joy and a delight of his heart” (Jer 15:16). In absolute obedience to God’s words, to the point of death (Jer 26:14–15), Jeremiah proclaims what God had entrusted to him. As we shall see, prayer, a close relationship with his God is another, possibly even more important, source for Jeremiah’s perseverance and inner strength.—Standing in the Breach, pages 332–33
Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Monday, October 16, 2017
The one thing I despise about Christianity in the USA is its aligning with a political party. Mainliners have done it; they’re Democrats. Evangelicals have followed suit; they’re Republicans. Politicization is accomplished.<idle musing>
Let the rest of us call ourselves Christians.
I dropped the term many years ago when it became evident that the pro-war people had taken it over. If asked, I will tell people the only way I can be called "Evangelical" is if you use the term to mean the 18th century Evangelicals, who were at the forefront of not just caring about souls, but caring for their physical well-being: establishing schools, orphanages, pushing for social reform, fighting slavery, etc. Those are the heroes of the faith that I can identify with, not the current pro-American, pro-war users of the term that we find today.
So, I'm with Scot, bury the term and call ourselves Christians. And may people know us by the love we have for others. What a radical thought!
Friday, October 13, 2017
When we look at the immediate literary context, we can note a clear shift of tone between chaps. 52 and 54. Before Isaiah 53, the prophet still talks of the people’s guilt. The exiles are drunken with the cup of judgment and are full of Yhwh’s wrath (Isa 51:17–20). The time of divine judgment and hopelessness, however, is coming to an end. It is time to wake up and to leave the Babylonian captivity behind (Isa 51:17, 52:1). There is an expectation that Yhwh is resolved to intervene in a dramatic act of redemption.
For thus says the Lord: You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money. . . . Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God. (Isa 52:3–10)The fourth poem is followed by chap. 54, a chapter that replaces the relationship of God and His prophet with the relationship between God and Israel. There is a dramatic shift of images. Israel who was portrayed as a barren, adulterous women who was left by her husband, is now called to rejoice.—Standing in the Breach, page 319
Thursday, October 12, 2017
That's a strong definition! I'm not convinced that's the correct definition, but it definitely is a goal to strive for as an intercessor. But perhaps he is correct. Take a look at Paul; he' was willing to have himself condemned in order that Israel be saved.
Food for thought, anyway. I recall that there have been times in my own life when the burden of intercession has been so heavy that I've come almost to the point where Paul was. And in the most recent example I can think of, God answered that prayer. As I said, food for thought.
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
We should remember that one fundamental Old Testament concept that led to the formation of the substitutionary understanding as we find it in Isaiah 53, is prophetic intercessory prayer.—Standing in the Breach, page 316
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Monday, October 09, 2017
Friday, October 06, 2017
simply for God to forgive sins, but are also for God to act in other ways to reverse the effects that their sins have had on various aspects of their lives. Salvation, therefore, is understood to comprehend more than forgiveness of sin; it includes also the amelioration of the consequence of sin that have reverberated out into the larger community, including the natural order. (vv. 35–37)Terence E. Fretheim, First and Second Kings (WBC; Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1999), 50—as quoted in Standing in the Breach, page 268
Thursday, October 05, 2017
A consistent theme of Solomon’s prayer, and indeed of many Old Testament intercessory prayers, is however that divine pardon cannot simply be evoked by the intercessor. Brueggemann notes that “Israel’s only way into the future is to reverse its course and reembrace Torah obedience.”
The dynamics and circumstances of Solomon’s second petition are also reminiscent of Samuel’s intercessory activity in Mizpah (cf. 1 Sam 7:3–10). There as well, in the face of a military threat, the people gathered at the sanctuary to confess their sins and to recommit themselves to covenant obedience. The covenant mediator intercedes for the repentant Israelites. Samuel’s prayers are also accompanied by burnt offerings (1 Sam 7:2–12). The logic of these passages seems to be that, unless the sinful party recommits to Torah obedience, the intercessor can only pacify God’s wrath for a certain time.—Standing in the Breach, page 267