Saturday, October 13, 2012

Daily Bible Reading: Hosea 7-10 and John 7:1-24

I over-posted yesterday - John 6:41-72 was supposed to be today. Just got carried away. Sorry for any confusion.

Hosea 7 – Hosea, continuing to speak the words of the Lord to Israel, complains that every time God has given them a new start, they have turned on him. They are “two-faced and double-tongued” (7:1). The kings and princes of the nation are “like wood stoves, red-hot with lust” (7:7).  None of the kings calls upon the Lord. Instead they seek strength in foreign alliances with Egypt and Assyria.

“I will spread my net over them; I will bring them down like the birds of the sky” (7:12). “I would redeem them, but they speak lies against me. And they do not cry to me from their heart when they wail on their beds” (7:13-14).

Hosea 8 – The Lord tells Hosea to “put the trumpet to your lips” (8:1) and let them know how they have transgressed. They have made idols, and because of this the Lords anger burns against them. “[T]hey sow the wind and they reap the whirlwind” (8:7). The Law God wrote for them is now “regarded as a strange thing” (8:12).

They will “return to Egypt” (8:13) – to slavery – for they have forgotten their Maker.

Hosea 9 – Israel has “played the harlot, forsaking your God” (9:1). “The days of punishment have come, the days of retribution have come” (9:7).

Hosea 10 – Hosea continues his rant against the people of Israel. Toward the end of the chapter, he turns to words of encouragement: “Sow with a view to righteousness, Reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD Until He comes to rain righteousness on you. You have plowed wickedness, you have reaped injustice, You have eaten the fruit of lies” (10:12-13).

Because you have been so unfaithful, “a tumult will arise among your people, and all your fortresses will be destroyed” (10:14).

John 7:1-24  – Jesus avoids Judea, for people there are out to kill him there. He preaches in Galilee.

It is the time of the Feast of Tabernacles or Booths; his “brothers” tell him to go to Judea “for no one who wants to be widely known acts in secret” (7:4). Even his brothers don’t have faith in him it says (7:5). It’s a little puzzling who is meant by “brothers” here. Catholic interpretation is that Jesus had no biological brothers, but those called “brothers” were cousins or other male relatives. It also seems odd that the term here could be referring to his disciples, because earlier they have manifested great faith in him.

He tells his “brothers” that his time or hour has not yet come. They leave to go, and secretly he goes too. The “Jews” in Judea are looking for him, and the people generally are divided over him. Some think he’s a good man and others think he is “leading the people astray”(7:12). The “Jews” in these passages must be some small element of the Jewish population, because Judea is a Jewish town.

Jesus goes to the Temple and begins to teach. The “Jews” are astonished at his learning because he is not known as one with credentials to instruct others. His teaching, he says, is not from human knowledge. “My teaching is not mine but his who sent me; and if anyone is prepared to do his will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether my doctrine is my own” (7:17).
Those who speak on their own seek their own glory; but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him (7:18). Jesus asks them why they want to kill him.

Some of the people think he is “mad” because no one has said they want to kill him.

Jesus knows there are leaders who are furious with him for having healed a man on the Sabbath. He criticizes the rigid legalism some have. They accept that faithful Jews can circumcise on the Sabbath, so how can they possibly judge him for healing a man on the Sabbath. He accuses them of not judging with right judgment but only by appearances (7:24).

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