Today’s reading, or more accurately, yesterday’s reading, comes from Galatians 2, Jeremiah 49-50 and Psalm 143. My heart leaps with bliss at the thought of reading this.
Wow, this took a turn for the unexpected right out of the gate. In Galations 2:3, we find out that Titus had foreskin. I don’t know that this is really an important part of the tale. I hope not, at least.
Here’s a fun phrase: “We are Jews by birth and are not sinners like Gentiles.” Wow, Paul, that’s some good judgement there. This is the unfortunate end result of believing that you are special. It means that people who aren’t like you aren’t special. It’s an ugly form of prejudice, and the Bible is ripe with it.
And another interesting comment in this passage. The final verse says, “If we can be acceptable to God by obeying the Law, it was useless for Christ to die.” Now, I know that Paul wasn’t implying that Christ didn’t die or that it was useless for him to have done so, so what Paul is saying is that even by obeying the law, we aren’t going to be acceptable to God. Strange indeed.
The more I read of Jeremiah, the more I wonder how much of this can be verified. He’s telling the people of Ammon that the Jews will send an army one day and totally ruin their cities. There’s a lot of these sorts of predictions/threats, and I wonder if any or all of them took place.
Jesus, Jeremiah was dark. It was like a laundry list of who God is going to eradicate. He never did get around to mentioning the Incas or the Aztecs, but just about every city in the Middle East had a lot to look forward to.
The Psalm is another typical Psalm, and ends with this rather telling line: “I am your servant. Show how much you love me by destroying my enemies.” That’s a creepy thing to say, and it definitely clashes (as does the Jeremiah reading) with the image I always had of a loving God. Having started in on the book, I wonder where people get the image of a loving God from. Jealous I could see. Angry. Violent. Cruel. But loving and kind? Just not seeing it.