embrace it

We’ve decided to double our Bible-in-a-year readings, so that we can be reading the Gospel during Lent… but let me tell ya, some of those Old Testaments books sure are hard to take, even if they are in The Message translation!  We’re presently in Jeremiah, and it’s one gruesome prediction after another–no wonder they wanted to stone the prophets!  But they had totally duped themselves into believing that they hadn’t done anything too wrong, and that they knew better than God. They got away with it for awhile (while God waited for them to come back to themselves), but judgment was coming.

Judgment upon judgment, upon judgment!  Yet:  again and again, a ray of light breaks through, and there is a promise of hope–a remnant will survive, they will return to the land, and their enemies will have their turn to be judged.  And even as God is pronouncing judgment, He is… upset. "Moaning over Moab", as The Message puts it (and that wasn’t even God’s people!)  As our commentary says:

"Just as the New Testament shows how marvellous is God’s mercy, so the Old Testament shows how terrible He is in judgment. Without judgment, grace would be sickly and sentimental, and without mercy, judgment would be terrifying and overwhelming. God needs to be seen in both aspects if He is really to be properly served and understood."

"It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy." (Romans 9:16, NIV)

Interestingly, our New Testament reading these days also talks about God’s "punishment"…
"It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live?" (Hebrews 12:6-9)

Which is why The Mom should not complain so much when it’s time to get up and get on that treadmill.  She should embrace it!!

Walk to Rivendell:  We return to the dell and camp there.

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