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Bible reflection week 2

(13 Posts)
AMumInScotland Mon 14-Sep-09 16:56:05

Isaiah 50.4–9a

The Lord God has given me the tongue of a teacher, that I may know how to sustain the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens— wakens my ear to listen as those who are taught.
The Lord God has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious, I did not turn backwards.
I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting.

The Lord God helps me; therefore I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like flint, and I know that I shall not be put to shame; he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me? Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries? Let them confront me.
It is the Lord God who helps me; who will declare me guilty?
All of them will wear out like a garment; the moth will eat them up.

AMumInScotland Mon 14-Sep-09 16:58:44

I'm not sure quite why I chose the OT one from the lectionary this time, I'll probably have to think a bit more about what it is about this one that spoke to me. I think it's the last line for some reason - the idea that those who have been attacking him will just wear out in the long run, while he has God there with him helping him endure.

Maybe as I'm getting older the idea of patience acutally being useful is starting to appeal grin

MaryBS Mon 14-Sep-09 20:25:57

A couple of things strike me. Firstly about being given the tongue of a teacher. It got me thinking about sermons, and how important it is not to send people to sleep! That what a preacher says should sustain not comatose them!

And secondly this:
"I gave my back to those who struck me, and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face from insult and spitting. "

It made me think of Jesus and what he went through, prior to his crucifixion.

BrokkenHarted Mon 14-Sep-09 21:33:33

A real comfort in these days where people just dont want to hear about God and we are ridiculed for being Christians. Sometimes we allow ourselves to feel slight embarassment and even slink away from those ridicuing us. (well I sometimes do anyway.) It is nice to be reassured by passages such as these that our Lord is always at our side.

"and i was not rebellious"

I think sometimes it is all to easy to be rebellious - i certainly find myself getting rebellious sometimes, especially when things are difficult, or what is being asked of us is difficult ( i often refer to myself as the female Johnah) - but it just shows that is we trust our Lord He is with us always.

questioneverything Tue 15-Sep-09 15:16:07

It is a prophecy of Jesus. They ripped out his beard.

God forgive us.

nickelbabe Tue 15-Sep-09 16:08:28

I am always amazed by Isiah's prophecies: they so closely spell out what happened to Jesus.

This reading is not a comfortable one to read. I think it's showing us that no matter how hard it gets, we mustn't lose faith. and yes, that sometimes we will get ridiculed.

questioneverything Tue 15-Sep-09 18:09:04

Not only that nickelbabe...we must take up our cross and follow him. This means that we may face death rather than deny the faith.

In Revelation there is the prophecy of the fall of Babylon. Well its coming to a TV set near you very soon. Keep watching and praying.

In Jesus

MaryBS Wed 16-Sep-09 09:04:05

What do you mean, questioneverything? To what do you presume the prophecy in Revelation refers, which is imminent?

AMumInScotland Wed 16-Sep-09 09:34:14

nickelbabe - I have to admit that I find the closeness of some of Isaiah's prophecy and what we are told about Jesus doesn't make me think "what an accurate prophet" but "the NT writers knew Isaiah very well and made sure they showed that Jesus fitted it". I do largely believe that the events of the NT happened, but I also think that the writers believed very strongly that Jesus was the embodiment of those prophecies, therefore believed some of the details must have happened, so included them whether or not any witnesses actually mentioned them having happened.

As to the events of Revelation and the imminent end of the world, well, it's been imminent for the last 2000 years, hasn't it? And we're told that it will be unexpected and we should always be prepeared because we will never know when it's going to happen, so anyone who reckons they are in a position to predict it is kidding themselves, whether or not some current catastrophe "fits" the events in Revelation.

positiveattitudeonly Wed 16-Sep-09 10:37:56

I read this passage a few days ago and wanted to have a think before I posted anything here, so forgive me for going back to that. I am not ignoring the comments anyone else has made, just not feeling ready to add anything to them yet.

In the passage I feel I need to concentrate on the fact that God has given me whatever He has. ie: tongue of a teacher, He has opened my ears. It is only through God's grace and mercy that I have been given all that I have. If He has provided, then any negativity that I endure, which really is so very minimal compared to so many others is taken up by God, so we do not have to concern ourselves with it. He has promised to help us. How comforting that it says "Let us stand together" I am not alone, no matter how lonely I may feel.
I find Isaiah's writings fascinating. I have wondered before what he must have thought when he was writing/speaking them as they must have seemed so obsure to him. It is only with hindsight that so much falls into place.

nickelbabe Wed 16-Sep-09 17:12:31

AMIS: good point. a bit like hearsay and filling in the gaps once you know the general story.
it does make sense that that would happen as the NT writers wrote the stories down long after they happened. i don't want to say anything further in case i look like i don't believe.
and Isaiah really wouldn't have known what he was talking about when he made the prophecies.

AMumInScotland Wed 16-Sep-09 20:12:53

For me, it's the difference between "Truth" and "Facts" - the writers could easily be expressing what they firmly believed to be the truth (and I'm not disagreeing with them), but they didn't necessarily feel the need to stick to verifiable facts in order to get that truth across in the most compelling way. As a liberal, that's the kind of area where my attitude to the bible is completely different to those who take a more fundamentalist/literal view - I can treat it as a form of truth which is not limited to being factually and historically accurate.

MadHairDay Wed 16-Sep-09 20:30:13

Many of Isaiah's prophecies had an immediacy about them and were for their time, but also went on to be fulfilled in Jesus, which was something that the NT writers would have picked up on but been comfortable with them being fulfilled in both ways - so fulfilled in what was happening in Israel pre and post exile and even more fulfilled ultimately in Jesus. I love Isaiah and have no problem in the knowledge that he (they?) was speaking into the situation and culture with no 'foreknowledge' of Jesus - to me that doesn't take any of the power away from it, just makes it all more of a mystery somehow. AMIS I'm with you to a certain extent, in that I also think the bible isn't limited in that sense to being factually accurate, but also believe it's God breathed and all that - but I'm a bit of a liberal fundie, if any such category existed grin

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