St. John Lutheran Church of Romeo

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One Year Bible Blog
This blog is for questions that you may have as you read the One Year Bible. Pastor Mark and Dave Hudson will check the blog regularly to field your questions.

Posted by Anthony Sambrano on May 29, 2010 09:19, website
Read again the passage about Jacob and Esau (Jan 12th) and the blessing given to Jacob that was really for Esau but Rebekah convinced Jacob to steal it by dressing up as Esau. Why the deceit? and Jacob had stolen the birthright to boot, no wonder Esau was so mad and wanted to kill him, enough is enough. Soo why the scheming women??? Why the stealing and lying??? If Rebekah did not intervene would this have happened?? Why only one blessing, why could't Isaac come up with another blessing??

Posted by Cathy Vestrand on June 4, 2010 22:09,
Sorry, thought PM would answer after Saturday service discussion. Remember, remember, remember God does not do what he can do through humans. Clearly, in the Old Testament, God is very active, but makes his plan come and through human beings. Apparently God knew the character of Abraham, Issac and Jacob and decide to make them rulers in spite of there inheritance/birth rights. Keep this in mind, God did not write the Bible your reading himself, but, through it's human author's, conveyed his words to us---and made sure those words remained 2000+ years later.

As to the blessings--God does does not change. Once a blessing is evoked (That's what Isaac did) it's done! No do-over! For you golfer's that mean no mulligans.

Posted by David Hudson on June 22, 2010 18:20,
Hello there!

To all you good folks in the Read the Bible in a Year club! I found a wonderful quote in a book from Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola.
Concerning how we read ther bible the authors write:
"Every attempt to capture God and cram him in a system will ultimalely fail.
The true God is an untamed lion.....Yet may Christians have turned the Bible into a form of the knowledge of good and evil. They apporach the Bible as raw material by which they can gain control over their lives, so life can be more understandable and under control, less unnerving and unpredictalbe.....Jesus didn't misuse the Scriptures to gain control....To Him, the Scriptures were simply the joystick of the Father's controller. They were the isntrument through which He got to know His Father better and to discover how to live out His mission." JESUS MANIFESTO

Posted by Pastor Mark on July 23, 2010 09:59,
August 22 reading, Job 4:1-7:21...the beginning of this reading says that we will suffer hardships, but that God will not let us fall completely...19-20 "From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will befall you. In famine he will ransom you from death, and in battle from the stroke of the sword." God does not prevent the hardships, but saves us from ultimate demise.
I also see in this reading, though, God being blamed for bringing us suffering, and heals us after...vs 18 "For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal."
And the end of the reading after chapter 7, vs. 1, it sounds like God is being blamed for causing great, unrelenting suffering. That God has made him a target and is intentionally causing illness and terrible unhappiness. The writer is blaming God for his suffering completely, and is very angry at Him.

God certainly bears a great burden of being blamed for our suffering. But, we need to remember the other parts of this reading that says he will not let us fall completely.

Posted by Molly Hengel on August 22, 2010 08:18,
I am just beginning the one year bible. The Genesis story is obviously a story to depict the beginning passed on by story tellers. Why so much detail? It leads you to questions like where did Cain's wife come from (sister or mother). Since there were only four people on earth, who could hurt Cain? I am not sure of the whole point of the Cain and Abel story. We have already been told how good and evil came about and that man would live with that burden, so why relate a story about the evil of man? The other thing about these beginning stories is the lesser God image. Obviously the authors did not understand the all powerful God that is part of all through spirit. God would not ask Adam, where are you and what have you done because God is and knows all. It does bring to the realization of how limited we are in understanding. It is kind of like my Ipod solving world hunger. And yet we must believe that God created us to be our best with the gifts we are given. So, we can't just float through life as if we have no control.

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on January 2, 2011 14:17,
So, is God saying in Genesis 6 that capital punishment is expected? Noah was 950+ years old. What happened to that DNA? Of course environmental factors would be a minimum since the earth had just been wiped clean and there only 8 of them. It is also interesting that God had Noah save the serpant even thought it represented satan. Did they ever actually find the Ark on Mt. Ararat? I heard stories that it was believed to be found. Also, how is it that in a time when males were the only thing of importance and females were equal to animals and even dirt, wisdom is female (Proverbs 1:20)?

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on January 4, 2011 19:40,
In Genesis 18:2 are the three men referred to the father, son and holy ghost?

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on January 7, 2011 18:07,
Some portions of the Bible say you should proclaim the word of God to all the world. Other portions talk about not making a big show of your faith. How do you do both?

In Genesis it seems like someone is always making a deal with God for worldly possession (land, power, etc.). Somehow this doesn't seem right. God is God. You don't negotiate. He gives us the opportunity to be all that we can be with the talents he gives us, period. Am I missing something?

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on January 9, 2011 07:09,
Genisis 24 is all about getting a wife for Issac. What I don't understand is why he went back to his tribe for a wife. Wouldn't he have been better off to get a wife from a different tribe if he wanted to increase his descendents. What is wrong with the Canaanites? Jesus made a point of being the first to say all men are equal but in the old testament there are many points that clearly say the opposite. I mean if the Holy Spirit is part of us all, aren't we equal in the eyes of God? Did God have a change in mind, if that is even possible? This story seems to be real important because it takes so much space in the book. But, what is it's importance? What is the message trying to be conveyed? It can't just be about trusting God's word or being rewarded for your faith. There are many other stories that highlight those points.

What a different world. I can't imagine going to Switzerland and choosing a wife for Erich from a perfect stranger I meet a well or maybe a bar. Even more amazing, can you imagine the girl's father giving me, a total stranger living in another land, his daughter in exchange for some assets. Obviously their faith was much greater than most anyone's faith is today. I don't know of any man giving a stranger his daughter because he was told that God said to do it. Maybe my faith isn't strong enough or the Lord's word hasn't reached me yet. Maybe I should answer the door.

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on January 10, 2011 17:10,
The old testament stories in Genesis seem to be full of accounts of man's evilness. They repeat over and over again about how being faithful to God results in rewards. At the same time there are many incidents of wrong doing that do not result in punishment. Trying to understand the authors of that time is very difficult for me because we live in such a different time and place. I understand the points that were made about respecting God to the point of obedience. They portray him as the demanding father that loves and cares for his children and as a result will take care of them to the fullest. Funny how at a time were fear ruled whether by man or god, God choose the parent image. Or, maybe the parent image is of God.

On the other hand in the new testament, Jesus portrays a very different God. In Matthew 10:26 he sets up demands for all that seem nearly impossible to acheive. I can easily see where people like Martin Luther would feel that it is futile to even attempt to meet these standards. The point is that we are human and can't reach perfection. We are still accepted by his grace as his children even though we are human. This is hard to take in a world where we are taught that we are good and can acheive great things. I makes you feel worth less. But, I guess that is the point is that we are lessor beings than God. If we loose track of that fact we can no longer be the children and students and we stop growing. It is kind of the same feeling as teenagers feel when you just want to be accepted at par with the adults. Like teenagers we just need to quit trying to compete for equality or even superiority with the Lord and simply accept his love. How do you know which voice of the spirits within to listen too? Is it the Holy spirits voice or satan's voice? It is easy when it is black and white but the gray's are much harder to judge.

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on January 14, 2011 20:56,
In Matthew 12 - 14 Jesus seems to be very harsh. He talks to people and his disciples in parables that seem to say that people don't have a chance of meeting the requirements of God. When you look at the Pharasees, they seem like people that are trying to do what they think is the right thing. It makes me wonder, am I like the Pharasees? Then when I think about it maybe what Christ is trying to tell us is that we do have to strive for the very difficult requirements of God and yes we will fail. But, what is important isn't the absolute score in terms of meeting these requirements but rather the intent. So if the intent is to raise myself for my glorification, then it is a greater failure. If my intent is to be the best that I can be in service of the Lord and mankind, then I am going in the right direction. Failure to meet the requirements isn't nearly as bad as acting with malintent. Does that make any sense?

On another note, the Joseph story is really very good reading. It is an enjoyable story that draws you in. It is interesting that divination is an accepted and expected part of the Old Testament and yet today it seems almost counter culture to either Christianity or Judaism.

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on January 21, 2011 19:08,
Jesus so often tells us we must be humble,place ourselves last,etc. It is so hard to do this in a world that tells us be strong, positive, confident. How do you do both?

In the old testament it seems God is always testing someone. In the new testament I don't read about any such tests. Is the fact that Jesus died for our sins through his grace end these tests?

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on February 2, 2011 19:18,
Chapters 19-21 of Exodus were very confusing to me. You start out with the ten commandments including don't kill. Then right afterwards God gives Moses all of these rules that including killing people for wrong doings. This includes immediate family. Can you imagine if people today followed these rules. After reading this I felt like Alkida is a punch of pansies. It talked about it being OK to rape and beat people as long as they didn't die. In fact the consequence of raping a women was that you would have to buy her as your wife. I felt like all of a sudden Walmart was going to have virgins for sale, buy them by the dozen. I hope that Christ's forgiveness is what changed all of that. It is interesting that on the same day we read that Christ was really mad at the Pharisees. Here are a bunch of guys that really believe in God and are trying to do the best they can to follow his rules. I guess what made Christ so mad was the whole better than thou attitude. Humbleness obviously is a very important concept. How do you know that you are doing the right thing? I think about Christ's referral to the children. A child is open, respectful of all, humble, and loving. When you think about it, understanding the religious conflict over time becomes understandable. Everyone want to feel like they are doing right by God and when someone else does it differently they must be wrong. After all if they aren't wrong then we are wrong. Without grace it would drive you to a fervor.

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on February 5, 2011 20:52,
Leviticus really bothers me. The bible is the word of God, recorded under the inspiration of God. Then why aren't Christians practicing their faith more like the Jewish people. Leviticus is an endless stream of God's rules that we don't follow. Why not? I would have a very hard time following these rules and even the Jewish people don't sacrifice animals like Levitius states God wants. How do we reconcile?

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on February 19, 2011 07:30,
In Leviticus 20, God talks about putting people to death for all kinds of things. This includes putting to death a child for cursing their father. I can't even imagine a world in which this were to occur. Not that I think a child should curse their father but the punishment seems exteme. I talks about this death punishment for adulterers. Again, in todays world there would be many dead people and many people in jail for murder. God talks about killing gay people. How do we decide the things in the bible to follow and the things that we should ignore? How do we reconcile the things the bible says we should do and what we actually do? It seems we are faced with going against society and going to jail or being OK in God's eyes. Sure Jesus says we are forgiven, but we blatantly choose to disregard the bible and never intend on following parts of God's word.

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on February 24, 2011 20:17,
If we were all made in God's image, we pocess the spirit of God and we are all God's children then aren't we one with God as God is part of us all. Wouldn't life be so much simpler if we all treated each other as part of God's boundless spirit. Jesus treats everyone as one of God's children. So, what is going on in the old testament (Leviticus)? God has chosen people and even among them there are more chosen people. Is the father mad at some of his children? Does he have favorites? In the end he forgives us all through grace. We can never fully understand God because he is so much greater than us. He is God. But, how do we live faithfully. Many of the things in Leviticus are so far outside the norm of today. So I start thinking well, that was back then and now is different. Who makes the decisions on what we are to do today? Is someone in contact with God and Jesus and revising the bible to meet today's standard? Or, is the standard God, forever and ever Amen? If so, should we change our norm to God's norm? Even Jesus seems to have a bit of anger when he curses the fig tree to death. Of course, consider the pressure of knowing when and how you are going to painfully die. When you read about Jesus's anger you begin to wonder if almost any ones wrong doings should be forgiven. God forgives why can't we. After all, he was God's son and still lost his cool. In the end my heart tells me love everyone because we all one in God. My mind questions everything.

Posted by Jurg Hauptli on February 28, 2011 18:27,
Psalm 22 1-18

Do the people at the time of this being written know that it is about "The Christ" This is what we here over and over again on Good Friday? I wonder what context it was written as. I read it then I said woah when it came to me what I was reading.

Posted by Jim Stark on June 3, 2011 11:20,

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