Drinking Deeply

Tuesday, September 28, 2010 at 1:54 PM

A sleeping faith

I've been spending some time in Psalm 3 lately and I just thought it was interesting enough to share on the blog.

Psalm 3, A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son.

3:1 O Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
2 many are saying of my soul,
there is no salvation for him in God. Selah

3 But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,
my glory, and the lifter of my head.
4 I cried aloud to the Lord,
and he answered me from his holy hill. Selah

5 I lay down and slept;
I woke again, for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of many thousands of people
who have set themselves against me all around.

7 Arise, O Lord!
Save me, O my God!
For you strike all my enemies on the cheek;
you break the teeth of the wicked.

8 Salvation belongs to the Lord;
your blessing be on your people! Selah
What was particularly striking to me is this imagery of sleeping as an act of faith. Jesus sleeps on the boat in the midst of the storm and then rebukes his disciples, "oh you of little faith!" David again and again says that he finds rest in the Lord, that he can sleep because of God. Oh may I be able to find rest for a weary body and trust God. Tomorrow has enough worry for itself, sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


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Saturday, September 11, 2010 at 5:10 AM

Jesus spoke in Greek

I'm not super sure about this, but I think it's interesting that it's commonly assumed that Jesus spoke in Aramaic and what we have today is a translation of his words in the Gospels.

I don't entirely agree with this. It's clear that Jesus knew Aramaic well enough to converse in it, I think there are some indicators that show that Jesus was speaking Greek the majority of the times.

Jesus does speak Aramaic in the Gospels, but when he does it is pointed out. For example, Matthew 27:46 - "Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani," that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" It also seems telling that the bystanders misunderstood him. Was there a language barrier? Also, Mark 5:41 "Taking her by the hand he said to her, 'Talitha cumi,' which means, 'Little girl, I say to you, arise.' "

If all (or most) of Jesus' words were in Aramaic, why would the Gospel writers sometimes translate it straight and other times give both the words and the translations?

And sometimes they simply give the words and no translation: Matthew 16:17 "Blessed are you Simon Bar-Jonah!" There weren't surnames in Jesus' times (Another side note: Christ is a title meaning, "Messiah" rather than Joseph's last name). Bar-Jonah is a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic "Son of Jonah." I'm not certain that it has to be Aramaic, but I do know it's not Hebrew.

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Saturday, September 04, 2010 at 3:48 PM

What should I do when I don't feel like obeying God?

I had a good discussion with my wife today centered around the question, "what should a person do when they don't feel like obeying God?"

This comes up in a number of contexts, probably most common with reading the Bible, but other circumstances also. The argument goes sort of like this: 1) I don't particularly have a strong desire to ______. 2) God looks at the heart and not the outward appearance. 3) Therefore, I don't want to appear to be a hypocrite so I won't do ______.

To which we both agreed that the person should do _____ anyway, even if they "don't feel like it." The reason why this isn't inconsistent with the fact that God looks at the heart is because what we demonstrate when we obey anyway is that we value obedience to God more than simply feeling good about something. Of course in an ideal world without sin we'd always be able to delight ourselves in the word of God every morning, but sometimes that doesn't happen. But we still love God enough and believe his promises enough to continue to go back to the Word, even if it's not sheer delight.

When the Bible says that God looks at the heart, I think the emphasis is much more on "who are you trying to please?" If a person is always reading his Bible in public in order to garner public approval, then that is all he's going to get. But if a person privately reads his Bible even if he "doesn't feel like it," then that is true evidence that "I believe God more than I believe my heart." And with that, God is honored.


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