Posts Tagged ‘2 Chronicles’

It is not immediately clear, even for those with the most solid theology of creation, that this world deserves our allegiance.

If it is only a clearing in the woods where the most unaccountable and vicious violence can be visited with impunity upon the innocent, then we ought to turn our backs on it, shake its pathetic dust off our sandals, and long for another place. (more…)


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The biblical literature laments few losses so frequently as wasted opportunity. A leader emerges with something like a clean slate in his hand. Instead of noble lines, he scrawls the moral equivalent of excrement across the tablet.

It would have us develop an instinct for the same.

The Bible knows a thousands ways to spell such loss. It rues what might have been. (more…)

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Israel’s biblical historians are often taciturn in the face of behavior we might have expected them to condemn.

It is their way of respecting the reader. Not every moral, not every lesson need be spelled out. The listener is expected to arrive at his or her own conclusions based on instruction that is both prior and ongoing.

One of the sad features of both David’s and Solomon’s reigns is the unfortunate and even chaotic manner in which they lurch to their conclusion. We should probably suspect that Solomon’s amassing of both riches and retinue as a consequence of his fabled wisdom is not an entirely promising trend. The Queen of Sheba was impressed to the point of breathlessness. We should not be. (more…)

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The country of which I am a grateful citizen celebrated its bicentennial during my junior year of high school.

Among American Christians, it was common to hear a portion of the long prayer with which the ancient Israelite King dedicated the house that he had constructed for YHWH. Quoted according to the King James Bible in which more often than not it was remembered in that moment, it runs like this:

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (1 Chronicles 7:14)

Though it did not strike me at the time as out of place when quoted by Americans of their nation, that awkwardness was to grow on me in later years as I learned the tools of historical research and realized how far Solomon’s dedicatory words ranged from my modern country’s 200th birthday. (more…)

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