Friday, April 04, 2008

How to read the bible the bread roll way

The other day we were discussing reading the Hebrew scriptures and Kate proposed a test that I share with you.

She said that when she was at theological college 10 years ago she had a Professor who would randomly look at people's bibles. He would turn them spine down and from this he could tell what had been read and what had been missed. The norm was to find gospels were darkest, then the rest of the NT, a bit of blackening on the Psalms and then the rest new.

Give it a go.

Now, I have been continuing my journey through Judges. My latest reflection is on the story of Gideon. This will be familiar to some as the man with the fleece and low levels of leadership confidence. Perhaps you have been encouraged in the past by God's ability to use the weak and seemingly unsuitable. Perhaps, too, you have sought Gideon in a time of needing courage or guidance. All good things to do. But have you ever had a dream about a destructive bread roll? (Jdgs 7:13).

Actually, that is not the main thing that struck me. On this reading, I have noticed something that I have not done before. The little passage in Judges 8:22-28 about the Ephod.

God has amazingly strengthened Gideon for his task (...go in the strength that you have...6;14) and victory comes against the Midianites. Then he takes on the Ishmaelites and as his prize gets some plunder- a pile of gold earrings (8:25).

What does he do with them?

Well, he melts them down, makes a statue and all Israel worship it.

Has he learnt nothing?

Gideon seems to have the same heart as me. The same in fact as all of us.

The capacity to serve God, win spiritual victories, show faith, dream about bread rolls and then let the whole thing go to a ball of chalk in a moment.

Will God be ticked?

Well, surprisingly grace and peace abounds for 40 years. (vs 28)

I am going to do some more thinking on this little incident. We all should.

If you have questions about how you interpret the bible then I found this stimulating. It's called-The most destructive question you can ask of the bible. "What doe this mean to you?"

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