This chapter is a CliffsNotes version of how to live a Biblical lifestyle.
It is more practical, less theoretical, than much of Paul’s other writing.
Key verse: 8
This is a very difficult thing for me to read, because I really enjoy philosophy.
I suppose this verse could be considered a warning against getting involved in message forums and debates between Christians and atheists. It’s advice I should have taken before my three forays into this world.
Year two of the nine-year sequence begins with a six-week study of Colossians.
A key verse is 1:21:
You used to be far from God. Your thoughts made you his enemies, and you did evil things (CEV).
The prophet acknowledges that he feels alone in his obedience.
But then he strikes a note of hope in verse 7:
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD,
I wait for God my Savior;
my God will hear me (NIV).
The classic passage of this chapter is verse 8.
Another pair of verses reminds me of the recent bailout of the financial industry, 12-13.
In conservative circles, blame tends to rest upon “social entitlements,” but more liberal groups have a biblical basis to criticize the greedy rich as well.
Our nation is in trouble, but there is no single locus of responsibility. Sin is sin, no matter if you’re rich or poor.
Israel will be under attack, but a leader from Bethlehem will lead the nation to victory.
This is a great chapter to reflect upon on Christmas day.
A better day is coming, one of peace, one in which God’s people are victorious.
Leaders and prophets-for-hire are denounced.
Serve faithfully, not selfishly.
Key verse: 11
A prophet who prophesies plenty of wine and beer will be very popular.
A corollary to this verse: a popular prophet is a liar.