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Natural Disaster Correction

October 18, 2019 Leave a comment

Famine and plague, tribulation and anguish are sent as scourges for the correction of humankind.

2 Esdras 16:19

I really dislike this perspective on disasters. It sums up God’s point of view in the story of Noah’s Ark.

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Correction as Moral Training

October 17, 2019 Leave a comment

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.

According to Paul, one goal of correction is to help people “who belong to God” become more “proficient…for every good work.”

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Even Whole Cities Can Reject Correction

October 14, 2019 Leave a comment

Ah, soiled, defiled,
oppressing city!
It has listened to no voice;
it has accepted no correction.
It has not trusted in the Lord;
it has not drawn near to its God (Zephaniah 3:1-2, NRSV)

The prophet describes the many sins of the leaders in Jerusalem.

Abstract entities like cities and organizations can fall victim to lousy culture and an unwillingness to learn and grow.

How many healthy individuals does it take to heal a sick culture?

Are there predictable steps towards recovery?

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Ignoring Correction in Jeremiah

October 11, 2019 Leave a comment

Jeremiah 2:30
In vain I have struck down your children; they accepted no correction. Your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion.

Jeremiah 5:3
O Lord, do your eyes not look for truth? You have struck them, but they felt no anguish; you have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to turn back.

Jeremiah 32:33
They have turned their backs to me, not their faces; though I have taught them persistently, they would not listen and accept correction.

In all three cases, a group of Israelites has refused to take the Lord’s correction seriously.

Is the Biblical term correction always framed as positive guidance that a group of God’s people turns down?

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God’s Opening Act: Correcting Job

October 10, 2019 Leave a comment

37:10 By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter his lightning.
12 They turn round and round by his guidance,
to accomplish all that he commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
13 Whether for correction, or for his land,
or for love, he causes it to happen.

Elihu, Job’s younger friend, is God’s opening act at the end of the book.

Job understandably challenges God to justify the abuse Job experiences.

His first three friends are unable to change Job’s mind.

God overpowers Job with descriptions of the natural world. Elihu begins this line of reasoning in chapters 36 and 37.

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Topical Study: Correction and Rebuke

October 8, 2019 Leave a comment

It is interesting to consider the topics highlighted in the Navigators nine year study.

I doubt these words would be chosen today.

The word correction appears in the NRSV eight times, plus once in the Apocrypha.

The word rebuke and its related verb forms, plus a few section headers, shows up 88 times.

The difference surprises me. I’d expected these words to appear with roughly equal frequency.

I will focus on correction since this is a one-week topical study.

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The Great Commission

October 7, 2019 Leave a comment

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Compared to the other gospels, this conclusion feels abrupt.

Some disciples are sceptical and all receive the Great Commission.

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