If there’s one phrase for which the book of Exodus is known, it’s “Let my people go.” But if there are two phrases for which the book of Exodus is known, the second one is “Pharaoh hardened his heart.” Or “God hardened Pharaoh’s heart.” Or “Pharaoh’s heart was hardened.” There are a lot of different ways that the phrase shows up, and they’re even more diverse in the original Hebrew, so let’s take a look at some of them.
Let’s just rip off the band-aid: I know at least one of you has no interest in seeing the topic of predestination and free will considered here on Chocolate Book. (I know because this person has told me.) But every weekday I open up the Bible, read the passage, and write up my thoughts on it, and right now I can’t read this passage without thinking about the Verboten Subject. We’ve got to spend all week in these eleven verses for the Triad study, and as much as I wish I could write something else about them, I’m squeezing my brain and this is what’s coming out. Better to get over the predestination-and-free-will hump sooner rather than later, so that hopefully tomorrow I will find myself able to think other things about the passage. Sorry, friend.
Today’s Chocolate: Theo Orange 70% Dark Chocolate Today’s Passage: Hosea 6 Yesterday I posed some questions. Today God answers them. The previous chapter featured a simile in which God, as a lion, tore Israel to pieces as a consequence of their sin. I asked: does God intend to punish the people of Israel, to discipline them, or […]
Paul spends today’s chapter recapitulating his history and relationship with the church at Thessalonica, from its inception to the present. When Paul and his missionary crew first arrived, there was no Christian movement at Thessalonica, and when they left, there was. Paul cares for the church there like a mom cares for her kids, and he wants to visit them in person as soon as he can. They matter to him.
1 Thessalonians 1, let’s do it. I just spilled an entire cup of tea over the kitchen counter, and I have no idea what I’m going to say about this chapter. It’s pure introduction: Paul greets the church at Thessalonica with his usual gratitude, talking about the work that God is doing among them and through them. There are just ten verses here, so it’s time to find something to say about them. This should be fun.
Confession: I’ve never seen an episode of The Walking Dead. You’d think I’d at least have read an issue of the comic or something, but no.
Let’s get Greek. This photo is the opening page of Ephesians 1 from my Greek/English Interlinear New Testament. This is what Paul’s original writing would have looked like if someone had added accent markings to his Greek, put spaces in between the words, and written word-by-word English translations under every line. If you’re curious what Paul’s original letter looked like, check out this page for a photo of an original Greek manuscript fragment.
I feel like Paul’s got more going on in these chapters than I can hit in one post without merely skimming the surface. Yesterday, he opened 2 Corinthians 4 with a barrage of metaphors that I didn’t even get to talk about–more of the veil thing from chapter three, then Christ as light and Satan as a blinding agent, and treasure in earthen vessels–because I was digging into the “endurance under persecution” theme from the latter half of the chapter. And now in the fifth chapter, Paul’s starting off with a tent metaphor for the body, like it’s just temporary housing while we wait for God to take us to our actual house, to be present with him. And there’s the famous “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature” verse (17), and Paul’s discussion of the ministry of reconciliation, but it looks like I’m not gonna get to hit that stuff, because I’m zeroing in on a single word in a single verse because that’s what grabbed me today.