Sirach always has good sound advice for us, and this week is the same. Sirach often resonate with Jesus the Messiah, as in this week he tells us, what God really wants is obedience, not sacrifice. But as Paul, he tells the importance of giving cheerfully, and most important to remember what we give back to God is very little compared to what he has given us.
But we are reminded as well, that God will not accept bribes, and will not favour the poor over the rich, but will see that justice is done.The prayers of the righteous will pierce through to heaven, no matter what.
Our lesson from Judges is a reminder. The Jews were not a monolithic people. Many others came with them through the desert, and during the period of the Judges, language began changing. We see too that the Jews, like u were not perfect people, but that God was preparing them, still causing them to behave as one people in the 400 year time peoriod of the judges where they are knit together by adversity.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
Torah: Genesis 25:1-33
Prophet: Judges 11:1-40
Writing: Sirach 34:1-26
Our first two readings are reminders that God does not see the way man does. In Genesis we rehearse the story of Avra'am down to Yitzhakh and Y'akov. We are reminded that Y'akov was not the first born, but that God had chosen him before he was born. The theme is mentioned again in our readings from Judges, as our hero, Yiftach is the son of a prostitute. We see this theme reported over and over, the choosing of Moshe, of Yosef, of David, none of them the strongest, but all willing to allow God to use them to further his purpose, and indeed God has a purpose for each of us.
A brief comment on Yiftach's daughter. Some think she was offered in sacrifice, but many believe that she essentially became a temple servant, and would have remained a virgin all of her life.
Briefly on Sirach, many things we find in Sirach are reflected in the words of Jesus. Sirach also has much practical advise. We are not to be misled by dreams, unless they are the ones sent by God. How do we know they are sent by Go?. Two ways, a dream sent by God will not be in conflict with the Bible. Secondly, if a dream is sent by God, he will confirm it. We are also told in this lesson that traveling is good for us, and that if we fear the Lord, we shall live. In fact if we truly fear the Lord, then we need have no fear of anything else, for God will protect us.We are then given a strong warning against sin. When we repent, it needs to be a true repentance. When we repent and return to our sin, not even God will listen to our prayers, so our repentance must be serious.