My last post pointed out that the priestly service was done during the day and night. While doing research for it I came upon a commentary that shed more light on that fact. MacLaren's Expositions describes how the temple was guarded and what would happen if someone was caught sleeping. His comments are what I want to reflect on today.
I closed out last year with a study of the shortest psalm in the Bible. Today, I'm continuing our consideration of the Book of Psalms, and doing so based on length. Even though Psalm 131 is only 3 verses in length, there are some main ideas that immediately jump out at me. Two of these are not concerning myself with matters too wonderful for me, and the image of a weaned child with a mother.
Near the end of August, I shared some thoughts on The Two Ways of Psalm 1. Now that we are coming to the close of 2019, I think tonight is a good time to return to this Book of Wisdom. The text of Psalm 117 focuses on two major ideas. These are that Yahweh is worthy of praise, and He is kind and faithful. Let's take a look at each of these!
Jesus begins this portion of His sermon by exhorting His hearers to enter through the narrow gate. For years, I felt like that was a surprising way to start the thought. Especially since He immediately changes His topic to the gate and way that we should not travel. As I reflect on it further, it actually does make sense. The reason is because the consequences of not entering by the narrow gate are horrible.
One common aspect of the Bible is its contrasts. Many passages speak of only two positions. A well-known text that presents such a division is the first Psalm. It describes the contrast between the righteous and the wicked. I think it will be beneficial for us to explore these two different types of people so we are encouraged to go in the way of righteousness.
Near the end of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus shares the Parable of the Two Sons. In the story, the first son doesn't remain disobedient. He changes his mind. He goes to the vineyard as his father commanded. He is obedient and does his will. We can also change our minds, and seek to follow the will of God the Father.