Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
Q. (Psalms 128, 129): These two contrast in that 128 says that those who “fear” God will enjoy the fruits of their labor. Whereas in 129, the author has been continuously persecuted for his beliefs, but never defeated. So, as a Christian, you never know which life you will have, but regardless, God will be with you. Would this be an accurate interpretation?
A. Those would be the extremes, but many Christians (notably those not in the West) live somewhere in between. God can choose to bless them greatly, but there are still times of persecution where many are made to suffer. The same can be true for any of us: God uses us for whatever He desires, but you have the last part right: He will neither leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6 and Hebrews 13:5).
Q. (135:5): I am still curious about the Bible’s authors acknowledging other gods, usually saying that the Lord is better. But, why even call them a god when they don’t actually exist? If there were other gods, God would have had to create them because we learned in Genesis that the earth was nothing.
A. The Bible speaks clearly about the existence of other beings besides humans, which do not have bodies — that is they are spiritual beings — called angels. We call the evil ones demons. Not all of these angels are on the side of God. It is possible (and the common Christian interpretation) that these evil or fallen angels give demonic power to other nations, and attempt to influence their leaders. Watch for the interaction with one in Daniel 9 when we get there. So it is very possible that we understand these beings to be the other “gods” worshipped by the nations, but that only God is supreme. And you’re right: fallen angels are indeed created beings, which adds a wrinkle to our understanding of why God made them in the first place. Of course, the same question could be asked of human beings.
Q. (135:13): Many of the Bible’s stories seem so amazing to me. It’s crazy that so many people follow God. The Bible has done a great job of carrying the stories to written form and they are still read by millions today. It’s pretty spectacular that the Bible is still regarded as such an important book. A charge: carry it on to the next generation. Make sure the little ones know what it is and that truth comes from it.
A. That is certainly an important charge, especially in an increasing post-Christian world, that thinks it knows the Bible, but in truth knows very little about it. Would that this were not true for many Christians! Sometimes its not just the next generation that needs to know about the Bible, but the current one.