I gotta have my orange juice.

Jesu, Juva

Metábasis eis állo génos (2-11)

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Misplaced fear is a sin:

And I said, “Should such a man as I flee? And who is there such as I who would go into the temple to save his life? I will not go in!” Then I perceived that God had not sent him at all, but that he pronounced this prophecy against me because Tobiah and Sanballat had hired him. For this reason he was hired, that I should be afraid and act that way and sin, so that they might have cause for an evil report, that they might reproach me. (Nehemiah 6:11–13, NKJV)

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:27, NKJV)

Most translations speak of mist in Genesis 2:6, but a few either allow for the possibility of its being a spring (e.g., ESV) or do so explicitly (the NET Bible uses spring; Everett Fox uses surge or flow). The NET Bible comments:

The Hebrew word (ʾed) was traditionally translated “mist” because of its use in Job 36:27. However, an Akkadian cognate edu in Babylonian texts refers to subterranean springs or waterways. Such a spring would fit the description in this context, since this water “goes up” and waters the ground.

Job 36:27 is the only other passage where this word appears. Most translations (including NET) render it there as mist or vapor, though a few as flood. Flood seems closer to what is going on in Genesis but not close enough to use it there. But maybe we can use spring after all? God’s people seem to have had knowledge of the water cycle:

All the rivers run into the sea,​​
Yet the sea is not full;
​​To the place from which the rivers come,
​​There they return again. (Ecclesiastes 1:7, NKJV)

He made the Pleiades and Orion;​​
He turns the shadow of death into morning​​
And makes the day dark as night;
​​He calls for the waters of the sea
​​And pours them out on the face of the earth;
​​Yahweh is His name. (Amos 5:8, NKJV modified)

Thus, to the springs seems an entirely appropriate rendering in Job.

I read Jakob Van Bruggen’s The Ancient Text of the New Testament recently and greatly appreciated it. I’ve started using the NKJV and have appreciated the footnotes that call attention to variants. The Byzantine text has “of Christ” in Romans 1, which gives me great pleasure:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Romans 1:16, NKJV)

I appreciate modern neo–Calvinists like Calvin Seerveld, but have always felt wary of them. Their love for creation is thrilling to me, but it sometimes blinds them to the antithesis. Kuyper’s heirs do not really have a corner on this market, as I have similar mix of appreciation and concern for Malcom Guite and Tim Keller and Marilynne Robinson. James KA Smith is a particularly interesting neo–Calvinist. I appreciated the first two installments of his Kingdom trilogy, and still plan to find time for the third. But over the past few years it seems that he has really come unmoored. Even our appreciation and approval must come under discipleship to God’s law:

Who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:32, NKJV)

Romans 4 is such an outstanding proof text for paedocircumcision, I mean paedobaptism:

Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. (Romans 4:9–12, NKJV)

Asher: Dad, did you work out or run when you were growing up?
Scott: No, not until after college.
Asher: What kinds of things do you think we will do with our kids that you didn’t do?
Scott: Well, for sure you will baptize them much younger. And they will learn all the Psalms much younger.

I was impressed and thrilled when a group of men at church belted out a metrical version of Psalm 124 with only the first line as advance notice. We have had about half of the Psalms under our belt for several years thanks to Jamie Soles and a few others. This week we just reached the halfway point in our family project to chant through the entire psalter using a combination of the Concordia ESV Psalter and Theopolis Psalter.

A powerful remedy for any kind of sin and foolishness:

You won’t need it any more, Bilbo, unless I am quite mistaken. (Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring, Chapter 1)

I commented recently on the principle of sowing and reaping when it comes to tyrants. This principle appears repeatedly throughout scripture:

Whoever rewards evil for good,
Evil will not depart from his house. (Prov 17:13, NKJV)

But this principle is equally a spur and encouragement to the righteous! He who forgives is himself forgiven:

And forgive us our debts,​
As we forgive our debtors. (Matthew 6:12, NKJV)

He who shows grace and mercy and honor to his wife will receive it himself:

Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7)

And mothers reap great reward from their own faithful sowing:

Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control. (1 Timothy 2:15, NKJV)

I am fond of saying that worship is warfare. But worship is also a feast. Peter Leithart points out that Psalm 100’s “enter into His gates with thanksgiving” most likely includes the bringing of a thanksgiving, that is, a thanksgiving–peace–offering fellowship meal with God and his people. And Nehemiah 8 teaches us how we are to behave on the Lord’s day:

“This day is holy to Yahweh your God; do not mourn nor weep.” For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the Law. Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Yahweh is your strength.”

My church is hosting Peter Leithart to teach on “How should we worship” in April. Please join me there!

Reportedly there is not much nectar flow in North Carolina in March, so you must feed your bees. We are feeding our bees, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that even so, they are bringing back some pollen. We are seeing a mix of orange and yellow pollen coming back right now. (Bees have “flower fidelity,” meaning that they will visit only one kind of flower on each foraging flight.) I didn’t realize until our studying this winter that the bees actually eat pollen; it is a source of protein for them. Here is one of our ladies taking a brief rest with her load of orange pollen:

I also didn’t realize that bee poop was a thing, albeit much more dainty than that of birds. They seem to have established one of their cleansing flight paths directly over our cars.

Written by Scott Moonen

March 12, 2021 at 7:05 pm

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