Jul 27, 2019
In yesterday’s reading, Jeremiah complained to the Lord,
12:1 GNT “Lord, if I argued my
case with you,
you would [be shown//prove] to be right.
Yet I must question you about matters of justice.
Why are the wicked so prosperous?
Why do dishonest people succeed?
And the Lord replied in an answer that bears reading in context and needs some thinking about,
5 “Jeremiah, if you get tired
racing against people,
how can you race against horses?
If you can't even stand up in open country,
how will you manage in the jungle by the Jordan?
This poem is quite a contrast with what we have just heard in Jeremiah. This is the joyful prayer of a king who is leading his people according to the will of God.
In Paul’s day, Corinth was a metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea with a population of between one hundred and fifty thousand and three hundred thousand Roman citizens and about 460,000 slaves. There was evidently a healthy criminal population, and the city was a center of banking, so there were incredibly wealthy people there. The city was full of idol shrines of deities from Egypt, Greece, and Rome, and there was cult prostitution.
Some commentators claim that 1 Corinthians contains parts of two letters from Paul so that 2nd Corinthians might actually be a third or fourth letter. I don’t buy that.
Key topics of the letter include the divisions in the church, the obstacles to sharing the Gospel, God’s wisdom as it appears to Greeks and Jews, partnership among apostles of Christ, vice in the church, various instructions about marriage, the Lord’s supper, food sacrificed to idols, Paul not cashing in on his rights as an apostle, spiritual gifts and the spiritual fruit of love, and the resurrection of Christ.
Ps. 144:15 [O Lord our God,//0] Happy is the nation of whom this is true; happy are the people [who worship You!//whose God is the Lord!]
[As in other Psalms, I read verses 1-2 and 15 as a prayer made directly to God, rather than using the third person in talking to the Lord.]