Every few hundred years, there are events that redefine a nation, a people, at its very core. Consider the shift in internal vision and circumstance that propels, occasionally, a geographical backwater to a leading world force for a season as was Portugal, Holland, and England; or the change in values and identity that transforms a nation as with the French Revolution (“liberté, égalité, fraternité”), the Meiji Restoration of 1870s Japan that opened it to the pursuit of modernization and empire, or the Declaration of Independence that resumed the Athenian experiment with democracy aft
The occasion of Josiah’s religious reform was the repairing the temple of the LORD(2 Kgs 22:5). The dramatic discovery of the Book of the Law (Heb. sefer hatorah) resulted in a religious reformation throughout the country. The reform began with the repairing of the Temple of the LORD. It helped that he seems to have had an honest group of repairmen.
Lesson #6, for discussion on Sabbath, November 7, 2015
The prophet Jeremiah was fond of symbols and that spells trouble for a believing community that wants to keep the whole tribe together. That’s because symbols, whether enacted or visual, split the crowd right down the middle. Concrete thinkers often treat them too rigidly whereas abstract thinkers are too easily inclined to shrug and not take them seriously enough.
Lesson #3 (for Sabbath, October 17, 2015)
Jeremiah is heavy weather. Really heavy. Not in the sense of complexity. It’s his stinging, hard-hitting messages that make it difficult and give rise to two practical questions: (1) Did those hammer strokes work in Jeremiah’s day? (2) Does that kind of stuff work today? Could condemnation actually make matters worse? Does it ever make things better?
Sabbath School Commentary for discussion on Sabbath, October 3, 2015
Jeremiah 1 opens this epic work by introducing Jeremiah to the reader. His time and location, as well as his task and personality, will receive attention. In this way Jeremiah 1 presents the framework for the entire book. The following building blocks form this unit: