Sunday, August 16, 2009

It isn't really about military victories!

This mornings sermon at church will be on Judges 11-12, which is not the easiest passage to understand and apply since it concerns the foolish vow of Jepthah.
I have also been dipping into Theology of the Old Testament: Testimony, Dispute, and Advocacy by Walter Brueggemann. [I mentioned his Genesis commentary in an earlier post]. He discusses as part of Israel's core testimony is to The Righteousness of Yahweh (pp. 130 ff.) He considers three texts [Judges 5:10-11, 1 Samuel 12:7, and Micah 6:3-5] which use the plural "righteousnesses" [sdqoth in Hebrew].

The Song of Deborah [ESV translation] reads:
9My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel
who offered themselves willingly among the people.
Bless the LORD.

"Tell of it, you who ride on white donkeys,
you who sit on rich carpets and you who walk by the way.

11To the sound of musicians at the watering places,
there they repeat the righteous triumphs of the LORD,
the righteous triumphs of his villagers in Israel.

Brueggemann states:
These three references , in very different modes and contexts, provide evidence of a characteristic way in which Israel understood, construed, and spoke about the reality of Yahweh in its life. It is understood that the reference points of life with Yahweh have to do with interventions that made possible what was otherwise not possible.
To me this nicely connects to the Gospel (Romans 3:21-26):
21But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

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