Not My Words: Love is the Battery for Charging Our Heart’s Power (Nehemiah 9-13)

On the twenty-fourth day of the month, the Israelites get together and throw a small party. Or, at least, their version of a party: fasting, wearing “sackcloths,” sitting around with “earth on their heads,” and confessing their sins (Neh 9:1). Bring chips.

The confessing of sins takes centre stage and they talk for a long time about how great God is and how shitty they’ve been to him (“I only hit you because I love you, baby”). I’ve been reading the Bible for just over a year now, which is amazing to me, and I think God’s been pretty shitty to them, too. So it’s kind of a two-way street. The Israelites wrap up their protracted apology by promising to “not neglect the house of [the] Lord,” (Neh 10:39) which seems like something they should be doing anyway. Basic chores.

I guess Jerusalem is overcrowded so the Israelites cast lots so that one out of every ten people can live in the holy city. It’s not that bad for whoever doesn’t get in because there are loads of villages surrounding it. Besides, the holy city’s not really that special; it’s just easy to live there because of the Starbucks, TD, Metro, faux Irish pub and Walking on a Cloud.

Now – racism. I can’t read the Bible for very long without bumping up against some overt, historically-situated, unfiltered racism. Nehemiah, who’s narrating, makes some choice remarks about how Jewish men are marrying women of “Ashdod, Ammon and Moab” and – horror of horrors – the women are actually teaching their half-blood children some of their own language. This is disgusting to him. Admittedly, I might find it disgusting if the dudes are gross and the women are really hot, like when you see a tiny, attractive, fit Asian lady with a pudgy, red-faced, weak-chinned, middle-aged white guy. You might think me judgmental but take a look at THIS:

Barf.

You agree with me.

 

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Published in: on December 28, 2011 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  
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