Is It Because I Have Leprosy? (Chronicles 2 24-27)

Joash decides it’s time to spruce up the house of the Lord. Frankly, when isn’t it time to spruce up the house of the Lord? The rulers of Judah are like my mother, who cyclically redecorates: when all the rooms have been decorated then it’s time to start the process over again with the first room (so long peach bathroom!). Constant redecortating requires funds so Joash gets some of his cronies to do his dirty work and go out and collect some money in a big wooden chest. All this is under the supervision of his main priest, Jehoiada.

Anyways, the house of the Lord is in tip-top shape for a few years and then Jehoiada dies and everything goes to pot. Jehoiada’s son Zechariah gets pissy about this and tells everybody off. He is promptly stoned. To make matters worse, the Syrians invade and kill Joash by conspiring with some of his servants. When his son Amaziah comes to power, he dispatches with those servants but not, notably, the children of those servants. This marks a huge step forward in moral reasoning. It’s like this: “The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, or the children be put to death for the fathers; but every man shall die for his own sin” (Chr 2 24:4). Not exactly turn-the-other-cheek but progressive nonetheless.

Amaziah goes to war a lot. The biggest battle is one with Joah, king of Israel (not the one mentioned above), who creams him (haven’t heard that expression in a while, have you?). After Amaziah dies an ignoble death, his son Uzziah becomes king of Judah. He makes a major faux pas by burning incense in the house of the Lord. Apparently, only priests – the sons of Aaron – are supposed to do that. Uh-oh. Some priest reproaches him for it and he’s like, “whatever,” so God gives him leprosy on his forehead on the spot. BLAMMO! His son Jotham takes over for him because lepers have a difficult time being accepted as authority figures. Just like those chubby trainers you see in Goodlife. I’m not buying a package of ten – are you?

It's serious.

 

 

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Published in: on October 11, 2011 at 2:10 am  Leave a Comment  
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Birkenstock-Wearing Granola-Heads (Kings 2 15-16)

Chapters 15 and 16 of Kings 2 talk a lot about which kings were good and which kings were bad. God comes down pretty hard on even the good kings. For example, Azariah, who ruled in Israel “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord,” except for allowing the people to still burn incense (Kin 2 15:3). So God made him a leper. For burning a little patchouli. Must have been hard to rule effectively with the threat of his nose falling off his face at any moment. I think if God was incarnated into human form in modern times, he’d probably be one of those annoying people in your workplace who are “scent sensitive” and get things like perfume and Old Spice deordorant banned.

Menahem, who ruled Israel in Samaria, was worse. When he sacked this city called Tirzah he also “ripped up all the women in it who were with child” (Kin 2 15:16). I’m not sure how exactly he ripped them up but it can’t be worse than the kind of ripping that happens during actual childbirth. So, really – he spared them.

Ahaz, king of Judah, even sacrificed his own son, burning him as an offering. Maybe God would’ve thought this was pretty cool if he was Abraham (a true original) but he’s not so it’s just lame. Ahaz was really into sacrifices in general and there’s a lot of talk at the end of chapter 16 of burnt cereal offerings which make me wonder if this was the accidental invention of granola. I’m no historian but I’m going to say, “Yes. Yes, it was.”

Takes me back to Grade 10 (my Wiccan phase).

Published in: on August 3, 2011 at 1:19 am  Comments (2)  
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