Montag, 21. Dezember 2015

Solomon and Something


The figure for today for the Jesse Tree is the son of David and Bathsheba, Solomon, which means "beloved of God." David had dozens of children, and loved Absolom best, and had older sons than Solomon, but his eldest did a dastardly deed in his family and was killed by a brother, and while other sons conspired for the throne, God had chosen Solomon. He began his reign at eighteen years old, already married and a father and known for his intelligence. As beloved of God, Solomon had great blessings of wisdom and wealth heaped upon him, and he is one of the penmen of Scriptures; but he was led astray by his power and wealth and too many wives, so that he fell into idolatry and huge excesses for a time; though it seems that he came back to the faith in his end.

Solomon marks the point of departure for the subsequent history of Israel and also for the genealogies of Jesus listed in two Gospels. From the time of Solomon, Israel began a long and fatal slide into apostasy, that led to their split into two kingdoms, then defeat after defeat, the shrinking of their territory, a long captivity and dispersion in a foreign land and the destruction of their temple and capital city, and eventually - in New Testament times - their utter destruction. In it all, God remained faithful to His word and kept His promises, all of them, both for justice and for grace.

 In the genealogies of the Gospels, Solomon is listed by Matthew as the son of David through whom the Savior came; and Nathan, a younger son of David, is listed by Luke. This seeming discrepancy is used by skeptics as an excuse to say the Bible is full of errors and made-up tales. God's word does not allow this; it is for us to believe and study, and eventually find the consistencies, when we get to be as knowledgeable as God who wrote it. Many believers have put forth possible explanations for the two lines of David's sons listed. The simplest, I think, is because Jesus had two parents. The Book of Matthew focuses on Jesus' historical humanity and gives the Christmas story from Joseph's perspective, with Jesus' legal identity as heir to David's throne through his family line, via Solomon. The Book of Luke focuses on Jesus' divinity and Mary's perspective, and could simply be giving her family line via her father's son-in-law, Joseph, which was not uncommon. Luke mentions, before giving the genealogy, Jesus "being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph.," when by blood He was only Mary's son.

Verses for today:
I Kings 1: 15 - 18, 20, 21, 30; 3: 1 - 4; 24 - 27; 4: 25, 29, 32, 33; 6: 1
Proverbs 1: 1ff
Ecclesiastes 1: 1ff; 2: 1; 12: 13, 14
Luke 3: 23, 31
Matthew 1: 6, 7 - 16

Advent Calendars

Behind one window today was this picture of bringing home a Christmas tree. Here in Europe the old tradition was to put up the tree just before Christmas Eve.

The Storybook for today is Cinderella, the old version. It has no fairy godmother.

Cinderella gets special things when she visits her mother's grave.

The birds have revelations to give in the story, by means of verse.

The birds say, "Oops, wrong bride; see her bloody foot." (An ugly sister cut off her toes to make the shoe fit.)

The birds note no bloody foot,so she is the right bride.


On my walk this morning I collected a few pieces of this and that from the ground,

 and put together this little piece, for starters.

 Time has not allowed for much Making this Advent season, but I hope to find a couple of minutes for using the rest of the collection for something else, before Christmas gets here.

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