Eloquent Lips are Unsuited to a Godless Fool

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1 KINGS 14:1-15:24 | ACTS 10:1-23 | PSALM 133:1-3 | PROVERBS 17:7-8

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No good can come from Jeroboam’s reign.  His young son dies suddenly, and there are constant tensions between his kingdom and that of Rehoboam’s in Judah. 

On that end, Rehoboam rules Judah for seventeen years, and while Jeroboam is succeeded by another son, Rehoboam’s rule is also maintained by his successors:  Abijah, Asa, and Jehoshophat.  It is to be seen how the House of David and Solomon might be righteously restored to its former glory.

But turning now to our reading in the book of Acts, we find two very fascinating accounts:  one is that of the Italian centurion by the name of Cornelius who receives a vision to send for Peter who is temporarily staying with friends in Joppa; the other is concerning a vision that Peter himself has even before Cornelius’ men arrive to where he is. 

Peter’s vision is a most unusual one, but the symbolism it bears is quite straightforward:  the many animals on the sheet before him are all sources of food from above, and the old laws of dietary prohibition no longer apply in this new era.  The message is clear:  eat whatever you wish—you are liberated, indeed! 

Dietary rules were of tremendous significance to every Jewish person, but Peter is now going to blaze a new trail wherein the great importance attached to food will no longer be necessary.  The new lens by which food ought to be viewed is this:  it is all good because it all comes from God.  It is another matter, of course, what exactly one chooses to eat.  But whatever it is, you shall not be condemned for it!

Turning now to our psalm for the day, we find a very pleasant one that speaks to the blessing and joy of God’s people living together in unity, and compares it to the anointing of the head with oil.  The psalmist says:

How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

Finally, two verses from the book of Proverbs that may serve as food for thought:

7 Eloquent lips are unsuited to a godless fool
how much worse lying lips to a ruler!

8 A bribe is seen as a charm by the one who gives it;
   they think success will come at every turn.

May God bless the reading of His Word.


2 thoughts on “Eloquent Lips are Unsuited to a Godless Fool

  1. As Luke does so well throughout Acts in very systematically tracing the progression of the Christian way from the center of Judaism out into the world, he provides the scriptural and theological underpinning to support that movement. For us today, looking back with the benefit of hindsight, it seems obvious that the Jewish dietary and other laws will no longer apply to the Christian way. But it wasn’t so obvious at the time. It took vision – literally – and courage to correctly interpret and apply the teachings of Jesus, rooted in the scriptures of the time, to move beyond the religious limitations of the time. Peter is well outside of Jerusalem and Judea, he’s associating with Roman officials, and staying with a tanner (a ritually impure profession), and is about to face a challenging vision from a God-fearing centurion. His inspiration, coming directly from God, is about to change the direction of the Christian way forever. As you write, “…Peter is now going to blaze a new trail wherein the great importance attached to food will no longer be necessary.” It’s a very dramatic moment, to say the least.

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