NEHEMIAH 5:14-7:73 | 1 CORINTHIANS 8:1-13 | PSALM 33:1-11 | PROVERBS 21:8-10
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Nehemiah continues with his account of having the walls and gates of the city rebuilt. He faces much opposition from within and without, but is determined to accomplish the mission he has set out to perform. There is a small note of self-righteousness in the way that Nehemiah records these matters, but nonetheless, he is diligent in carrying out this massive project undeterred.
Once everything is completed, Nehemiah goes on to list by name and number the “Jewish remnant” that is resettled in the city of Jerusalem. It appears that the total number was close to 50,000.
Turning now to our reading in I Corinthians, we find Paul continuing with more practical advice, this time concerning the proper conduct concerning food sacrificed to idols: should those who profess to be Christ-followers eat or not eat these foods? Paul says, it doesn’t matter, plain and simple.
He says, to be precise, “…we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.”
It is one’s conscience that determines the effect of the food on our minds. Do we truly give it the importance that it has been assigned? Paul’s thinking is that since we are assured of the one and only God of this universe, it matters not if you eat any food even if it has been offered to an idol—why should it matter, after all? Is your personal faith and belief in that idol?
Yet, Paul does caution that we be careful not to be a stumbling-block to those who might not yet be as sure of themselves in the new Christian faith, and if it means not giving the wrong impressions to these young Christians, then yes, perhaps abstaining from such foods might be the better option.
Turning next to our psalm for the day, we find David extolling the greatness of the “word of the Lord.” He says:
4 For the word of the LORD is right and true;
he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
6 By the word of the LORD the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
8 Let all the earth fear the LORD;
let all the people of the world revere him.
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.
Finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs penned by the wise king of Israel, Solomon, who must have known a thing or two about a quarrelsome wife! He says:
9 Better to live on a corner of the roof than share a house with a quarrelsome wife.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.