Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Epithet of Hananiah

I've been reading a lot in the Old Testament lately. I admit that some was for a class, but as I journaled the reading, two passages lingered. The first is Job 28:

28 "There is a mine for silver

and a place where gold is refined.

2 Iron is taken from the earth,

and copper is smelted from ore.

3 Man puts an end to the darkness;

he searches the farthest recesses

for ore in the blackest darkness.

4 Far from where people dwell he cuts a shaft,

in places forgotten by the foot of man;

far from men he dangles and sways.

5 The earth, from which food comes,

is transformed below as by fire;

6 sapphires come from its rocks,

and its dust contains nuggets of gold.

7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path,

no falcon's eye has seen it.

8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it,

and no lion prowls there.

9 Man's hand assaults the flinty rock

and lays bare the roots of the mountains.

10 He tunnels through the rock;

his eyes see all its treasures.

11 He searches the sources of the rivers

and brings hidden things to light.

12 "But where can wisdom be found?

Where does understanding dwell?

These words are stunning and beautiful. If I were a miner, I'd write them on my hat, perhaps on my tombstone. The passage ends with an assertion:
23 God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And he said to man,
'The fear of the Lord--that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.'"

That last verse is the ringer--it ties Job to the entirety of the Torah. Somewhere in evangelicalism, we have lost a bit of the fear of the Lord. Sure, we shun evil, but we miss out on the fear thing. We spend our effort explaining how we don't really have to fear Him, how he loves us and we just need to respect him. But that's not entirely true. I'm excited about Narnia coming out in theaters because it will give us a good way to talk about this--it's no coincidence that Lewis used a lion to represent Jesus, and there's more than the lion of Judah going on. Aslan is kind. Aslan is good. And yet, Aslan is fierce. He is not to be trifled with.
That's what I love about this other passage. I don't mean this in a morbid way (previous posts aside), but someday I hope that the epithet Nehemiah gives Hananiah will be true of me--even placed on my tombstone:
7 After the wall had been rebuilt and I had set the doors in place, the gatekeepers and the singers and the Levites were appointed. 2 I put in charge of Jerusalem my brother Hanani, along with Hananiah the commander of the citadel, because he was a man of integrity and feared God more than most men do.


Wendy said...

I love that last line too. I think that I would like those words on mine. Hey, you are a man of integrity and I think you do fear God. This seminary thing must be working!

f1rststory said...

"For Narnia. And for Aslan..." (in a big before the battle kind of voice)

Amy said...

Hey Steve,
Got your post. Sadly, we had to shut down our Xanga's because he was getting horrible comments from people who saw the news. Apparently, they showed his Xanga name. But, the list of screen names they showed were not ours. We have no idea whose they were. They did a lot of that surfing and filming in the studio.

Mary Ann said...

haha...very funny... I never whine. *stops, examines self* I'm getting better at not, right? ;)

Thanks for the book, Steve.. it's good.

murph411 said...

Isn't it interesting that the gatekeepers, singers and Levites were appointed only AFTER the wall had been rebuilt and the doors set in place. I wonder what we can learn from that...?

Luke said...

- in response to your comment:

Steve, that would be amazing. I have no idea when or how, but I want to visit.