" 'Even now,' declares the LORD, 'return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.' " - Joel 2:12
We have yet another book about God punishing Israel. Again, God is "gracious" enough to offer them a surcease of punishment, if only they would ask.
Chapter 1 is all about locusts. Joel tells the people of Israel to wail and cry about all the locusts. At this point, not even the writers of the annotations on my teen study bible can deny that the repetition is getting annoying. This is their annotation for this section:
Have you ever gotten to a class and been totally surprised that you were having a test that day? Somehow you didn't hear any announcement - five of them, the teacher says! - about a test. When you read the Old Testament prophets you can get sort of tired of hearing the same warnings again and again. If you wonder why there's so much repetition, the answer is simple. These people listened to God's prophets about as carefully as some teens listen to their teachers! Not listening to teachers can mean a bad grade. But Joel 1:5-11 is a reminder that not listening to God means weeping, wailing, mourning, grief, and despair.
Sort of tired of repetition? Well obviously God repeating himself isn't working. So stop! My favorite Albert Einstein quote is constantly relevant when it comes to the bible, "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Maybe nobody is claiming that God is sane, he's definitely not acting like it.
In chapter 2 God continues on his long rant about how the Israelites should be sad about the locusts. I think they're sad, God. They are probably starving to death after all. He ends with the usual offer to accept him and stop the punishment. I can only conclude that God isn't getting his message out very well. If someone were killing me and they offered to stop, I can't imagine why I wouldn't accept.
In chapter 3 God tells Israel that they will eventually never again be invaded or destroyed. I guess this is one of those prophecies that just hasn't come true yet.
Yet another completely pointless book of the Old Testament.
What's worse than molesting little boys? Saving lives, according to the Catholic church.
Sister Margret was excommunicated for advising one of the patients, at a hospital where she is the senior administrator, to get an abortion. This woman suffered pulmonary hypertension which can precede up to a 50% maternal mortality rate. What does she get for this life saving advice? Not just suspended like many pedophile priests, she was excommunicated. Meaning she can no longer take the sacrament. I couldn't care less about the sacrament, but I'm sure this was fairly earth shattering for a nun.
I just don't understand how working to save someone's life can possibly be worse than molesting children.
(via The New York Times)