Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 1Ch 2:7
"The son of Carmi: Achar ['Achar' means trouble; Achar is
called Achan in Joshua], who brought trouble on Israel by violating the ban on
taking devoted things" (1Ch 2:7).
Achar is called "Achan" in Josh 7: this is the man of Judah
who secretly appropriated for himself some of the spoils of war at the fall of
Jericho (Josh 7:1-26; 22:20). Yahweh revealed to Joshua that Israel's defeat at
Ai was caused by the presence of sin in the camp. When the sacred lot specified
Achan as the offender, he confessed to coveting, stealing, and concealing in his
tent fine clothing, silver, and gold, all of which was under the sacrificial
ban, "devoted to the Lord for destruction". Achan and his family were stoned to
death, and their bodies and possessions were burned in the valley of Achor
("troubling": same word as "Achar" here) south of Jericho.
Was Achan's name changed -- posthumously -- to Achar, matching
the name of his place of burial, a word which signifies "trouble" or "troubler"?
This incident, in Josh 7, illustrates the truth of the
proverb: "A greedy man brings trouble [Heb 'akar'] to his family" (Pro
Reading 2 - Eze 15:2,3
"Son of man, how is the wood of a vine better than that of a
branch on any of the trees in the forest? Is wood ever taken from it to make
anything useful? Do they make pegs from it to hang things on?" (Eze
The vine was a well-known symbol for the nation of Israel.
Isaiah had sung a song concerning Israel, comparing her to a vineyard planted on
a very fruitful hill, which God had tended with great care. But the vines had
failed to produce grapes that could be eaten or made into wine. All it produced
were wild grapes (Isa 5). Similarly, Psa 80:8,9 describes Israel: "You brought a
vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the
ground for it, and it took root and filled the land." See also Deu 32:32; Jer
2:21; Hos 10:1.
A vine has no other purpose than to produce fruit. Trees might
be used to provide timber for various purposes, but the wood of the vine was
useless; it was not even used to form a "peg".
Israel had no personal righteousness (Eze 14:14,20); no
"fruits" (Mat 3:12; 21:33-41; Luke 13:6-9; Mark 11:12-14) -- that is, no fruit
of Spirit (Gal 5:22,23).
And if there were no fruit on the "vine", then there was no
use for it whatsoever!
Reading 3 - Luk 11:47,48
"Woe to you, because you build tombs for the prophets, and it
was your forefathers who killed them. So you testify that you approve of what
your forefathers did; they killed the prophets, and you build their tombs" (Luk
Do we "build up" the "tombs" of our Christadelphian
"prophets"? If so, is there any danger in doing so?
Are dead "prophets" less threatening than living ones? It
seems to me that dead "prophets" (and I use the term loosely here -- whether
referring to Isaiah and Jeremiah, or John Thomas and Robert Roberts) can be shut
up in books, closed between the covers, and "controlled"... whereas living
"prophets" go walking around sticking their noses into our business when we
least like it, encouraging us more directly by word or deed to DO something when
we would rather do nothing, and generally kicking us out of our "comfort zones".
They can't be as easily "shut up" or "put on a shelf". Maybe that's why we don't
care for the living "prophets". Maybe that's why we sometimes hasten their
demise! Jesus also said, "Only in his hometown, among his relatives and in his
own house is a prophet without honor" (Mar 6:4).