Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Random Verse: Sirach 33:1

Yes, it is completely random and unrelated to my last post that I happened to land in Sirach for the random verse. My paperback NRSV with Apocrypha was the closest Bible at hand on my nightstand (of course, I also have 2 ESVs within an arm’s length). I thought it might look suspect so I flipped again, but my conscience demanded that I return and post the very first verse that I’d landed on. No “best of three” allowed.

Sirach 33:1 (NRSV)

No evil will befall the one who fears the Lord, but in trials such a one will be rescued again and again.

While this is a potentially comforting verse and vague enough to be relevant, I’m awarding the point to Randomness because I don’t think this verse is true-to-life. It’s not realistic and could give someone a false hope. There are plenty of examples of evil befalling those who fear the Lord with no rescue in sight. I can say Ben Sira is wrong because he’s only in the Apocrypha, not the “real” Bible.

On the other hand, is this any different than the idealistic platitudes of Proverbs? Take Prov 10:3, for example:

The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. (NRSV)

What should we do with these types of statements in wisdom literature? Obviously they shouldn’t be taken as absolute truths, so what’s the point? More anon. In the meantime, any comments or suggestions?

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