Monday, 14 January 2013

Back in the rat-run!

New Year's relaunch!

Now more committed to reading and reflecting each morning, hopefully to be followed up by further research and reflections at a later juncture. The theme of  these is "the wages of...", enjoy!

Genesis 29:14-20
What is the customary expectation for relatives in this situation? Are wages in this sense to be understood as in addition to the bare essentials of survival? What work was Jacob undertaking? Does Jacob's request name a want rather than a need? Is this an instance of women treated as commodities or does verse 19 suggest a care for her wellbeing?

Deuteronomy 24:14-15
 Evidence of monetary wage in early Israel?Wage-holding a form of power, open to abuse. Makes hired labour a day-by-day occurrence with the possiblity of refusing a day's work if neccesary or if the work is not needed. No expectation of long-term employment?

Kings 22:3-7
Temple work funded comunally. Distribution the task of the priest and labourers to be trusted without need of account.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-26
Pain of toil hightened by its produce being claimed by another. Importance of seeing work in relation to God to find satisfaction in it. Over what does "his mind... not rest"? Worries over whether production will be enough to sustain? The work of the sinful used to sustain those who please God? How does the theology of Ecclesiastes inform its attitude to work, and what are we to make of the assertion the sinful do not benefit from their labour?

Matthew 20:1-15
A comment on just use of wealth? How typical is a denarius for a day's labour? If God is depicted as the landowner there's an expectation for humanity to work to serve His creation? But... is it God who is being compared or the depiction of the kingdom in generosity and mercy?

Ruth 2:15-23
The practice of gleaning allows the poor to survive by hard work, not by handouts alone. Boaz' intentional leaving of more corn than usual blesses Ruth in a way which does not cause embarrassment or degradation.

Psalm 109:11
Results of labour being removed from a person equated to the loss of children and death. A disastrous evil.

Proverbs 21:25-26
Does not maintain working equates to righteousness but suggests idleness begets want and an inability to act righteously. Maybe it is not the sluggard's will or desire which causes the idleness but that his 'hands will not work'. What is the language and message being used here?

Romans 4:1-8

In contrast, suggestion righteousness is attainable apart from 'works'. However, work and wages seen as inseparable, one earning a right to the other, contrasted with righteousness which is bestowed as a gift.

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