Scripture Commentary for June 5-11, 2013 by Arthur H. Cash

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PROPER 5

June 5 – 11

 

FIRST READING

I Kings 17:8-24

Elijah prophesizes that God will send a famine to punish the kingdom of Israel for worshiping Baal.  Fearing the wrath of Ahab, Elijah flees to Zarephath, where the poor widow on the verge of starvation reluctantly feeds him.  You will read how God miraculously sustains them.  The widow believes in worldly retribution, that good comes to those who do their duty, evil to those who are sinful.  So when her child falls ill and dies, she assumes the death is punishment for her own past sins and naively blames Elijah for bringing her to God’s attention.  Elijah brings the boy back to life, and the widow is now convinced he speaks “the word of the Lord.”  Yet he never speaks the word to the widow.  The story prepares us for Elijah’s miracles to come.

 

ALTERNATIE FIRST READING

1 Kings 17:17-24.

God has sent a famine to punish the kingdom of Israel for worshiping Baal.  Elijah, who denounced them, flees to Zarephath, where the poor widow on the verge of starvation reluctantly feeds him.  The widow believes in worldly retribution, that good comes to those who do their duty, evil to those who are sinful.  So when her child falls ill and dies, she assumes the death is punishment for her own past sins and naively blames Elijah for bringing her to God’s attention.  Elijah brings the boy back to life, and the widow is now convinced he speaks “the word of the Lord.”  Yet he never speaks the word to the widow.  The story prepares us for Elijah’s words in the miracles to come.

 

SECOND READING

Galatians 1:11-24

In his letter to the several Christian communities in Galatia, Paul asserts his authority as an apostle by telling the story of his conversion.  We have heard this remarkable story before, and no doubt will hear it again.  Paul tells it three times in Acts (9:1-22, 22:1-16, 26:1-18).  Paul regarded it as his major credential as an apostle, but it also gave him some independence from the Jerusalem church, for, in his belief, Christ himself had commissioned him individually to be a witness to the gentiles (see esp Acts 22).

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