Verses for Our Time

A year-long project is over. I started reading the Old Testament in May 2007. I read an average of three chapters every day. The version I read was the New International Version (NIV), which I read online (www.ibs.org/niv). Today I finally finished.

The end of the Old Testament contains twelve books about minor Hebrew prophets. There were two verses that I read today which I found particularly enlightening.

Here’s one that I feel many people today can relate to:

Haggai 1:5

5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

Maybe it’s the current state of the economy that makes this verse ring so true. This verse is talking about a lack of fulfillment, a scarcity of contentment. With the global food crisis, it definitely seems like we have harvested little. I also feel like I eat and eat, but I never have enough. Maybe I need to change my diet or maybe it’s something deeper, but I don’t feel satisfied by food like I used to feel. I’m not having money problems right now, thankfully, but I know many people must feel like their wallets or purses have holes in them.

This next verse strikes me as something that closely resembles the Quran and the Hadith.

Malachi 2:16

16 “I hate divorce,” says the LORD God of Israel, “and I hate it when people clothe themselves with injustice,” says the LORD Almighty.

Of course Islam permits divorce and even makes it relatively easy to do, but it reminds us that divorce is one of the things that Allah hates most. Also, justice is very important to Muslims as we believe we are commanded to fight injustice in whatever way we are able. I find it interesting that divorce and injustice are paired together in this manner. Maybe the implication is that one major cause of divorce is injustice. When spouses do not give each other the rights they deserve, divorce may result.

Also, the verse doesn’t just say people commit injustice but that they “clothe themselves” with injustice. It is one thing when injustice is an act that you do, but when injustice surrounds you and envelops you as if it is your own clothing, you know you have gone far astray. In today’s society when our clothes are often the product of sweatshop labor and inhumane working conditions, how many of us are guilty of clothing ourselves with injustice? Think about it.

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  1. #1 by carlal on May 9, 2008 - 12:20 am

    Asad, I wanted to thank you for your comment to my blog “Aworld headed for destruction~an age old disease”. The world is not HEADED for a moral crisis, we have already arrived there. Drugs and crime are only a few of the ills that we face in todays world.
    Visit my site again tomorrow and let me know if you think I am on the right track as to what our true ailment is. http://www.carlal.wordpress.com
    Carlal.

  2. #2 by AmericanMuslimaWriter on May 19, 2008 - 1:14 am

    So what made you want to read the Bible? As a Muslim did you find a lot in it to offend you or disturb you? I know the similarities must have struck you as profound like the good ones yu mentioned above but sometimes I’mcurious of the differences. Since i became Muslim i havn’t ever touched the bible again because I have hard enughtime to read the whole QUr’an. Subhan’Allah you can use your new knowledge to compare the similarities to Islam and insha’Allah pursuade some people to convert to Islam 🙂

  3. #3 by Victoria Peters on June 10, 2008 - 5:34 am

    You read a Christian translation of the Hebrew Scriptures (what Christians call the “Old Testament”).

  4. #4 by Victoria Peters on June 10, 2008 - 5:37 am

    Traditional translations arrange the Bible into three parts — the Torah, or Law; the Prophets; and the Writings. It’s known as the Tanakh, which is an acronym for the three parts.

  5. #5 by Victoria Peters on June 10, 2008 - 5:37 am

    Also, you should know that despite that one verse, Judaism allows divorce.

  6. #6 by Alice I. on May 13, 2011 - 6:15 am

    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website. It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Great work!

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