Reading Through The Bible — Week 43
9/16 Monday. Read Job 15:1—17:16
· If time is short focus on 16:1-22
· Eliphaz the first friend who spoke is ready for round two and this time he is in attack mode (v.1-9) and he continues his not too veiled accusation that it is the wicked whom God will punish. (Insinuation: you must be pretty wicked Job)
· Job once again accuses his friends of being “miserable comforters.” His thoughts waver between despair, feeling that God for whatever unknown reason has ground him into the ground… and yet there is hope. He is confident of an advocate on his behalf in heaven (v.19-21)
· This is not only our confidence, but our absolute certainty for God has become one with us and there is one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. Even the Spirit of God intercedes for us!
9/17 Tuesday. Read Job 18:1—19:29
· If time is short focus on 19:1-29
· Bildad harps on the same old theme: wicked people, those who do not know God, they are the ones suffering all varieties of ill fate.
· Job continues to wonder why God has so abused him and just longs for some pity from his friends.
· In the midst of despair his faith pops up like a bobber and he speaks the most eloquent words of resurrection comfort in either the OT or NT. He may not have any hope left for this life, but he has absolute certainty for the life to come. KEY PASSAGE 19:25-27.
9/18 Wednesday. Read Job 20:1—21:34
· If time is short focus on 21:1-34
· Zophar continues a slightly different version of the same theme. Oh, yes the wicked may enjoy some good, but God will turn it sour in their mouth.
· Job’s response is: Even that argument is full of falsehood. How often isn’t it the case that the wicked prosper. One man dies in his prime; another suffers without seeing any good. Who knows what is the difference? His friends arguments are meaningless (21;34).
· What would mean something to Job would be if they would just recognize how he is suffering. (21:4,5)
9/19 Thursday. Read Job 22:1—24:25
· If time is short focus on 23:1-17
· Eliphaz takes one last shot at Job, even suggesting what Job’s secret sin might possibly be. Maybe God is punishing you for your piety? (v.4) Or perhaps because of your wealth that you didn’t care enough for those who had less (v.5-10)?
· Job does not answer these accusations directly, but turns to God… if only he could find God, he is convinced that he would “come forth as gold.” But God doesn’t seem to do justice. Even the wicked seem to get away with murder.
· The book of Job wrestles with the heavy duty question of where is God in all of the injustice in the world. We still trip over that question, but have the final answer in Jesus. Jesus suffered for every sin and injustice. Be patient… On the day of judgment all of the scales will be balanced.
9/20 Friday. Read Job 25:1—28:28
· If time is short focus on 28:1-28
· Of Job’s three friends Bildad gets the final short word… and the prosecution rests it’s case. He asks a very important question, “How then can a man be righteous before God?” And of course there is only one way and that is through Jesus. The question, of course, is another not-too-thinly-veiled reprimand to Job for claiming to be righteous. What are we before God, “but a maggot.”
· Job agrees with Bildad and wonders at the power of God… who can comprehend it? And then he maintains his integrity and his clear conscience… which he will finally admit is a mistake. His friends pushed him and he goes too far. He knows he is a sinner.
· And then Job discourses on wisdom. Men mine great treasures from the earth, but God alone knows the way to true wisdom. Job expresses the truth that will be impressed on us in the book of Proverbs: “The fear of the LORD — that is wisdom. Men may have knowledge and smarts, but it only becomes wisdom through the revelation of God. Only when God guides can our logic and knowledge be used in a wise way. Job’s friends are a perfect example of that truth!
9/21 Saturday. Read Job 29:1—31:40
· If time is short focus on 31:1-40
· Job almost speaks these words to himself… his final thoughts.
· He longs for the days when he knew God’s blessing was upon him, but now even the dregs of society mock him.
· Job embarks on a bit of a moral inventory (Have you done that lately… it is a good thing to do.) He examines his personal life (31:1-12) to check for sins of lust, lying, and adultery; then his public life (v.13-22), including his treatment of slaves, widows, the fatherless, the poor and needy; and finally his spiritual life (v.24-40), including his use of money, worship of God, attitude toward revenge, use of hospitality, and purity of motive.
· And finally Job is silent, which is the only position in which God can deal with us (How can God deal with us when we are full of excuses and arguments?) Let every mouth be silent before Him!
9/22 Sunday. We pause from the drama of Job and focus on the lessons for the 15th week after the Pentecost. The Christian life is a life of humility.
Gospel Lesson, Luke 14:1, 7-14: It is difficult, perhaps, for most of us to imagine ourselves in this specific situation. We are so far removed from royalty and subjects, masters and slaves. First, Jesus speaks to the immediate situation of the banquet He was attending and the actions He saw there. But then He also drives home His point on humility with a parable. As Jesus warns against sinful pride, He warns those who would promote themselves and seek places of honor in the presence of the Host of the Heavenly banquet. Only those who humbly wait on the King’s merciful acknowledgment will find eternal reward at His table. For now, the King calls on us to humbly serve those in need. This is not for personal gain. Rather, humble service to the citizens of His kingdom is a display of humble service to the King.
Old Testament Lesson, Proverbs 25:6,7: Sinful pride can be one’s undoing. Better is humility in the presence of the king than humiliation in his court. These words of Solomon are nearly identical to the words of Jesus in the Gospel today. It would be easy to dismiss these words as simply dining etiquette for the royal court. But these words touch nearly every aspect of life for the believer. Humble service before the King of heaven and humble service in his kingdom mark those who will dine at the King’s table for eternity.
Epistle Lesson, Hebrews 13:1-8: Sad to say, humble service to those in need is not only rare in our society, it often results in surprise, evensuspicion, at the unexpected kindness poured out by the heart of faith. For us who have known the mercy of the King, we cannot help but reflect humble service of the King’s Son in our daily lives. Yes, our kindness will often be ridiculed or even rejected. But we can boldly act in cheerful confidence knowing that the King acknowledges and aids us in our humble service.