Wednesday, August 23, 2017

August 23: Job 8 – 11; Psalm 38; Proverbs 21:28-29; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28



Overview

            Job: Bildad answers Job. He says Job’s words are nothing but wind. God doesn’t pervert justice and if his children were sinners they got what the deserved. If Job is upright, he can ask God and his wealth will be restored and more. Bildad appeals to the wisdom from their forefathers and poetically describes how anyone who forgets God will perish. He says God will not reject a blameless man or assist evildoers. God will yet restore Job and put those who hate him to shame.
            Job replies. He agrees but wants to know how a man can be right before God. Who can argue with God who is omnipotent and omniscient. Job describes God’s power in moving mountains and has made all things including the constellations. Job cannot see God when he passes by. No one can ask him what he is doing when a takes a person in death.
            Job wonders again how he could approach God. Though he feels he is blameless he still knows he can’t ask God anything and he can’t answer God. God is stronger, there is no contest. Though he is blameless, he still hates his life. So, it seems that God brings disasters on both the blameless and the wicked.
            Job says he could put on a happy face but he would still be afraid of his suffering and that God will not declare him innocent. All of his methods of self-purification won’t stand up before God. God isn’t a man and Job has no arbitrator to stand between them. If God would stop his discipline causing fear, Job would be able to speak without fear.
            Job asks God not to condemn him and asks why he is causing all this suffering. God has caused all this though he knows Job is not guilty. He made Job so why is he treating him like this. Job says that if his is guilty he deserves it all but if he is blameless, he still can’t raise his head. He asks God why he even let him be born. He asks God to spare him so he can have a little cheer before he dies.
            Zophar answers Job. He sums up Job’s complaint by saying that Job thinks he is pure and that God should answer him and tell him secret things. He asks Job if he can really understand God and then tells about God’s greatness and that no one can resist him. He tells Job to repent and turn to God and everything will be great. He will be healed, forget his misery, and feel secure. But the wicked will not escape.
            Psalm: David is mourning because of his sins. He is pleading with God not to abandon him. His sins have caused him emotional and physical pain. Even so, he is waiting for the Lord. He recounts that not only does he have these problems but people are against him. In the depth of this anguish, he confesses and is sorry for his sin. Still, his foes are many and he asks God to hurry and help him.
            Proverbs: Liars will perish but the one who hears him will either perpetuate it or will know the truth and endure (different translations disagree on the latter half of the verse). Wicked people are bold in their evil but the upright put a lot of thought into the way they act.
            1 Corinthians: Paul reminds the Corinthians of the very basics and important parts of the gospel. Jesus died for sins according to the Scriptures. He was buried and then raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. He then appeared to Peter and then the twelve (1 Cor 5:3-5). He also appeared to 500 and to Paul who was unworthy to be called and apostle because he persecuted the church. God’s grace for him was not in vain as Paul worked harder than all the other apostles. He gives credit to God’s grace not his own efforts.
            No one can say there is no resurrection of the dead because Jesus was raised. If he wasn’t then our faith is in vain and we are lying about God because God raised Jesus. If Jesus wasn’t raised then no one will be raised and our hope is futile and we are still in our sins. Everyone who has died has perished if Christ is not raised. If we are hoping in Jesus for his life and he wasn’t raised then we should be pitied.
            But Jesus is raised. He is the first of those who will be raised after dying. Death came because of Adam’s sin and we all will die. We will be raised when Jesus comes back and he destroys all rulers and authorities and give the kingdom to the Father. Jesus will reign until his enemies are under his feet. The last enemy is death. Though Scripture says all will be in subjection to Jesus, Jesus is in subjection to the Father.

What Stood Out

            Job: “Are your days as the days of man, or your years as a man's years, that you seek out my iniquity and search for my sin, although you know that I am not guilty, and there is none to deliver out of your hand?” (Job 10:5-7).   
            Psalm: “O Lord, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath!” (Ps 38:1).
            Proverbs: “A wicked man puts on a bold face, but the upright gives thought to his ways” (Prov 21:29).
            1 Corinthians: “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor 15:19).

Insight

            Job: Job gets as bit snarky with God in Job 10:5-7. He is actually asking God if he is behaving like a man. I think if I were one of Job’s friends, I would move a bit away from Job at that point. It is interesting that God doesn’t rebuke Job for this comment. It may be that God really understands why Job is so confused, after all, none of this came upon him because of his sins. Job admits over and over that even though this didn’t come upon him because of any particular sin, he doesn’t have any standing before God.
            This does point out that God is merciful. He doesn’t always treat us as our sins deserve and through Jesus Christ we can be holy and blameless in his sight. Job didn’t know how this would happen but he did have faith in God. When troubles come, we should remember that one reason for our troubles is to bring glory to God (John 9:3).
            Psalm: I am glad that Paul explained to us that we were meant for salvation and not to suffer God’s wrath (1 Thess 5:9). David didn’t know this and asks to be spared from God’s wrath. Job was completely dismayed and didn’t know why God was allowing his suffering. Many people today think God is a grumpy old man who is out to thump people when they step out of line. Their image of God is nothing but human speculation. If they really want to see what God’s wrath is like, they need to look in Revelation 14:17 and following. Nothing on earth has happened that is as severe as this. This describes the winepress of God’s wrath.
            We are all destined for that wrath unless, as Paul says, we are destined for salvation through Jesus (1 Thess 5:9). The full force of God’s wrath was taken by Jesus on the cross so that we don’t have to take that punishment ourselves. We must turn to him in faith or we will suffer his wrath.
            Proverbs: It seems that evil people are becoming more and more bold in the way they promote their wickedness. They boldly proclaim that whatever their favorite sin may be is not a sin. It is simply a lifestyle. They say they are only looking for pleasure and who should stop them from doing that. However, a Christian should be more circumspective and thoughtful about their actions and what they proclaim to be sin or not.
            1 Corinthians: I listen to music while picking wild blackberries and one of the songs I hear is If Heaven Was Never Promised to Me sung by various artists. In the song, they say that even if heaven wasn’t promised, it was worth having the Lord in their life. I’ve have some bad news for them. Their theology is really bad. Heaven is only promised us because of the resurrection of Jesus. The only way we wouldn’t have heaven promised for us is if Jesus wasn’t resurrected because he said he was going to prepare a place for us and would come and get us (John 14:2-4). Paul clearly states that if Jesus were not resurrected and we were still hoping in him then we are to be pitied.
            If Jesus were not resurrected then everything we believe would be a lie. Life after death, comfort and support for this life, living a righteous life, would all be meaningless for there would be not a God in whom we could trust. People who have the Lord in their lives would be delusional. We would be living a fairy tale existence while the rest of the world was doing what was important, looking out for themselves.
            I am certainly glad that Jesus is resurrected because it is the last item in the gospel. It is the one thing that proves that my sins are forgiven. It proves that God is real and we have a purpose in this life that is more important than getting whatever we can out of it. It means that heaven is real and eternity is our real home. I’m looking forward to that home and to be with Jesus.

Application

             I want to be sure that I don’t malign God when I’m having a bad day or in some really great trial. I want to be thankful that the Lord is in my life and that I live like it.

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