Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Bible Challenge: Day 180

The scriptures read are Job 4-6, Psalm 147 and 2 Corinthians 6.

Job 4-5. Eliphaz goes first. What he says sounds very orthodox, very biblical. "Doesn't God come through in the end? Just accept his discipline and ask for his mercy. It'll all turn out for the best." We believers tend to say such things when others are hurting. But notice how inadequate this line of talk is for someone in Job's situation. He's lost his wealth, his health and his kids: everything! He is in philosophical and physical pain. Eliphaz's words are like a bandaid on a sucking chest wound. Worse, they are like rubbing salt in the wound.

Job 6. Job says, "Look, God has really worked me over. I am suffering and would be happy to be put out of my misery. You're not listening to me as I express my pain. Your words are of no help. They are like an oasis in the desert that turns out to be dry. Besides, you are implying I deserved this. Really? I deserved this?!?"

Psalm 147. This sounds like it was written after Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem. It praises God for returning the exiles and redeeming Jerusalem.

2 Corinthians 6. Paul gets lyrical about the paradoxes of the Christian life; how things good and bad occur but the true Christian soldiers on, helping fulfill God's purposes but not letting the bad stuff derail them. God is our partner, not the forces of darkness. Don't embrace corruption; embrace God our Father.

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