Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday, March 22nd: Job 41-42, 1 Corinthians 14:1-20

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Job 41-42; 1 Corinthians 14:1-20

In our OT passage we continue to see God's greatness, followed by Job's repentance, God's judgment of Job's three friends, Job's sacrifices on their behalf, and then Job receiving from God double the wealth he had before.

I always wondered why Job didn't receive double the amount of children.

And then I read Rayburn's sermon (it is excellent, I recommend reading it all!) and he made a great, and obvious point.  Job did receive double the mount of children.  Yes, his first 10 children died - but we know that death is not the end.  Eventually, Job would be reunited with all 20 of his children in heaven - double the original ten.  So obvious, and yet I missed it until it was pointed out.

Truly the lesson of Job is this - we may have to suffer in this world for many different reasons.  But not forever.  To the faithful God promises reward - some rewards will come in this life (ranging from joy filled marriages, to the beauty of sunsets and rainbows) and some will come in the next - but they will come.  Because He who promised is faithful.  And He has promised that the suffering of this present time will not be comparable to the joy that is coming in eternity.  That is where we need to put our hope and our trust.

Our Corinthians theme expands on this somewhat - pointing out again that we should not allow emotion to trump intellect.

There is some controversy over tongues amongst Christians.  I appreciated Rayburn's thoughts on this....

"tongues" in the Bible refers to the supernatural ability to speak in a human language one has never learned. That is certainly what tongues was in the only instance in which it is actually described in the NT, in Acts 2. It is interesting, by the way, that Luke mentions tongues-speaking twice more in Acts, once, in chapter 10, in the house of Cornelius and once, in chapter 19, among some men in Ephesus. It is very unlikely that we are to suppose that Luke meant something entirely different in those two later instances of tongues-speaking than he had in chapter 2 in the more complete description of the gift given in his account of Pentecost. Some would have us believe, however, that tongues was a very different thing in Corinth than in these other three instances. They think it was some kind of ecstatic utterance unlike human language. All I can say is that the burden of proof certainly rests very heavily on the one who wishes to make that case. We know what tongues were in Acts, in Jerusalem, at Caesarea, and at Ephesus. On what basis are we to believe that tongues was a different kind of gift in Corinth? Anyway, the tongues speaker was carried along in ecstasy by the Holy Spirit and though, apparently, that was a wonderful experience of communion with God, a sense of being overtaken by the presence and power of the Holy Spirit, he or she did not know what it was that was being said and no one else who didn't know that language would have understood it either. In that sense, the words are being spoken to God alone while the individual is taken up in this magnificent experience of communion with God.

Rayburn maintains that those types of miraculous gifts of the Spirit where given for a certain time in history, and are no longer present.  But there is still a general principle here to take to heart - and that is not to allow emotion to trump intellect.

Yes, God created emotion, and it can be wonderful.  But emotion and experience can be seriously misleading and are not accurate indicators of genuine faith.  What matters is our faith in Jesus Christ and the acts of obedience that flow from that faith.   The question is - what do we believe and how do we live?

God does not move hearts by some kind of invisible violence. He addresses their minds with words and summons them to respond with intelligent faith and obedience. The first duty of man is to understand what God is saying to him and then to act in conformity with that understanding. 

We need to know what God says to us in His Word (that's why we're doing this blog!), we need to trust what He says in His word, and we need to obey what He says in His Word.

And when we do, God guarantees reward - in this life and the life to come, as we see with Job.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Proverbs 1-2; 1 Corinthians 14:21-40


Nathan Reimer said...

Two things stood out for me, the first was how quickly Job forgave his "friends", he could have been bitter and made them suffer for how they treated him during this dark part of his life. It pleases God when we forgive, even though it isn't always easy.

The second thing is from the New Testement reading , about not letting our emotions get in the way of wisdom. This is a good guide for me when I need to make decisions in life, both everyday ones and more importantly decisions on how I want to live for God. We get caught up sometimes in what feels good now, and we don't always consider what God teaches us in scripture.

Conrad said...

I was thinking along the same lines as Nathan in the Job passage. When God was reprimanding Job's friends, I was wondering if Job was thinking "Ya, you tell them!" to himself. But being the man Job was, that thought probably didn't enter his mind, as it did mine.

In the NT passage, what stood out to me is Paul's insistence on that whatever is done in the church, it must be to contribute to the edification of the church body.

"But everyone who prophesies speaks to men for their strengthening, encouragement, and comfort." (vs3)

Sometimes I sit in church wondering what Pastor Ron will do for me today. But the reality is, someone could be sitting in my row requiring encouragement, and I need to be mindful and open to building that person up.

Pamela said...

When you ask our daughter Kezia what her favourite verse is, she'll likely say Job 42:14:

And he called the name of the first daughter Jemimah, and the name of the second Keziah, and the name of the third Keren-happuch. 15 And in all the land there were no women so beautiful as Job's daughters.

When we named our second daughter Kezia, she was born after an early miscarriage. It's certainly not the long troubles that Job endured but it did make me wonder what God had planned for us since our first pregnancy happened so easily. I began to wonder if because we had conceived so quickly the first time, that another pregnancy would be difficult.

We never quite know what God's plan is. We need to trust that He knows what He is doing...even if we don't know.