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