Thursday, March 12, 2015

Thursday, March 12th: Job 17-19, 1 Corinthians 7:1-19

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Job 17-19; 1 Corinthians 7:1-19

In Chapter 17 Job was giving up hope of any earthly restoration of wealth or family.  At this point he, along with his friends, was focused solely on this life.  Truthfully, if this present life was all there was, at times it would indeed be hopeless.  Job's situation surely would have been!   But, thankfully, this life is NOT all there is.  And even Job recognizes this, in Chapter 19.

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.  And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God.  
And what a tremendous statement of faith it is!  We, of course, have the benefit of living on this side of the NT, but in Job's time, Israel didn't have a well developed doctrine of the resurrection and eternity.  But, even though Job struggled with the idea that God was currently against him, he firmly believed that in the end God would be with him, and that he would live with him in eternity, and in a resurrected body.  How Job knew this we don't know, but what tremendous faith!

A good reminder that I need to accept the Bible's Word on faith.  We know so much more than the OT saints did - how much more should we live in faith and hope!

Our NT passage speaks about the permanence of the marriage covenant.    Both marriage and singleness are gifts from God, and both can accomplish God's purposes. It is easier for single people to devote themselves wholeheartedly to God's service, without the added responsibility of spouse and family, like Paul did.   However, marriage was designed by God for companionship and procreation, and is a beautiful thing - indeed, it is a picture of the gospel and the relationship between Christ and His bride, the church.

God designed sex to be a beautiful celebration of love between married couples, and it certainly is a great benefit to being married.  Paul was not advising people to marry the first person they found if they had trouble controlling themselves sexually.  Obviously, it's better to deal with that desire than to deal with an unhappy marriage.  But those who do want to get married, shouldn't wait forever for the perfect moment, and frustrate their normal sexual desires.

The marriage is covenant is intended to be lifelong.  The only allowances for divorce are in cases of adultery, or if non-Christians want to divorce their Christian spouse.  But Paul's purpose in writing this was to urge couples to seek unity, not separation.  It is sad how rampant divorce is in our society today, mainly due to the misunderstanding of what love and commitment are, and the idolization of self and living for our own personal happiness no matter the cost to others.  It makes me very thankful for Nathan and our marriage!  We need to remember to pray for the marriages of our fellow believers!

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 20-21, 1 Corinthians 7:20-40


Nathan Reimer said...

That same verse in chapter 19 stood out for me too. I can't imagine the physical, emotional and spiritual pain Job was going through. Yet he saw the big picture knowing the he would be redeemed and one day join God in heaven. This is a good reminder to myself to look at the "big picture" and not focus on daily worries mad fears.

Pamela said...

Ditto to the verse in chapter 19 sticking out! What a faith Job had.

In the NT, this stuck out for me:

13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you[b] to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?

Too many people just give up. Even in our own families we see the effects of separation and divorce is becoming more and more common in Christian circles and therefore more accepted. I worry about this as my children are getting older and I realize that it is very likely that they will marry someone with separated parents. What kind of example will they have grown up and what it means to be a spouse?