In today's Job reading, Zophar elaborates his list of calamities for the wicked. In doing this, however, he assumes that the truly righteous are somehow exempt from external miseries and must enjoy prosperity now ("theology of glory"). Such misunderstanding tempts us to lose our proper motivation for clinging to the Lord. Our goal is not this earth, which is fading, but "the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Job's friends ignore the observable fact that many among the wicked prosper and live seemingly easy lives. By truthfully describing life on earth, Job is reminded to look beyond this life for his hope and righteousness. We, too, must look beyond the injustice we observe and continually confess that our outward predicament does not define God's attitude toward us. While the houses of the wicked remain after earthly storms, the spiritual houses of those in Christ endure forever against sin, the world, and the devil because they are built on the rock that is Christ.
In the 1 Corinthians reading, Paul reminds us that the Lord transforms believers from our previous existence and makes us members of His household. We now live out the new life in the station to which God has appointed us. Paul then outlines two blessed estates, that of marriage and that of celibacy. We are often aware of the blessings of marriage, God's unique gift that survived humanity's fall into sin. Yet there are also responsibilities with marriage, and it is particularly important for the Christian to consider these when sitting down to "count the cost" of discipleship. In the Lord and by His grace, each person is fitted to one or to the other.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 22-24; 1 Corinthians 8