Friday, March 13, 2015

Friday, March 13th: Job 20-21, 1 Corinthians 7:20-40 ~ Elizabeth

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is Job 20-21; 1 Corinthians 7:20-40

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


TammyIsBlessed said...

It can be hard to fix our eyes on eternity because we have a hard time envisioning something we can't see or experience. All we know is this world. And it can be easy to allow ourselves to be distracted by this world and to live with only this world in mind. It's true that the wicked sometimes prosper more than the righteous - but only in this temporary life. In eternity, justice will prevail. And when we get there, we will see that the troubles of this present time are not worthy to be compared to the glories that will be revealed in the age to come.

Conrad said...

In Job chapter 21, it was verses 23-26 that jumped out to me. Today I sold a package of appliances to the owner of a very high end clothing store in the city. When I was talking to him about his clothing selection, it became evident that I would not qualify to be one of his customers as a typical suit that he would sell would equate to a substantial portion of my monthly salary.

When I die, it won't matter what suit I wore. We will all end up in the same dust. What does matter, is that I stay focused on God, remembering that my achievements and trials are from God, and to give God glory for everything.

Pamela said...

I know I've read this but today it really stuck out for me:

So then he who marries his betrothed does well, and he who refrains from marriage will do even better.

39 A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. 40 Yet in my judgment she is happier if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.

I have people in my life who are single. Some would really like to be married. While I understand that Paul is basing his opinion on his own personal experience of being single, I wonder if he would have felt different if he had been married? Understandably, single people have more time to focus their attention of God's work but what about if they actually want to be married and their focus becomes more about the waiting?

Maybe, because I am happily married, my bias is the other way and I can't imagine my life not married that I can't see Paul's point of view as accurate just as I'm sure he would not be able to see mine.