Common sense can be intuitive or it can come from experience and pain. That’s why it’s so important in raising children to help them learn through a combination of both instruction and experience. When I was a young boy, it seemed that I often had to learn lessons the hard way.Read More
Did you notice? Where Eliphaz, in the last chapter, had challenged Job on the basis of his theology, Job’s response is of a different order. He doesn’t even bother with Eliphaz’ theology. It is God himself that Job is seeking.
But God is nowhere to be found. Job is sure that if he could lay his case before him, God would pay attention to him, and acquit him.Read More suffering, honesty
Job’s response to Bildad is pure scorn. 26:1-4 are to be read as sarcasm: “You have really been helpful to someone weak and weary” (CEV). Bildad is silenced and we don’t hear from him or his friends again.
It is tempting to read the verses that follow through 21st century Western eyes, especially 26:7, which seems to indicate that Job understood the earth, as we do, as suspended in space.Read More honesty, Ancient Near East, reason
This is a chapter of utter despair! Job is now mocked by the homeless rejects of society, perhaps criminals, driven into the desert to scratch out an existence in the parched land. The young men whose parents showed him deference in the last chapter now make up jokes and songs to taunt him. They attack him physically. He is overwhelmed by terror. Everything that gave meaning to life in chapter 29 has vanished.Read More despair, honesty
In this passage the justice of God rings loud. God hates cheaters, it says. Does he really hate them? We know from the Gospels that God loves everyone so this statement should be read more as a human expression of how God views injustice. The Old Testament prophets talked more about justice issues in their own day than about what was going to happen in the “end times.”Read More mercy, justice, honesty
You really wonder sometimes when you read through Scriptures, don’t you. I mean, why has God been so patient with us over the centuries when over and over again we disobey and thumb our noses at him. Chapter 7 of Joshua begins with a tragically familiar phrase, “But the Israelites acted unfaithfully . . .” It was a simple task they had been given. After the city was taken through a miracle of God, they were to put the treasures of the city into the ‘Lord’s House.’ It was symbolically a way of reflecting their understanding that God had been with them.Read More honesty, faithlessness, disobedience
This passage calls for us to reflect on our attitude toward our possessions and our riches. Whether we are rich or poor, we all have challenges.
If you don’t have enough, you depend on others to survive (whether by means of a social system or by friends and relatives). This takes humility. It’s not easy to ask for assistance. What’s more, it’s sometimes a challenge to remain honest, especially when there are pressing needs.Read More honesty, poverty, pride, contentment, Riches
In my experience it is only when I am in a state of desperation, like a deer panting for water, that I am able to break through the ceiling of confinement and the restraint that I impose on myself which prevents me going deep with God. The paradox is that I resist the very things God uses to bring me to this point of desperation so I can go deep with him.
As survivalists of the highest order we work to insulate ourselves from all uncertainty be it relational, financial, personal security or healthy wellbeing.Read More control, desperation, prayer, honesty, thirst
I’ve found it sure feels good when the hurting stops. You have been caught in a cycle of sickness, poor health, maybe even injury and then notice the healing start. Or the employment situation has been less than ideal and then it begins to turn around and you regain your sense of hope for the future. Or a relationship has come undone or become stagnant or maybe somebody close to you has let you down by not living up to your expectations for them, but then things start to change there as well. David knew all of these emotions.Read More honesty, healing, hurt