JOB 12:1-15:35 | 1 CORINTHIANS 15:29-58 | PSALM 39:1-13 | PROVERBS 21:30-31
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Job’s dark days are not yet over, and today we find that after he listens to his friends’ long speeches, Job wishes to share his thoughts as well. Unlike his friends who tend to lean toward a self-righteous tone in their sympathies, Job doesn’t resort to the typical laments. Job apparently has pondered these things, and these are some of his thoughts on the omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence of the Almighty. He says:
13 “To God belong wisdom and power;
counsel and understanding are his.
14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
those he imprisons cannot be released.
15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16 To him belong strength and insight;
both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads rulers away stripped
and makes fools of judges.
18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings
and ties a loincloth around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows officials long established.
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers
and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles
and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness
and brings utter darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light;
he makes them stagger like drunkards.
Job is unwilling to accept the views of his friends who imply either directly or indirectly that Job has brought this upon himself. He is certain that he is not being punished for wrongdoing, and even if he is, Job is willing to accept the hand of God in meting out to him whatever he receives, and however unjust. Job tells his friends, referencing God: 15 Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him.
Eliphaz is Job’s third friend, and it is now his turn to offer Job his own words of wisdom, which actually turn out to be more of the same that the first two friends have already said.
Turning next to our reading in the first book of Corinthians, we find Paul still addressing the problem of countering prevalent theories about the resurrection. Paul wishes to be forceful in exhorting his readers against being taken by this view of disbelief in the resurrection.
He says, 33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”
He goes on to explain the difference between an earthly body and a heavenly body in this verses: If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man.
Furthermore, Paul is skilled at painting a picture of how the resurrection might actually occur.
He says, 50 I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
And in the most triumphant outcome of the resurrection, every believer might boldly ask these questions:
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
And the answer would most definitely be:
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Turning next to the psalm of the day, we find, just like yesterday, the psalmists’ words to be an echo of what Job has also uttered in his darkest hour. David, like Job, says this:
7 “But now, Lord, what do I look for?
My hope is in you.
8 Save me from all my transgressions;
do not make me the scorn of fools.
9 I was silent; I would not open my mouth,
for you are the one who has done this.
10 Remove your scourge from me;
I am overcome by the blow of your hand.
11 When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin,
you consume their wealth like a moth—
surely everyone is but a breath.
12 “Hear my prayer, LORD,
listen to my cry for help;
do not be deaf to my weeping.
Finally, two verses from the book of Proverbs in which Solomon, the wise king of Israel, is conveying and reiterating the utter dependence on God that all mere mortals are subject to. He says:
30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan
that can succeed against the LORD.
31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.