JOB 20:1-22:30 | 2 CORINTHIANS 1:1-11 | PSALM 40:11-17 | PROVERBS 22:2-4
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Job continues to reflect on the unfortunate state that he is in, and while it would have been easy to have become cynical and skeptical of God’s mercies, and perhaps even lose faith, Job does just the opposite: he continues to stand by what he believes to be the best way to conduct one’s self. He says this:
21 “Submit to God and be at peace with him;
in this way prosperity will come to you.
22 Accept instruction from his mouth
and lay up his words in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored:
If you remove wickedness far from your tent
24 and assign your nuggets to the dust,
your gold of Ophir to the rocks in the ravines,
25 then the Almighty will be your gold,
the choicest silver for you.
26 Surely then you will find delight in the Almighty
and will lift up your face to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
and you will fulfill your vows.
28 What you decide on will be done,
and light will shine on your ways.
Turning now to our New Testament reading, we commence a new book today which is yet another epistle or letter, written by Paul, again to the church in Corinth. It is therefore called the second book of Corinthians.
Paul starts out the letter with polite greetings, and says this: 3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
Paul goes on in all candor to inform the reader about how he has been faring from his last visit to Asia, i.e., the areas in modern-day Turkey, and despite the hardships that he and his colleagues have faced, Paul uses even these experiences to encourage the church in Corinth.
May it be that like them, we would also take to heart the encouraging words that Paul offers.
He says: We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. 9 Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. 10 He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.
Turning now to our psalm for the day, we find David, the psalmist, crying out to the Lord God for help. There are as many psalms of praise and thanksgiving as there are psalms that have a theme of seeking help. This is one of the latter, and one that all of us can identify with at some time or another in our lives. David says:
11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, LORD;
come quickly, LORD, to help me.
And may it be that like David, we also say with the same confidence, these words:
17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay.
Finally, one verse from the book of Proverbs, in which Solomon, the wise king of Israel reminds us of the great value in the virtue of humility:
4 Humility is the fear of the LORD;
its wages are riches and honor and life.
May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.