Saturday, August 22, 2015
some good advice
We've got two readings today that see the world from the perspective of another time and culture. So after reading them, one might be left wondering what the take away message is.
Job sees himself as faultless and without sin. He insists that he has done no wrong. And in the OT way of looking at things, many did see themselves as holy and close to God, free from sin. As modern Christians, we know that we DO struggle with sin, and will continue to until we are finally free from its effects in heaven. Until then, we repent and seek His forgiveness.
Paul talks about the chaos happening in the church at Corinth because people are speaking in tongues right and left and it's creating a cacophony. He gives them instructions on how to create order in their worship. And then he says that women can't talk at church, but should only ask their husbands at home. We would probably not follow that thinking today, as we realize that women have a place in worship too. It's another time and culture. Our eyes have been opened to further revelation about the dignity of the human.
Reading today's passages, I actually found myself (once again!) finding wisdom in Job's counselors. When I have read these verses in the past, I've always sided with Job and found their counsel to be mean spirited and attacking him. But when you read their words today, they are actually giving good advice. I wonder how long this will continue as we read the next few days. At what point do the counselors cross a line?
Today their advice is sound. They suggest that Job should seek out God's face and ask Him why these things are happening to him. They say that God does discipline us, but He does it with love and mercy. He "strikes, but His hands also heal." He is the faithful friend, who wounds us with His words, but only so that we can be more deeply healed.
His friend goes on to say that even though we are chastened by God, He also protects us. And He blesses us. We do suffer tonight, but joy comes in the morning.
God, thank You for being the friend that we can trust, even when You are correcting us.