Job 1: 1—3:26

Welcome to the book of Job.  The characters in this beauty were living during the Patriarchal time.  However, I can’t say for sure that is when it was written.  I also can’t tell you who wrote it.  But I can tell you that this book of the Bible is a masterpiece of words.  It mixes prose and poetry and has the richest vocabulary of all the OT books.  It really is brilliant.  If this was a painting, you would not be able to take your eyes off it. 

Because God likes me, I got to sit through a sermon on Job last weekend by my friend Scot Keen.  Check out that sermon here.  And let me just say that I will be taking bits from that sermon as we journey through the book. 

So here we go!  Job is a very rich man with a big family and lots of livestock.  He lives a very charmed life.  He is also blameless before God.  The setting of this book is in the time before the Mosaic Law was instituted so blameless before God means that, like Abraham, Job believed God and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.  He questions God in the book, but Job never tips over into, “God must not be real, and I will not trust in Him.”  Our conflict is this charmed life is blown to smithereens in the span of a few short minutes. By the end of our reading today Job has scratched himself raw with a pottery shard and curses the day he was conceived and the day he was born.  His helpful wife tells him, “Geez why don’t you just curse God and die.”  I am thinking she is not the woman praised in Proverbs 31. 

But we get let in on what is going on in the heavenly realm.  Satan saunters into God’s court, ever prideful and says, “Job only loves you because you have given him wealth and health.”  Since God is all knowing and all powerful, He says, “Really, you think so?  Alright, take it all away from him, but don’t kill him and see what happens.”  And right there we see God blow a hole in the thinking that if you do all the right things God promises you a good life free of suffering.  And God uses this story to teach all of us that first of all He is sovereign over the good things that happen and the bad.  He gave Satan permission to test Job.  And Job was a righteous guy.  God is teaching us that the reason for suffering is not always because of our choices.  Yes, we usually reap what we sow, but sometimes suffering happens to teach something and it is not because of our sin. 

Do we want suffering? Um, no thank you!  But here is what we learn from today’s reading.  If we suffer undeservedly it is because God allowed it to happen.  Think of it this way.  What if Satan walked into God’s Courtroom and said, “{Your name here}, only worships you because they have never had to suffer.”  What would God’s response be?  “Yeah, you are right.  They are pretty worthless because as soon as they stub their toe, they are cursing me.”  ~OR~ “Go ahead, test them Satan, I know they will stay faithful to me, and not only that but they will get through the suffering so well that others will put their faith in Me as well.”  God is not interested in your prosperity gospel view of Him.  He is not your genie in a bottle.  He is your Creator and is interested in growing you to have faith like Job. 

1 Corinthians 14: 1-17

Alright, so we have established that the Corinthian church has gotten sideways where the apostles and gifts are concerned.  They have abused the Lords supper and ignored the hungry in their midst.  The Corinthians are about to get both barrels from Paul because of their prideful practices of giftings. 

He paused yesterday in his argument to remind them that love is the most important thing and today he picks up his argument he started in Chapter 12 and resumes.  He tells them to get focused on the gifts that will help the members of the church better understand God.  He says, “What good is speaking in tongues if no one can understand you?”  The heart behind exercising gifts should be to build and help the church.  If no one knows what you are saying they just leave more confused, then when they came in.  He tells them if you are so excited to get a gift pray for the ones that strengthen the whole church not just you!  Being selfish and wanting a gift that builds you up is, guess what? SELF CENTERED.  Jesus does not teach us about being selfish in the Beatitudes—He teaches the opposite! 

Also, the word used in the Greek for “tongues” is not referring to some sort of unhuman language.  If we allow the bible to define itself then that word is used for the actual organ, the tongue, or known human languages.  

Psalm 37: 1-29

Proverbs 21: 25-26

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