Job 20:1-22:30; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11;
Psalm 40:11-17; Proverbs 22:2-4
The naked truth is always better than the best dressed lie.
Have you ever had someone tell lies about you? For whatever reason, they are spreading gossip and lies that have nothing to do with reality? This is the position that Job is in today.
Our reading starts with Zophar, who does not have much that is new to add to the mix. He continues down the same argument that the wicked get what is coming to them and then they are punished and perish.
Job counters that actually, the wicked appear to prosper on the earth. He says that rather than dying young, the wicked live to a ripe old age and grow wealthy. They appear to get away with rejecting God, at least while they are alive on the earth. Job challenges God by saying that it would be more just if God would punish the wicked while they are alive. Job concludes by saying that Zophar's words do not comfort him because Zophar's words are wrong!
- Lending money to a friend and keeping the clothing he pledged. Vs. 6
- Refusing to give water to the thirsty because he believes that everything belongs to the powerful. Vs. 7
- Sending widows away without helping them and crushing orphans. Vs. 8
- Forgetting that God is the one who blessed him. Vs. 18
- Lusting after money. Vs. 24
How do you handle suffering?
2 Corinthians 1:1-11
As we begin this new letter to the Corinthians, Paul still has not come to visit this church that he started. They were an immature group of Christians. In his first letter to them, the Apostle Paul gave instruction and correction. Through Titus, Paul has learned that the Corinthians have taken his advice and been obedient.
In his second letter, Paul opens up to this obedient group. We see his heart and his struggles. As the letter begins, we see that suffering is on Paul's mind. That fits nicely with our study of Job. Paul's theme is that God comforts us in our trials, so that we can comfort others when they have trials. I bet Job would have liked for his godless friends to understand this concept!
Paul assures the Corinthians that the more one suffers for Christ, the more one will receive comfort through Christ. If you share in the suffering, you will also share in the comfort. Paul relays that he was under great suffering in Asia, even to the point of being crushed and completely overwhelmed. He relates that going through this, he learned to rely not on himself, but to rely on God who is able to raise the dead! Paul felt like a dead man, and God raised him out of his troubles. Paul acknowledges that the prayers of the Corinthians helped him.
Do you realize that God can raise you out of your troubles? Do you find comfort from God in the midst of your suffering? Do you help others who are suffering because you have experienced it?
This psalm speaks of being surrounded by troubles. The psalmist cries out for God to rescue him! Vs. 17 states that the Lord is thinking about the writer of this psalm. It confirms that God is our helper.
God does make both the rich and the poor. Prudence leads to wise choices. True humility before the Lord leads to blessings.
What did you see today? Please share.