Thoughts on some verses from Job

I started reading through Job last week in my RttBiaY program. Job can be tough – mixed in with the often dubious wisdom and advice of his three friends and Job’s own self righteousness, there is real wisdom and truth. Figuring out which is which isn’t always straightforward.

Here are a couple of verses which I read this morning which stood out to me. Familiar concepts, to be sure – especially if you’ve ever read Proverbs:

Job 24:15 The eye of the adulterer also waits for(DR) the twilight, saying, ‘No(DS) eye will see me’; and he veils his face. (ESV)

Job 28:28 And He said to man,’ Behold,(CJ) the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to(CK) turn away from evil is understanding.’ (ESV)

Good checks on my motivation and attitude toward any sin in my life: do I turn away from it and show that I’m growing in wisdom (by fearing God more than man, by loving Him more than my sin) and understanding? Am I seeking to bring any hidden sin into the light, or am I content – no, eager – to keep it in the darkness? (Again – do I fear God or man more?)

[Update: May 20, 2008 – I finished reading Job this morning.  In retrospect, I think that much of the difficulty I encountered in the past when reading Job was due to not reading it all the way through in a relatively short amount of time – a few sittings, at the most.  Having done so this time, I find that it isn’t as hard as I remembered to discern the godly from the human wisdom…. Or, perhaps, by God’s grace, I’m growing a little bit in understanding and ability to discern the two.  May I always give Him the glory for any insight I gain when reading the Word!]

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Thoughts on Numbers 22-24

I encountered another tricky passage in my RttBiaY reading last week, when I wrote most of this post…

Numbers 22-24 contains the story of Balaam, a spiritual man, of sorts, but one who also loved the world. Balaam was called by Balak, king of Moab, to curse the people of Israel because they had moved next door – but Balaam ultimately blesses Israel in spite of Balak’s anger against him. There’s a difficult portion of this story which I’d like to examine: Continue reading

Thoughts on Isaiah 61:1-4

This morning I read Isaiah 61, which contains the famous verses (1-2a) which Christ quotes in Luke 4:18-19. I’ve seen both passages (well, the one passage) quoted quite a bit recently, but I haven’t looked at the larger context in some time, so it was great to do that this morning: Continue reading

Thoughts on Ex 23:4-5 – Grace in the Old Testament

I came across the following verses this morning as I was doing my RttBiaY reading:

Ex 23:4(D) “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall bring it back to him.
5 If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying down under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving him with it; you shall rescue it with him.

This struck me as very interesting – an example of extending grace towards one’s enemy in the middle of the Law! The law is not all “an eye for an eye”, etc. The OT does foretell the grace of the cross, obviously – and there’s a lot of mercy and grace extended to the people of Israel by God. Furthermore, even in the OT, God sought “circumcision of the heart”, and obedience over sacrifice, etc. But I don’t recall seeing the law address grace formally. It may well be that there are other examples which I’m either forgetting or haven’t ever come across – we’ll see!

Of course, the OT economy didn’t provide, generally speaking, for the infusion of the Holy Spirit into one’s life – and even those instances where the Spirit of God was upon someone, those instances were short-lived. All this to say that it was more difficult to extend grace in the OT economy… not that it is always easy to do so now. My sinful heart often gets in the way of that!

Thoughts on Isaiah 44:21-23

To comfort His people during their captivity in Babylon, God says to them in Isaiah 44:

21 “Remember these, O Jacob, and Israel, for you are My servant; I have formed you, you are My servant; O Israel, you will not be forgotten by Me!
22 I have blotted out, like a thick cloud, your transgressions, and like a cloud, your sins. Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”
23 Sing, O heavens, for the LORD has done it! Shout, you lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, you mountains, O forest, and every tree in it! For the LORD has redeemed Jacob, and glorified Himself in Israel. (NKJV)

While it may seem that God is absent during the severest trial, He has not forgotten us! Indeed, though our sins are like a thick cloud (!), He has blotted them out! Return to Him, if you are a believer who is in sin – He has redeemed you. And when you have done so… praise Him!

Thoughts on Isaiah 29:9-24

I came across these incredible verses last week while doing my quiet time:

9 Astonish yourselves [2] and be astonished; blind yourselves and be blind! Be drunk, but not with wine; stagger, but not with strong drink!
10 For the Lord has poured out upon you a spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes (the prophets), and covered your heads (the seers).

Continue reading

Initial thoughts on Isaiah 19:22

I woke up late today and didn’t do my quiet time, so I ended up re-reading Isaiah 19 by “accident” over a Chipotle burrito (yum!) today at lunch when I should have been in chapter 21. Part of the reason I didn’t realize I had already read 19 was because I recently started using Pocket e-Sword on my iPAQ, with which I’m trying out the ESV. Plus, I don’t usually use my iPAQ when I do my quiet time. Anyway, between the new translation and the new tool (which I very much like so far!), I managed to land on the wrong chapter.

I’m glad I did! I somehow glossed over this verse the other day:

Is. 19:22 The LORD will strike Egypt, striking but healing; so they will return to the LORD, and He will respond to them and will heal them. (NAS)

a footnote for which lead to: Continue reading