Reading through the Bible: day 9

Job is a tough book, I remember attempting to read through it a few times, but it only worked when a) I believed the God of Job existed, and b) I was incredibly angry with that God. For those struggling, we’ll be done soon, and there are few sustained sections of tough reading comparable to Job in the rest of the Bible, don’t loose hope. If you’re a believer and believe in the power of prayer, pray, but it would be a pity to pull out now.

Job 21 – 23

The wicked prosper

Job talks about the wicked in chapter 21, and speaks in such a way that, I feel, makes sense to a modern day person. Verse 7-13 are the ones that got me, this is the world as I see it, perhaps I’m a cynic, but it seems to make a lot more sense than what has been coming from the other three. This is a question Job desperately wants an answer to, but he probably already has some idea at what that might be, just as most Christians realise what answers they may expect from God should they ask the same question.

The guilt of inaction

In chapter 22, I actually agree with a lot of what Eliphaz says, read it carefully, you’ll probably agree with me, his mistake is accusing Job of evil, but he seems to hit the Christian sentiment of evil quite well. I particularly like verse 7, where the accusation was for omission of good deeds, not commission of evil. It made me recall a sermon I did on the golden rule: “do for others…” Not being Christlike is most common, and quite noticable in how we aren’t, and what we don’t do, rather than the bad things we do. I also think that when we repent, we tend to remember the bad stuff, but seldom ask for forgiveness for the good stuff we just didn’t do.

Sorry I’m late on this, hope it hasn’t put anyone out. Let me know what you think of today’s texts, and point out where I’ve gone wrong, or just let me know what you got out of it.

Get others involved by sharing the reading through the Bible page with them, it’s something we should be encouraging all Christians to get involved in, and possibly others too, since this book has had a huge impact on society, probably more than any other single work.

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4 thoughts on “Reading through the Bible: day 9”

  1. This is a question that so many people ask of Christians today: Why do evil men prosper and the faithful suffer. It always amazes me that God answers these questions in the Bible, but people often fail to see/read it!

    1. To be fair to the other side, it’s not answered explicitly, hence all the different interpretations. Also, different denominational groups define faithful differently, which is problematic, since perhaps the faithful by the definition of the speaker isn’t the same as faithful by God’s definition.

      The things that bothers many is free will and determinism, the free will choices of people affect the free will of others, thus diminishing free will. I do get why people would ask the question, I just don’t think the idea that the argument that bad stuff is inconsistent with a good God is good reasoning.

  2. One thing about Job, that really scares me and gives much food for thought is this: We so often agree with what Job’s friends are saying. So much of it is what we hear in church and from other Christians and we say it just as often. And then God says that they did not speak the truth and calls these men to repent in no uncertain terms. Interestingly only the young man, the bystander and the one who had spent his time listening and who speaks right at the end is not mentioned as being wrong.
    This is a little further into Job than the reading for the day, but I think it is something to consider while reading the final arguments.

    1. Dan, I received a query on this today (after your comment), and I’m not entirely sure you need to focus on the content of Job’s friends’ statements to explain God saying they weren’t being truthful. I’ll look when we get there, I’ve had other complaint about Job, so the end will yield a lot of work. Basically, even if the vast majority of what they were saying was true, they weren’t being truthful in blaming Job’s alleged wickedness for the circumstances Job found himself in. So the intention behind what they were saying was false, even when what they were saying was true. Obviously they did get stuff wrong, but we have a whole Bible to explore these issues, and shouldn’t be theology building from the statements made by Job’s friends.

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