~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Job 4:1-7:21 ~ 1 Corinthians 14:18-40
Psalm 37:30-40 ~ Proverbs 21:27
Old Testament - Today in Job chapter 4 we read about Eliphaz the Temanite's first response to Job, including these words in verses 3 through 6 - "In the past you have encouraged many a troubled soul to trust in God; you have supported those who were weak. Your words have strengthened the fallen; you steadied those who wavered. But now when trouble strikes, you faint and are broken. Does your reverence for God give you no confidence? Shouldn't you believe that God will care for those who are upright?" How do these words of Eliphaz's speak to you? Are these fair words for him to be saying to Job? Are they fair words for us to consider in our own lives today as well?
Then in chapter 6 Job responds to Eliphaz as follows in verse 2 through 6 - "If my sadness could be weighed and my troubles be put on the scales, they would be heavier than all the sands of the sea. That is why I spoke so rashly. For the Almighty has struck me down with his arrows. He has sent his poisoned arrows deep within my spirit. All God's terrors are arrayed against me. Don't I have a right to complain? Wild donkeys bray when they find no green grass, and oxen low when they have no food. People complain when there is no salt in their food." How do these words of Job's speak to you? Are these fair words for him to be saying in reply to Eliphaz? Are they fair words for us to consider in our own lives today as well?
New Testament - Well, I don't know if you've ever heard Billy Graham say that he likes to read the newspaper in one hand with the Bible in the other hand. I will try to provide an example of how we can do this today, thanks to an article last year in Newsweek titled "In Search of the Spiritual" at this link. This is an opportunity to read Paul's words today in First Corinthians chapter 14 on orderly worship, and then compare to what you read in this Newsweek article. I'll let you work out your own conclusions. Be like Billy Graham - read the news of the day in one hand with the Bible in the other hand. Tim Challies has an interesting take on this Newsweek article on his blog at this link. (On another Billy Graham note, did everyone catch the wonderful recent Newsweek magazine article about Billy titled "Pilgrim's Progress"? You can read it online here. Billy is now 87 years old - below is a TIME cover from 12 years ago.)
Tyndale's One Year Bible Companion book dives into the question "Does 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 mean that women should not speak in church services today?" I encourage you to pick up this book, as it is invaluable in going through the One Year Bible and covers great questions like this. I will share with you a little bit of their answer on this today - "Women have much to contribute and can participate in worship services. In the Corinthian culture, women were not allowed to confront men in public. Apparently some of the women who had become Christians thought that their Christian freedom gave them the right to question men in public worship. This was causing division in the church. Paul was asking the women not to flaunt their Christian freedom during worship. The purpose of Paul's words was to promote unity, not to teach about women's role in the church." Thank you Tyndale for this Q & A.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians titled "Spiritual Gifts and Self Control" is at this link.
Psalms - Psalm 37 verses 30 & 31 read like amazing Proverbs - "The godly offer good counsel; they know what is right from wrong. They fill their hearts with God's law, so they will never slip from his path." Are you filling your heart with God's teachings? Are you doing this so that you will never slip from His path? Are you offering good counsel to those around you? When others around you see you, do they see someone that clearly knows what is right from wrong? Below is a little Right & Wrong sign humor for you :) -
Proverbs - Proverbs 21 verse 27 is one of those that makes you go "ouch" - "God loathes the sacrifice of an evil person, especially when it is brought with ulterior motives." Well, not the evil person part making me go ouch, so much as the "ulterior motives" part. I do think there is so much wisdom in Jesus' admonition to give without letting the right hand know what the left hand is doing. I am afraid that sometimes I have not only let the right hand know when I'm giving - but many other people as well! That's ulterior motives. And it's not right obviously, as we see in this Proverb today and as we hear from Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. How about you and your giving or acts of kindness - Do you give with pure motives? With no ulterior motives? With no strings attached?
Comments from you - What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!