~ Click on this link for today's readings ~
Job 16:1-19:29 ~ 1 Corinthians 16:1-24
Psalm 40:1-10 ~ Proverbs 22:1
Old Testament - Whew... Job hits some rock bottom lows in chapter 17 today. Job's words in verses 11 through 16 are about as despairing as a person can get - "My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart's desires are broken. They say that night is day and day is night; how they pervert the truth! I might go to the grave and make my bed in darkness. And I might call the grave my father, and the worm my mother and my sister. But where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!"
New Testament - We wrap up Paul's first letter to the Corinthians today! What an amazing book! I have been blessed immensely by it this year. I hope you have too. I like Paul's instructions to the church in Corinth in chapter 16 verses 1 through 3 today - "Now about the money being collected for the Christians in Jerusalem: You should follow the same procedures I gave to the churches in Galatia. On every Lord's Day, each of you should put aside some amount of money in relation to what you have earned and save it for this offering. Don't wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once." I love this last sentence! It made me smile. Paul knows how us humans are - back then and now - we like to procrastinate! Do things at the last minute if we can. Well, I concur with Paul that our giving to our churches should be a regular thing. With each pay check we should "put aside some amount of money in relation to what you have earned." Really, as I think about it, giving of money to our churches with each paycheck is an act of worship. We are worshiping God with our finances. Let us not wait to give to our churches. Let us give faithfully and regularly with each paycheck God blesses us with.
Bible.org's commentary on today's readings in First Corinthians titled "Paul's Closing Words" is at this link.
Psalms - Okay, so the U2 fans out there will know that the band released a song called "40" in 1983 on their "War" album, inspired by Psalm 40. The band took most of the lyrics for this song straight from the early verses of this Psalm - and I quote here from the song, not the Psalm per se - "I waited patiently for the Lord, He inclined and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit; Out of the miry clay. He set my feet upon a rock; And made my footsteps firm. Many will see; Many will see and hear." The full lyrics from the song and some commentary are at this link. The song also could have also been called "6" because the refrain is from Psalm 6 verse 3 - "How long, O LORD, how long?" A quote from Bono on the song from the link above is this - ""'40' became the closing song at U2 shows and on hundreds of occasions, literally hundreds of thousands of people of every size and shape t-shirt have shouted back the refrain pinched from 'Psalm 6': 'How long to sing this song.' I thought of it as a nagging question - pulling at the hem of an invisible deity whose presence we glimpse only when we act in love. How long...hunger? How long...hatred? How long until creation grows up and the chaos of its precocious adolescence has been discarded? I thought it odd that the vocalising of such questions could bring such comfort; to me too."" Has anyone heard U2 play "40" in concert before? I did once back on the Joshua Tree tour way back in 1987. It's a beautiful song - written really by David! Okay, enough U2 for one post... :)
Proverbs - Beautiful Proverb verse 1 to start off the 22nd Chapter of Proverbs! "Choose a good reputation over great riches, for being held in high esteem is better than having silver or gold." Do you believe this Proverb to be true? Which do you seek after more - a good reputation or money? You know though, the more I think about this Proverb I have some concerns about it. Only in that if we seek after having a good reputation, then we may really be focusing on ourselves and how other people look at us, rather than focusing on Kingdom things. We may decide to do something because it's "popular", rather than it being "right." We may give to the poor with blazing trumpets because this will help our reputation - but Jesus clearly said we should not do this. Does this make sense? I mean given the choice of a good reputation or being rich, this Proverb is clearly true. But it's not enough. That's why we need to read the entire Bible to get the full context of everything else that surrounds any 1 particular verse in the Bible, like this one. One verse is not enough. It's truth. But not enough. We need the entire Bible. Good for you for going through the One Year Bible this year! Please do keep up your study of the entire Bible beyond just this year. We need the entire Bible for our entire life...
What verses or insights jumped out for you in today's readings? Please post up in the Comments section below!