~ 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 - "But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives!" Whoo-hoo! Awesome words from Job today in chapter 19 verse 25! Job chapter 19 verses 23 through 27 are some of the best known and well loved verses of the book of Job. These verses seem to be where Job hits his high point in his understanding of his relationship with God: "Oh, that my words could be written. Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument, carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead, engraved forever in the rock. "But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!" How powerful are these verses?? Great stuff. Job starts off saying that he hopes his words could be written and engraved forever - and indeed they were as we are reading them in the Bible! Then Job makes the incredible statement that even in the midst of all of his suffering and perceived distance from God, he knows that God lives! The closing two verses are powerful in that they actually indicated a belief in the resurrection by Job. He says that even after his body has decayed - after his death here on this earth - he will see God with his own eyes in his own body! How could this possibly be? Well, only if he believed in a resurrected body after death - as we've been reading about in First Corinthians the past couple of days! Pretty cool eh? I've read some various commentaries on who is the "Redeemer" that Job is referring to in verse 25. Jesus? Could be. But it seems like most commentaries seem to suggest Job is referring to God himself, rather than Jesus. Job does talk about his desire for a mediator in other parts of this book, which could be references to Jesus as well. Anyone else have thoughts on who Job is referring to as his Redeemer today in verse 25? All I know is that a ton of CCM artists have recorded a bunch of variations of songs called "I know My Redeemer Lives!" and I'm pretty sure they are singing about Jesus! :) I found this great artwork below that was painted based on the chapter of Job 19. Re-read the entire chapter of Job 19 again and I think you'll see the beauty of this artwork...
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, the old-school U2 fans out there will know that the band released a song called "40" in 1983 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 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 vocalizing of such questions could bring such comfort; to me too."" Has anyone heard U2 play "40" in concert before? I did twice - once back on the Joshua Tree tour way back in 1987 and again in 2005 on the Vertigo tour. It's a beautiful song - which was really written by David!
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...
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!