Monday, January 07, 2008

Day Seven: Genesis 31-35, Job 37-42, Matthew 19-21

Key Points:
  • Again, it amazes me that Scripture is so raw and transparent about the sinfulness and depravity of the patriarchs of our faith. This amazes me because I wonder how so many churches can become so stiff and inauthentic and act like we are perfect people without any struggles. The first book of the Bible doesn't sugar-coat anything, but gives us the unfiltered picture of these sinful people. A reminder to me to keep it real in church and not play games. We all struggle and we all need help.
  • Besides the craziness of the lives of the patriarchs, the other repeated theme is the faithfulness of God to His promises. When God speaks his blessing on a people, he is faithful to His word. This is an encouragement to me - we can have hope that God will fulfill His promise to those of us who believe in Christ even though our lives are not perfect. Our hope is not based on our behavior, but God's promises.
  • This section of Job may be one of my favorite parts of the whole Bible. After 30 chapters of men talking about what God might think about Job's life and why Job has encountered all his hardship, God finally speaks. What He says is both powerful and beautiful and cause for our reflection. He asks Job a series of questions (reminds me immediately of Jesus' pattern of asking questions in the NT) - mostly to point out to Job that he needs to remember who he is talking to. God's reminder to us all: I am the sovereign, wise, just, all-powerful God, and while I am not threatened by any question you might have, in the end, you need to remember that I am God and you are not. My favorite verse: 38:36 - God reminds Job that He gave Job the wisdom and understanding to even argue with God - thinking on that very long will blow your mind.
  • I love that Job comes to a place of repentance in 42:6 - repentance is the only place to come to in our relationship with God - changing our mind and our heart and our actions to line up with the reality of God's character and presence. And God blesses him for seeing truly and repenting honestly before Him. The end of Job is bitter-sweet- God restores everything to Job.
  • This Matthew section continues to deal with issues of Jesus' identity and His mission. I love the way that Matthew weaves in the sections about blindness and faith. I think Matthew is using these narratives to make statements about the blindness of the Pharisees to Jesus' identity and the blindness of the disciples to Jesus' mission. Are our eyes open to see the true Jesus and see His true mission?

  • In the end, Job s


bryanw said...

After the discussion about our history in church yesterday, this really hit home. I feel like what pushes people away from churches is the impression we often give that we have it all together, never sinned, when in fact our history is just the opposite. We are churches full of sinners, we stumble even today. It's our willingness to acknowledge this and repent and know that it is only because of God's promise to us that we are forgiven. We are striving for God's likeness, not to be misinterpreted as we have arrived.

I often felt like T Buss as well while reading Job, however, after reading today..God showed up!!! It was amazing to see how God got in his face and questioned Job. Job's faithfulness and repentance was rewarded by God...proof God knows what's best for us and wants to bless us...if we will only let him.

It's funny to see the Disciples as ordinary guys...worried on earth about what seats they will have in Heaven. I think this is the source of the saying "Life's not fair!" that gets used at my house. Jesus is not about what's fair (thankfully) but about what's right!!

Anonymous said...

I've always had trouble with the passage in Matthew 21 where Jesus withers the fig tree, I've had it explained to me so many times different ways, but I have yet to see it as other than vindictive. I vaguely recall someone saying this was an example of a follower being cut off because they don't bear fruit, but I'm not sure.

And, I agree on the awesomeness of the Job chapter. It's one of my favorites in the book.