May 27th

Job 29-31

  • 29:1-25—Job resumes his defense by describing how respected he was in his community (the seat in the square by the city gate was reserved for the elders who were responsible for leading the city- they would have overseen legal and family disputes, marriages, economic issues…everything) and how much he did to serve the poor and needy.
  • 30:1-31 – Job is lamenting as he remember how great his life was. He used to be a respected member of his community and now is forgotten and despised.
  • 31:1-40 – Job makes a case for his high moral standards. He seems to be willing to accept his plight as punishment if sin can be found in him.

May 26th

Job 24-28

  • 24:1-25 – Job explains that often, throughout life, the poor have difficulties and the wicked reap the benefit. He seems to explain that God doesn’t seem to be watching, but in the end he explains that everyone is brought low in the end.
  • 25:1-6 – Bildad quickly retorts that God is simply greater than humans and cannot be compared.
  • 26:1-6 – Here Job resolves not to turn his back on God, but to remain faithful.
  • 27:7-23 – Here Job lays out how he hopes his enemies are treated in the end.
  • 28:1-28 – This section of poetry elaborates on the extent of God’s wisdom. It seems like an odd insertion and is stuck between two sections where “Job takes up his discourse” so it seems odd that this too would be him speaking.

May 25th

Job 20-23

  • 20:1-29 – Zophar continues to tell Job about the fate of the unfaithful. He explains that they start off wealthy and blessed but God takes that away because of their unfaithfulness. This suggests that this is what is happening to Job.
  • 21:1-34 – Job responds to Zophar in disagreement. He explains that wicked people seem to do just fine and that wickedness and negative life results do not seem to coincide.
  • 22:1-30 – Eliphaz once again tries to get Job to see his sin, because, due to what is happening, it must be abundant. Eliphaz encourages him to try to get back to right relationship with God.
  • 23:2-7 – Job believes if he could get an audience with God, God would agree that he had been far too righteous to receive such a harsh and heavy hand.

May 24th

Job 16-19

  • 16:2-4 – Job lets his friends know they are not helping.
  • 16:16-17 – With good reason, Job does not understand his plight considering he has been pure and upright throughout his life.
  • 17:10-16 – Job strikes back at his friends, to some degree. He tells them he will not lay down and die but will keep crying out to God.
  • 18:1-21 – Bildad continues to remind Job of the horrible fate that awaits all evil doers. Though he’s saying the same thing as the other friends, he is getting more dramatic with the illustrations.
  • 19:1-29 – Job continues to cry out. He also cries out regarding his treatment by his friends asking wasn’t God’s punishment enough.

May 23rd

Job 12-15

  • 12:1-13:19 – Job contends that he has become a laughing stock and recognizes the power of God.
  • 13:20-14:22 – Job switches into a prayer to God. He is clearly incredibly discouraged. He even asks, in verse 14:13, for God to let him die for a while until God’s wrath subsides so he can then come back and serve God with joy. Job makes a valiant effort at remaining faithful.
  • 15:1-35 – Eliphaz speaks to Job again, now with more force. Eliphaz begins to accuse Job of thinking of himself more highly than he ought.

May 22nd

Job 8-11

  • 8:1-22 – Job’s friend, Bildad, has a similar response. He tells Job his kids had sinned against God and thus got what they deserved. Bildad encourages Job to turn back towards God because surely then God would not reject him. He seems like a great friend…
  • 9:1-35 – Job continues to show reverence to God and admit that he doesn’t know the depths of reasoning that God does.
  • 10:1-22—This is Job’s long-winded way of saying “Seriously God? Why is this happening? What could I have possibly done to deserve this?”
  • 11:1-20 – Zophar is Job’s third friend. Zophar actually seems wiser than the rest- what he’s saying is very similar to what God will eventually tell Job: 1. Stop assuming you haven’t done anything wrong, just because you think you’re innocent doesn’t mean God feels the same way 2. God is wiser than you. God is smarter than you. God knows a whole lot of things that you will never know and therefore it’s foolish for you to try and understand God’s motives. 3. No matter how bad this gets it’s probably not as bad as you deserve 4. Repent. Zophar isn’t entirely accurate- the book clearly states that in fact God held Job to be entirely pure and without sin, so parts 1 and 4 are wrong (though they absolutely apply to the vast majority of us!), but he got the middle part right.

May 21st

Job 4-7

  • 4:1-5:27 – Job’s friend, Eliphaz, suggests that it is Job’s sin that has brought his troubles about. While sin does bring on some of our afflictions, ancient cultures believed that all infirmities and difficulties (i.e. blindness or paralysis) were brought on by the sin of you or your parents. This belief persists until the Jesus’ time (and long after), and Jesus spoke clearly against it on several occasions, but even in the Old Testament there are times when God makes it clear that sometimes bad things happen to good people for no reason. In some ways the book of Job tries to make this point, but I’m not sure it does a good job of it since everything bad that happens to Job happens because God told Satan to do it. Rather than there being no reason for everything that happens to him, Job has to live with the fact that there is a reason for it, but he’ll never be able to understand it.
  • 6:1-7:21 – Job’s response asks to be shown whatever sin he has. He ends by asking God why he won’t take the pain and torment off of him.

May 20th

Job 1-3

  • 1:1 – “Blameless and upright” is a description very few people in the Bible receive. Noah, before the flood, was described in a similar way.
  • 1:5 – Job even hedged his bets by sacrificing for his children just in case they were sinful without his knowledge.
  • 1:6-12 – Satan challenged God saying that Job was only faithful because God had, until then, protected him and all his things. God disagrees and allows him to torment Job in order to prove his faithfulness.
  • 1:20-22 – After all the turmoil and trauma Job received back to back to back, he grieved but did not curse God like Satan said he would.
  • 2:3-6 – This time God allows Satan to strike Job with any kind of personal illness as long as he doesn’t kill him.
  • 2:9 – This must be what Proverbs warns against when it talks about basically anything being better than living with a quarrelsome wife.
  • 2:10 – It is obviously much easier to receive the good God gives us, but Job reminds us that we can’t expect the good without being willing to receive bad too.
  • 3:3-26 – Job basically wishes he was never born.

May 19th

Zephaniah

  • 1:1-6 – Through yet another vessel, Judah is hearing of their upcoming destruction.
  • 1:7-18 – This prophecy proclaims that destruction is coming soon and all the things the people had previously relied on will not be able to rescue them.
  • 2:1-15 – Though Judah faced destruction from God, God still didn’t take kindly to other nations oppressing or harming Judah. They too would face judgment and destruction.
  • 3:14-20 – Not unusually, God promises that after punishment there will be restoration for Israel. God’s ultimate desire is to restore relationship and connection with Israel.