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.

May 18th

Habakkuk

  • 1:1- No background is given regarding who Habakkuk is or what the purpose of the book is.
  • 1:1-17 – Habakkuk asks God a question many of us have asked or would like to ask: God, where are you when all these things are going wrong? Habakkuk asks God why he allows his people to suffer.
  • 2:1-20 – God responds with a series of promises of destruction and devastation for those who have harmed others, particularly his people, and disobeyed him. He assures Habakkuk that he will not remain silent.
  • 3:1-19 – Habakkuk’s last chapter is a prayer/psalm to God. Notice the word “selah” throughout it and how it ends with instructions on how it should be sung. Habakkuk recalls the work he’s seen God do as well as what he’s heard of God’s work. He ends with confidence that God will fulfill what he’s said he will do.

May 17th

Nahum

  • 1:1 – Nineveh was the gentile city Jonah was sent to about 150 years before this prophecy was established. Jonah’s message allowed Nineveh to repent, but apparently they fell back into oppressive, evil ways. Nahum’s message is once again that Nineveh needs to be destroyed.
  • 1:2-11 – This establishes that God will take care of those who are evil with his wrath and power. The explanation is sure to show, though, that God does not jump to conclusions, but definitely takes care of sin.
  • 1:15 – Nahum’s name means comfort, but he is preaching a message of destruction. The message would have been comforting to those, like Judah, who Nineveh had oppressed.
  • 2:1-12 – God declares destruction upon Nineveh.
  • 3:1-19 – God’s destruction upon Nineveh is promised to bring them low. Other examples of nations God has destroyed are given to compare what their lot will be like.

May 16th

Micah 5-7

  • 5:1-5 – This establishes that the Messiah will come from Bethlehem and will bring peace. This is an important prophecy- there’s no way that Jesus could’ve controlled the place of his birth. Prophecies like this are important because they prove that Jesus was who he said he was.
  • 6:6-8 – Here God makes it clear what he’s asking of his people. He’s asking them to seek justice and offer love and kindness. He is not interested in empty sacrifices.
  • 6:9-16 – Here God explains the punishment that is to come for those who have no obeyed him.
  • 7:18-20—Micah’s prophecy ends with a hopeful message

May 15th

Micah 1-4

  • 1:1 – This establishes that God will use Micah as a prophet and that he is to communicate God’s message to a series of kings of Judah.
  • 1:2-9 – Judah will receive punishment and all the idols will be destroyed because of its sin.
  • 2:1-11 – God declares the destruction those who work evil will face. Like in other books, God makes clear that he will not tolerate oppression of the week.
  • 3:1-12 – This chapter denounces rulers and prophets, but it only denounces those who are not following God and are leading people astray. This is definitely not denouncing all prophets, because it is being spoken through a prophet that God has chosen to use.
  • 4:6-13 – The Lord promises to rescue Zion. Zion is the mountain where Jerusalem is located.