How do you know if you’re saved? You must become a new creation. In other words, you can’t live the same way and be the same as you were before and be saved. Salvation transforms us into the new creation God originally intended. Just think of it as baking eggs into a cake. You can’t get those eggs back, but they’ve now become something so much better!
- 1-14 – God seems angry that Job would not respond to him. Job had had so many questions for God in his previous speeches but is unwilling to speak in God’s presence.
- 40:15-41-34 – God describes both the Behemoth and the Leviathan. The original words are related to something like a hippopotamus and a crocodile, but also could have been mythical type creatures. They are both very strong and powerful and cannot be contained. The point is how much bigger and stronger they were than Job but that God was still the master of them.
- 1-6 – Job finally speaks and it is with utter humility.
- 7-9 – Ultimately Job is justified from his friends’ accusations and is able to pray for their forgiveness.
- 10-17 – Though Job went through a lot, God blesses him for his faithfulness even in the midst of terrible difficulty.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21:
- 11-13 – Paul had been accused of boasting in himself and even of not being in his right mind. He says that if any of these accusations are at all true, it is solely for the sake of winning these people for Christ.
- 17 – We cannot be saved and remain the same as we were before. That old self is no longer, but we are made into new creations in Christ.
- 18-19 – We can have complete reconciliation to God through Christ. Our sins are no longer counted against us.
- Some translations say this song was intended for a royal wedding.
One of the cool thing about reading the Bible this way is sometimes you can see direct connections between the Old and New Testament or between the New Testament and the Psalm, etc. Today, our psalm is very similar to the message of Job. Like Job, the Israelites in the psalm are wondering what they could have possibly done to feel so rejected by God. You may have felt this at some point. Hopefully you can reflect on your readings and realize, God is never too far away and always meets us when we are most in need.
- 1-24 – Elihu speaks of the majesty of God based on his workings in nature.
- Chapters 38 and 39 are a series of God proving his omnipotence, power, and control over the universe. He does this to remind Job that he is in no position to question God, his actions, or his motives.
2 Corinthians 4:13-5:10:
- 15 – The more people know God and receive his grace, the more people will offer him praise and thanksgiving. It’s a beautiful cycle.
- 17-2 – These verses remind us that we shouldn’t focus on the fleeting things that are earthly because we have far greater eternal things waiting for us.
- This section is similar to Job. The Israelites can’t think of how they may have brought affliction upon themselves and yet they feel rejected by God. This is most likely not referring to the exile when God did reject Israel for a while because then Israel’s sins had been explained to them over and over before God acted.
I have come to hate the word “deserve”. It wreaks of entitlement and, honestly, what do we actually deserve? In today’s Job reading, Job is trying to rebut Elihu. Job argues that just because we live righteously, we are not guaranteed blessings. We live righteously because that’s what we’re called to do. We don’t, then, deserve a reward for doing so.
- 1-37 – Elihu continues to assert, like Job’s friends, that God cannot do anything unjust. He also contrasts Job with someone who repents suggesting that Job has not and needs to. They continue to assume that Job has sinned to cause all this destruction.
- 1-16 – Elihu continues to argue with Job and correct him for saying that righteousness doesn’t earn a reward from God.
- 1-33 – Though Elihu, for the most part sings praise to God for his greatness, he also calls himself “perfect in knowledge”, which seems to equate himself with at least the knowledge of God. This seems counter to the majority of his thoughts.
2 Corinthians 4:1-12:
- 5 – This is something we must make sure we are doing. We are not trying to bring glory to ourselves or promote ourselves as saviors, but to share Christ with the nations.
- 7 – We are the jars of clay. Jars of clay are fragile and hold the thing that is important. We have the Holy Spirit inside us.
- 8-12 – Though Paul and his companions had received a lot of persecution and difficulty, they were still able to share the gospel. Nothing had been able to destroy them.
- 1-3 – These three verses explain the importance of sharing our faith with younger generations. The Sons of Korah believed in God’s power and provision because their fathers told them how he had displayed it.
- 11-12 – Kindness and graciousness will always gain you favor, while hateful words are eventually found out.
In today’s Job reading, Elihu encourages Job to repent, but Job feels that he has nothing to repent of. Though Job may have been right, the conversation brings up a good point: we all require repentance. Repentance is hard because it means turning away from sin and sin is often enticing. So, if I may briefly play the role of Elihu, is there something you need to repent of today?
- 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.
- 2 – Elihu is a new character and an Israelite.
- 6 – Age, experience, and establishment were highly revered in their culture. They saw the elderly as wise. We tend to see them as having lost their edge.
- 1-33 – Elihu tries to relate to Job so that Job will listen to him and then explains that God is continually trying to steer people away from sin. Elihu also suggests that Job’s experience may have been God giving him an opportunity for repentance.
2 Corinthians 3:1-18:
- 1-3 – This is to say that the faithful Corinthians were proof of Paul and his companions’ efforts to share Christ with the nations.
- 4-6 – “The letter” refers to the law. It led to death because people could not follow it and remain righteous while the Spirit is given to us upon salvation and thus gives life.
- 16-18 – The Spirit brings freedom from sin and death.
- 3 – This is actually a pretty bold request, because if God sends his light and truth to lead you, then that’s what you have to follow. We aren’t always willing to make that commitment.
- These verses give the consequences of the actions mentioned in yesterday’s proverb and then offers an alternate option.
As modern day Americans, we can fulfill most of our needs on our own. Though this may sound like a great thing, it actually has great potential to cripple us spiritually. Read today’s Psalm. Note that the psalmists need for the Lord is so great, it manifests as a physical need. It’s scary to have that much reliance on someone else, but God will never let us down.
Job 28:1-30:31 –
- 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.
- 1-31 – Job is lamenting as he remembers how great his life was. He used to be a respected member of his community and now is forgotten and despised.
2 Corinthians 2:12-17:
- 14-17 – Thinking about being the fragrance of Christ suggests that our responsibility of sharing Christ with others goes far beyond simply saying the words. We are to exude the nature of Christ to the world.
- 1-3 – These verses depict a desire for God so great that it becomes an actual, physical need.
One of the great benefits of reading the Bible in its entirety is seeing the prophecies and expectations over centuries fulfilled in Christ’s coming. In today’s 2 Corinthians reading, Paul maps out a number of these fulfillments. What prophecy that Jesus fulfills is most powerful to you?
- 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.
- 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.
- 1-6 – Bildad quickly retorts that God is simply greater than humans and cannot be compared.
- 1-6 – Here Job resolves not to turn his back on God, but to remain faithful.
- 7-23 – Here Job lays out how he hopes his enemies are treated in the end.
2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11:
- 20 – All the sacrifices, laws, and prophecies given for thousands of years were fulfilled in Christ. We know that everything God promises us becomes a “yes” through Christ and his offer of salvation.
- 1-4 – Paul’s intentions did not go over well with the Corinthian church. His visit seems to have caused them pain when he meant for it to show them his love for them.
- 5-11 – Paul urges the group to forgive those who sin against the group. Amongst believers, this is very important so the devil doesn’t have an easy way in.
- 1-3 – Here David explains how God will repay those who have cared for the poor in life.
- 4-13 – This is encouragement not to listen to what others say of you, but to believe what God says about you.
- 6 – It is difficult to guide and discipline a child. In our society, it is even harder to assure they are raised in the faith. As difficult as it is in the moment, it is the easiest way to assure they will be faithful for a lifetime.
Job makes a good point in today’s reading. It is one that many of us, who are trying to live faithfully, have thought about at some point. Punishment and suffering don’t always seem to coincide with sin. In fact, many sinful people seem to get ahead because of their sin. Throughout Scripture God calls us to faithfulness and promises to reward it. That reward may not come in this lifetime, but we know that God’s promises are true and we can trust him.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
2 Corinthians 1:1-11:
- Second Corinthians is Paul’s second letter to the church of Corinth. It is the same church he wrote to in 1 Corinthians, not two separate churches.
- 3-7 – Paul is referring to persecution against Christians when he talks about the suffering he endures for the salvation of the Corinthians.
- David is clearly in turmoil here and is weighed down by many burdens, but he ends with faith that God will take care of him. This is a good lesson for each of us. Times get difficult and we can feel weighed down, but we can always turn to God.
- 2 – Both the society of the original hearers of these proverbs as well as our current society tend to rank people. Money is one of the biggest ranking scales. But God sees beyond our monetary wealth.
- 3-4 – Throughout Proverbs there is a continual juxtaposition between the wise and the foolish, their actions, and their results. These verses continue to spell this out.
Today’s psalm is perfect if you are facing suffering or some sort of difficult time. Even if you’re not, mark it for the future. It is a reminder that God is our ultimate rescue and that he does not leave us or forsake us in times of trouble. Though it sometimes takes time, he pulls us out of those situations.
- 2-4 – Job lets his friends know they are not helping.
- 16-17 – With good reason, Job does not understand his plight considering he has been pure and upright throughout his life.
- 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.
- 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.
- 1-29 – Job continues to cry out. He also cries out regarding his treatment by his friends asking wasn’t God’s punishment enough.
1 Corinthians 16:1-24:
- 8-9 – Paul was never one to turn down a fight. He vowed to stay in Ephesus for a while because God had opened a door for him despite significant resistance.
- 1-3 – This is a moving testimony that reminds us that God pulls us out of difficult times.
- Being worthy of respect is far more valuable than money.
The theme of several of the readings today seem to put us in our place. We are human and finite. God is big, powerful, and ultimately in control. And while this could be read as limiting or squashing us, like it did for David, it should give us hope. The ultimate outcome is not in our hands. We don’t have that kind of pressure. But we serve the God who is in control and who has our best in his plans and has the power to bring those plans to fruition. God in control is a good thing.
- 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.
1 Corinthians 15:29-58:
- 29 – Though it’s uncertain what this means exactly, it’s presumed that the Corinthians had started the practice of being baptized on behalf of people who didn’t come to faith before they died.
- 29-34 – This argument against those who say there is no resurrection from the dead for people continues from yesterday’s reading.
- 45 – Paul, once again, compares Adam and Jesus. They are considered the first man and the last man. One brought death, the other brought life.
- 55 – This verse is quoted in the Charles Wesley hymn, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”.
- Jeduthun, who this psalm is written to, was a Levite appointed to be one of the masters of music by King David.
- 4-7 – Though David’s words seem somewhat hopeless, talking about how minor our lives are, he continues to put his hope in the Lord.
- Powerful and reassuring words that we can work and strive, and it’s good for us to do our part, but ultimately, the Lord determines and owns victory.
The old saying, “choose your friends wisely” is never more true than in Job. Job has three friends who continually try to convince him that any suffering he’s facing is because of his sin or the sins of those around him. They try to explain things they have no knowledge of, and ultimately, they do no strengthen Job’s faith, but cause him to question it. Do your friends encourage your faith?
- 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.
- 9:1-35 – Job continues to show reverence to God and admit that he doesn’t know the depths of reasoning that God does.
- 11-1 – Zophar is Job’s third friend.
1 Corinthians 15:1-28:
- 3-11 – Paul recaps the gospel to the Corinthians and assures them that it doesn’t matter who they initially heard the gospel from.
- 12-19 – The idea that people would not one day be resurrected had gotten out amongst the Corinthians. Paul squashes this.
- 8-16 – David admits his own weaknesses and struggles and confesses that all those around him torment him.
- 28 – Though it is inconvenient and hurtful to be lied against, it will pass away.