Tag Archives: Job

“Humble Adventure”

For whatever reason, I seem to be thinking quite a bit on the lessons gleaned from wilderness adventures.   Maybe it was a short conversation I had with someone yesterday about how valuable the wilderness is for a training room.  Or maybe it is just the plethora of trips I have undertaken and how valuable I personally know those experiences have given me.

There are so many reasons why the wilderness teaches so well.  Yet here are a few more things to add to the list:

**Being in the wilderness constantly reminds me how big and transcendent Father is and how small I am.  It is easy to get too big for my britches.  The looming mountains remind me just how I fit into the ratio of the universe.

**Being in the wilderness reminds me how fragile my life is.  I can’t get too far from water.  It must always be nearby.  Hydration is more on the forefront of daily activity than in civilization where it is readily available. Your every breath and heartbeat, your eyes, ears, strength, and mental health are all from God.

**Being in the wilderness shows me that there really isn’t a whole lot I can control in life.  Humans try so hard to manipulate and control circumstances and things, often to no avail.  The wilderness has natural laws that work so uniformly and succinctly.  I must fit myself into the arena of the wild on its terms not mine.

** Weakness is highlighted.  And in glaring fashion.  If there is an ailment, a sore, a sickness, a discomfort, it will seem much worse in the wild.  Having to walk farther than we want with a blister or a hot spot on a joint somewhere reminds us of frailty.  There is no warm chicken soup for an aching body brought by someone else to bring comfort.  Instead, maybe a freeze dried meal that I have to fix myself.

If I am at home and need a jostling to remember some of the things above, I read Job 38-41 and am quickly brought back to my senses.

B90X Jan. 5, 2012 “Randomness and Names”

You are probably just getting to the place where you say, “Man the Bible is awesome!”  And you are probably just to the place where you are saying, “Man how do I keep up this pace of reading?”  Stay at it.  You can do it.  So many have before you. Trust me, you will develop habits and patterns which will help in the discipline of reading everyday.

Here we are friends, just about half way through Genesis.  Wasn’t it so cool reading all of Job after starting Genesis?  I loved that.  I can’t wait to see how it works out through the rest of the books.

One thing I noticed today as I was reading was randomness.  There would be a flow in a story and boom, from out of nowhere, there is a shift in thought or action that seems so out of place.  One of those places was Genesis 36:24.  Nearly all of Chapter 36 is a genealogy of Esau’s kin.  The sons of Zibeon are listed with one of them being Anah.  Then just out of nowhere in an attempt to clarify which Anah the author is referring, Anah is described.  ”This is the Anah who discovered the hot springs in the desert while he was grazing the donkeys of his father Zibeon.”

Now, as you may well know, after reading this, I stopped to think about what I just read, and came up with all sorts of questions.  Do you ever do that?  Do you find something and ruminate on it?  It is sort of a restless inquisitiveness of mine.   Anyways, I digress.  Here is a smattering of some of the things I was thinking of:

Where are these hot springs?
How hot are they?
Did anyone ever visit there before Anah discovered them?
What were the surroundings like? Lush? Dry and sandy?
Was he alone when he was herding his donkeys?
Did he jump in as he discovered them?
Did this become a destination for others?
Did it turn into a resort?
Are they there today and what do they look like?

Then there was the flow of names.  The endless list of names.  All the begat-ting, all the genealogies, all the lineage.  I have to be honest, there have been times in the past when I would come to a list of names and just skip over them.  Come on, I know you have done it too.  This time through, I decided to do something different, read them all.  Really try to pronounce the name.  Try to get a feel for what that persons name would sound like for a mother or father to say it several times a day.

Isn’t it cool how someone was named based on the circumstances of the moment? If a man was in a tight spot, he would name his kid Tight Spot.  Another may be ‘band of raiders’ or ‘he provides justice.’  Nearly all names have a form of the Lord’s name embedded in it.  Constant reminders every time the person’s name is breathed, who it is which is behind all of human life.

I have to admit there are some pretty funny sounding names.  And for a family to have two names of children so close in sound to each other side by side.  It makes me chuckle.  Like Ishvah and Ishvi (Gen 46:17).  Or Muppim and Huppim (46:21), I wonder what those mean?  One of the funniest names has to be Oholibamah.  For some reason the face of a contemporary flashes through my mental faculties every time I read it.

Have a great day.  Grace and peace.

B90X Jan 3, 2012 “Something about Job”

Some people don’t like Job.  Yes, its true.  I have heard them say it.  So this blog will hopefully clear up something about the complexity of the book.

Overwhelmed by suffering, Job was not comforted, but condemned by his friends.  Each of their views represents a well-known way to understand suffering.  God proves that each explanation given by Job’s friends has less than the whole answer.

First, let me say that reading through the Bible Chronologically is going to be very cool.  Already, after jumping from Genesis 11 to Job 1 there was a mercurial excitement, not the predictable sameness we are so used to when beginning the Pentateuch.

Men with profound erudition have been able to boil down the seemingly endless prolix narrative of Job.  It all just gets jumbled and pointless after awhile, so let me share a little something I came across:

The only way any of Job’s friends help is by silencing their diatribes for seven days.  Allowing Job to have plenty of time to think through his mourning and crank up the pity-party.

Eliphaz explains Job’s pain by intimating that his suffering is because he sinned. His advice to Job is to go to God and lay his cause before God (5:8).  Job retorts with demands that Eliphaz take back his accusations (6:29).  In the end, God rebukes Eliphaz (42:7).

Bildad thinks that Job is hiding his sin and won’t admit it, so Job must suffer.  He encourages Job to give up and confess (8:2).  Bildad wants Job to confront God and ask what charges God has against Job (10:2).  Like Eliphaz, God rebukes Bildad (42:7).

Zophar is the more Pharisaical, religious one, he thinks Job deserves even more suffering than he has already experienced.  He advices Job to get rid of his sins (11:13, 14).  Job stands firm and doesn’t fall into Zophar’s super-pious hubris, and knows that he will be justified (13:18).  He too is lumped with Job’s other friends who have no valuable advise (42:7).

The youngster, Elihu, is the only one who gets close to getting it right, albeit wrong.  He thinks God is using the suffering to mold and train Job.  He is just a bit off, yet instructs Job to be silent and he will be taught wisdom (33:33).  Because God doesn’t deal directly with Elihu, we are left to wonder if his analysis is correct.

In the end, we hear from God himself.  Job is confronted by God and is told to be content without knowing why he is suffering.  There is no reason given for the suffering and asks Job how long he wants to argue with the Almighty (40:2).  Job realizes he was talking about things he did  not understand (42:3-5).

44th Day of B90X (Ps 109:1- 134:3)

 

Good Sunday morning Friends~
 
Rarely do you get an email on Sundays.  Surprise!
 
In reading through Psalms, other literature about Psalms, and devotionals from Psalms, there is so much going on there which we miss on a cursory perusal of the book.  There are issues of Hebrew poetry, called parallelism, which when understood, makes some of the material make more sense.  There are issues of metaphors within the book, which, when understood, helps to make sense of some of the word-pictures.  Then there are all the musical terms- maskil, alamoth, higgaion, sheminith, shiggaion, and the ever elusive ‘Selah.’  I think it meant, the worship leader broke a guitar string, to wait a minute, just ponder.  And what about some of those song titles- “death of the son,” “do not destroy” (whatever is that about?), “doe of the morning,” “doves on distant oaks.”  Must have been something with having the letter D in the name that was important?  Maybe Iron Butterfly got there famous tune In A Gadda Da Vida from Psalms 45 & 49 “tune of the lilies.” Continue reading

thirty ninth day of 2011 B90X (Job 42:1- Psalm 24:10)

In reflecting on the issues of theodicy and the book of Job we finished today, I want you all to be sure and reread the paragraph from yesterday’s email beginning with the words, “Both Job and his friends believe…”  With so many raging debates regarding God and Evil, why is there evil?, the justice, fairness, and wisdom of God~ it is imperative for us to have an healthy view of this issue.  More times than not, these kinds of debates end in hurt feelings, unanswered questions, and even more questions than when the debate started.  The thing to remember is, how will any of these discussions draw me closer to Father?  If they don’t, then they should not be engaged.  Father wants us to trust Him.  As the writer in the synopsis from yesterday wrote, “The conclusion of the matter and the point the book intends to make is that the world is too complex for us to be able to have all the information that we would need to affirm that God is just.  We do have enough, however, to affirm that He is wise.  If we believe He is wise, then we can believe He is just.”  Our finite minds, even at the highest level of knowledge and intelligence don’t have a comprehension of all that the Triune God has, therefore, all the arguing and fixating on opinions and positions are such a waste of time and breath.  Stay innocent my friends.
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