I feel compelled to note my utter exhaustion, b/c last time I wrote when I was this tired, I confused Joash and Josiah. So if I start calling Job, Joseph, or talking about something we didn't read, just ignore me.
OT: Job 16:1-19:29
Job's speech today focuses on how betrayed he is feeling by his friends. He claims that if their situations were reversed, he would not "make fine speeches against you" or "shake my head at you," but instead would "encourage you" and "bring you relief" (16:4,5). In fact, their lack of mercy is actually making God look a whole lot better. Though Job still makes clear that God has treated him brutally (7-18), he begins to suspect that he has a better chance finding sympathy in heaven than on earth. In yet another Christian-sounding sentiment, he muses that,
"Even now my witness is in heaven;
my advocate is on high.
My intercessor is my friend
as my eyes pour out tears to God;
on behalf of a man he pleads with God
as a man pleads for his friend" (18-22).
This hypothetical figure sounds like the direct opposite of the satan (and oh, if Job only knew about the satan. He would be soooo ticked).
Next, Job accuses his friends of mocking his pain, and his accusations sound reminiscent of the ones David makes against his wicked enemies. Of course, we know that those words are not going to go over well, and they don't. Unfortunately, Bildad and co. are getting tiresome, even to me. They don't seem to evolve in their arguments at all, and if anything, they seem to be getting harsher, to be hardening into their positions. This stubbornness tells a lot about their hearts and their motives. Furthermore, their repetitive accusations seem to push Job more and more into despair, until he is reduced to abject sorrow in his responses.
NT: 1 Cor. 16:1-24
Paul wraps up his letter to the Corinthians, as usual, with some business items. First, he gives instructions about the collection they need to be taking for him. Next, he discusses his travel plans and his hopes to visit them. He tells them that he is sending them Timothy and Apollos; he gives them some last minute advice; and he gives some shout outs to men who "deserve recognition" (18). Lastly, he passes on greetings and says farewell.
Well, since that was so short, I am going to share a quote. Verse 14 says, "Do everything in love." The "everything" reminded me of a great quote I read today from Thomas Merton: "A life is either all spiritual or not spiritual at all. No man can serve two masters. Your life is shaped by the end you live for. You are made in the image of what you desire." I agree whole-heartedly with that holistic way of looking at life. And that's how I understand these instructions to "do everything in love" or to do everything to the glory of God. When you live a life of love, that love becomes the purpose of everything you do, from praying to washing the dishes, to spending time with your family, to doing the work required of you each day. It doesn't mean that you sustain warm fuzzy feelings of happiness throughout the day (who can?), but it does mean that you view every, single thing you do as being motivated by love. Everything we do should be glorifying to God. And if it is not glorifying, then don't do it.
I cannot tell you how many useless things and activities this mindset has helped me cut out, which has been soooo refreshing. Yet, on the flip side, it has also exposed many of the darker and more selfish desires of my heart. And although I really don't appreciate my sin being brought up to the surface, I know that it is a necessary part of transformation.
David is in a "post-Job" position here. Unlike Job, he has felt God's rescue.
On the value of a good reputation.