October 23, 2015

Job 26-28
Jpb answered:  “Well, you’ve certainly been a great help to a helpless man!...What wonderful advice you have given to a mixed-up man...How did you become so inspired?” 
Having waited for Zophar, Job now resumed his defense:  “God-Alive!  He’s denied me justice!  God Almighty!  He’s ruined my life!  But for as long as I draw breath, and for as long as God breathes life into me, I refuse to say one word that isn’t true...I’ll not deny my integrity even if it costs me my life.  I’m holding fast to my integrity and not loosening my grip--and, believe me, I’ll never regret it....

I’ll quote your own words back to you....It is the good who will end up wearing the clothes and the decent who will divide up the money...We all know how silver seams the rocks, we’ve seen the stuff from which gold is refined.  We’re aware of how iron is dug out of the ground and copper is smelted from rock....But where, oh where, will they find Wisdom? Where does Insight hide?...

So where does Wisdom come from?  And where does Insight live?  It can’t be found by looking, no matter how deep you dig, no matter how high you fly.  If you search through the graveyard and question the dead, they say, “We’ve only heard rumors of it.”  

God alone knows the way to Wisdom, he knows the exact place to find it.  He knows where everything is on earth, he sees everything under heaven.  After he commands the winds to blow and measures out the waters, arranged for the rain and set off explosions of thunder and lightning.  He focused on Wisdom, made sure it was all set and tested and ready.  Then he addressed the human race: ‘Here it is!  Fear-of-the-Lord--that’s Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil.”      

Matthew 19
One day a Pharisee was badgering Jesus:  “Is it legal for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?”  He answered: “Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.”  They shot back in rebuttal.  Then Jesus said, “Moses provided for divorce as a concession to your hard-heartedness but it is not part of God’s original plan.  I’m holding you to the original plan, and holding you liable for adultery if you divorce your faithful wife and then marry someone else....

Jesus disciples objected, “If those are the terms of marriage, we’re stuck.  Why get married?  But Jesus said, “Not everyone is mature enough to live a married life.  It requires a certain aptitude and grace.  Marriage isn’t for everyone.  Some,from birth seemingly, never give marriage a thought.  Others never get asked--or accepted...But if you’re growing into the largeness of marriage, do it.”

One day children were brought to Jesus in the hope that he would lay hands on them & pray over them. The disciples shooed them off.  But Jesus intervened:  Let the children alone, don’t prevent them from coming to me.  God’s kingdom is made up of people like these.”  

Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, “Teacher, what good things must I do to get eternal life?”....”If you want to give it all you’ve got,” Jesus replied, “go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor.  All your wealth will then be in heaven.  Then come follow me.”  That was the last thing the young man expected to hear.  And so, crestfallen, he walked away.  He was holding tight to a lot of things and he couldn’t bear to let go.”  

Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom?...it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.”  The disciples were staggered.  “Then who has any chance at all?” Jesus looked hard at them and said.  “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself.  Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”... 

Yes, you have followed me.  In the re-creation of the world, when the Son of Man will rule gloriously, you who have followed me will also rule, starting with the twelve tribes of Israel.  And not only you, but anyone who sacrifices home, family, fields--whatever--because of me will get it all back a hundred times over, not to mention the considerable bonus of eternal life.  This is the Great Reversal; many of the first ending up last and the last first.”