Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Job, Day 3 Readings

Job Believes in His Ultimate Salvation and Questions Whether the Wicked are Always Punished  

Today's first reading gives one of Job's fine moments, in the midst of the back and forth discussion of his guilt or innocence.  Here, Job declares his faith that, despite his suffering, he will eventually be proven innocent and undeserving of his troubles.  In words that George Frideric Handel would make famous in his classic oratorio Messiah, Job says "I know that my redeemer lives."

Read Job 19:1-29  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading gives Job's answer to the argument that the wicked cannot escape punishment (in a speech by Zophar).  Job challenges the assumption, suggesting that the wicked often appear to escape punishment in this world.  Perhaps their children or grandchildren may suffer, but they die prosperous and secure.  While Job would not make the modern argument that "nice guys finish last," he finds plenty of evidence that they don't always finish first, either.  If this is true, then it raises the possibility that suffering is not directly a result of wrongdoing, since some suffer disproportionately.  (If this is so, the question follows, then why do some people suffer so much?)

Read Job 21:1-34  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Job 18-25 today.