Daily Meditation: March 13th

March 13, 2018

Today's Reading

Exodus 24          Job 42          John 3          2 Corinthians 12

Meditation Text

Distill the teaching 

What does this tell me about what God does?
What does this tell me about who God is?
What does this tell me that about who I am?
What does this tell me about who I should be?

Thinking Theologically

Three reflections on Job 42:

(a) Job’s response to the Lord (42:1–6) is not, “Now I get it. Now I understand,” but hearty repentance. He even summarizes God’s argument back to him: “You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my counsel without knowledge?’ ” (42:3). Without a trace of self-justification, Job responds, “Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know” (42:3). Job is now certain that in the last analysis none of God’s plans can be thwarted (42:2). In fact, God’s massive self-disclosure in words to Job has revealed so much more of God that Job contrasts his present seeing of God with what he had only heard about him in the past—which of course reminds us that very often in Scripture God enables us to “see” him by disclosing himself in words. “Therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes” (42:6). This is not saying that the three friends were right after all. Job is not now admitting to large swaths of hidden guilt that ostensibly brought on his suffering, but to the guilt of demanding that God provide him with a thorough explanation.

(b) The three friends are forgiven for all the false things they said about God only because of Job’s intercession (42:7–9). This eminently suits the crime: they have been condemning Job, but only Job’s prayers will suffice for their own forgiveness. What they have said that is not right about God (42:7, 8) can only be their simplistic tit-for-tat merit theology. They have allowed no mystery and grandeur; implicitly, they have allowed no grace.

(c) The drama ends with a massive vindication of Job. His wealth is restored (and doubled), he is given a new family, and all of the old honor in which he was held is restored and increased. Many a contemporary critic finds this fanciful, or even a secondary ending that some dumb editor has tacked on to the end of a more nuanced book. Such skepticism is profoundly mistaken. One of the points of the book is that in the end the people of God are vindicated. God is just. Similarly, Christians are not asked to accept suffering without vindication, death and self-denial without promise of heaven. Evil may now be mysterious, but it will not be triumphant. We are not spiritual masochists who can only be fulfilled by suffering. If there is any sense in which we delight in sufferings, it is that we delight to follow the Lord Jesus who suffered. Even he did not delight in sufferings. The pioneer and perfecter of our faith was the one “who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2, italics added). So “let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” (Heb. 12:1).

Taken from For the love of God: a daily companion for discovering the riches of God’s Word. (Vol. 2). 

A.C.T.S. Making the Word become Flesh

Adore: How can I love and adore God based on this teaching?
Confession: What do I need to confess to God based on this teaching?
Thanksgiving: What can I thank God for based on this teaching?
Supplication: What can I ask God to do based on this teaching?


Finish your meditation with a resolution.  Resolve with my Heavenly Father's enablement to . . .

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