It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Reflection on readings for August 26

Do not, O Lord, withhold your mercy from me;
let your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    keep me safe forever.
(Psalm 40:11)

Job 20:1-22:30
Zophar demands that Job pay attention to him. "Wickedness tastes good for a while but turns to vomit." He outlines ways that God will send punishment to sinners.

Job replies that Zophar should listen to what he has to say, "The wicked don't always get punished." then adds, "How often will you comfort me with empty nothings?"

Eliaphaz is not convinced by Job. He reminds him of the greatness of God and asserts that God will save the penitent.

2 Corinthians 1:1-11
[Scholars tell us that 2 Corinthians as we have it in our Bible is a compilation of several letters written by Paul then combined but probably not in chronological order.]

Paul tells the congregation at Corinth: God consoles us in our afflictions so that we may console others. God raised Jesus and will rescue us.

In their Jewish Annotated New Testament, Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Zvi Brettler point out that the relationship between affliction and consolation was raised in 1:3-11 and is the backbone of the arguments we will read in 4:7-10; 4:16-5:10; and 12:7-10.

Psalm 40:11-17
These verses sound like ones that Eliaphaz could pray. Yet, they also sound like ones that we could all pray.

Proverbs 22:7
The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.

Prayer for Today: O Lord, open us to your truth but guide us in our telling others what they ought to be doing. Console us in our pain. Direct us to consoling others. Amen.

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