1/26 Reading (Job 4-6; 1 Timothy 5)

Job 4: Just a little note to start off this reading: I learned after my last post that I was actually wrong to write “Satan” down as the person who challenged God. I should’ve written “the satan” or even “the adversary.” Here’s a nice little tidbit from James L. Kugel’s book, How to Read the Bible: A Guide to Scripture, Then and Now: “This is not yet the devil, the Satan of later Judaism and Christianity who is God’s opponent and the embodiment of evil, but merely one of the heavenly attendants, the ‘sons of God.’ The Hebrew satan means ‘accuser’ or ‘adversary’” (p. 638). Nice little tidbit for me to know.

This is the first speech by one of Job’s friends (Eliphaz). He initially tries to comfort Job by reminding him of how many times he has helped others during difficult times. He does this to encourage Job to not lose hope. Eliphaz tells Job that from his perspective, only those who sin perish. Innocent people do not die. He tells Job of a dream he had where a voice said to him: “Can a human be more righteous than God, a person purer than their maker” (4:17; p. 785 OT)?

The last few verses confuse me just a bit. It seems like Eliphaz is almost warning him not to charge God’s messengers? Need to ask Gene on this one. UPDATE: Gene to the rescue. I sent him an email and here’s what he said: That no man is righteous before God and Job should quit his rebellion and adopt humility.

Job 5: Eliphaz’s first speech continues in this chapter. It starts with Eliphaz asking Job who would actually help him when he is angry. He encourages Job to turn to God for help and reminds Job how powerful God is (pretty much heaping a bunch of praise on God). Here are some of his statements that relate to science: “…who provides rain over the earth’s surface, sends water to the open country” (5:10; p. 786 OT). He ends his speech encouraging Job to put all of his trust in God and reminds Job what God to do to people personally as long as they fully trust God.

Job 6: Job wasn’t having any of Eliphaz’s speech. He defends his anger and wishes to die because of all of this pain. He wants to die before he says anything rash (aka, says anything blasphemous). He then gets mad at his friends, accusing them of pretty much abandoning him. He ends this chapter asking them if he has done anything to make him less righteous. He asks them if he has done anything to deserve this pain. Here’s what he says directly:

22 Have I said, “Give me something?
Offer a bribe from your wealth for me?
23 Rescue me from the hand of my enemy?
Ransom me from the grip of the ruthless?”
24 Instruct me and I’ll be quiet;
inform me how I’ve erred.
25 How painful are truthful words,
but what do your condemnations accomplish?
26 Do you intend to correct my words,
to treat the words of a hopeless man as wind?
27 Would you even gamble over an orphan,
barter away your friend?
28 Now look at me—
would I lie to your face?
29 Turn! Don’t be faithless.
Turn now! I am righteous.
30 Is there wrong on my tongue,
or can my mouth not recognize disaster?

We see Job starting to question the prevailing thought at the time, that any type of bad thing happening to a person is due to their sins. He argues that he has not sinned and therefore does not deserve this treatment based on this line of thinking.

1 Timothy 5: Here’s a nice little summary of this chapter from the notes: “In this passage, Paul does two things: (1) he gives instructions to Timothy on how to take care of God’s family-older men as fathers, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters; (2) he focuses on instructions about older widows and younger widows” (p. 410 NT).

One other little tidbit is that he wants to make sure people don’t just focus on having wealth and living in luxury. They should use that wealth to help those who are in need.

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