Thursday, March 7, 2013

Job 24-26 and Ignatius' Epistle to the Romans 8-10

Job 24 – “Why doesn’t the Almighty bring the wicked to judgment? (24:1). Job sets out a picture of the world where the wicked freely persecute the poor and the poor quietly go about trying to survive. “The groans of the dying rise from the city, and the wounded cry for help, yet God ignores their moaning. Wicked people rebel against the light. They refuse to acknowledge its ways or say in its paths” (24:12-13).

Job seems to take some comfort in the fact that evil-doers will be consumed by death and “no one will remember them” (24:20). His thinking doesn’t seem to be very different on this from his “friends” except that he just doesn’t see that one can be judged an “evil-doer” solely on the basis that he is suffering terrible things.

“They may be allowed to live in security, but God is always watching them. And thought they are great now, in a moment they will be gone like all others, cut off like heads of grain” (24:23-24).

Job 25 – Bildad now speaks: He speaks of God’s awesome power – “On whom does His light not shine?” (25:3)

If one goes before this God, one can never be entirely cleared of guilt. How can anyone think he is “pure as gold” in God’s eyes? “Even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in His sight. How much less man, a worm, the son-of-man, a maggot?” (25:5-6)

Job 26 – To this Job responds: This is advice shorn of all wisdom and power. All powers are weak before God. “He created the horizon when he separated the waters; he set the boundary between day and night. The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke” (26:10-11). 

Even tales of great victory over forces of nature “are but glimpses of His rule” (26:14).

“Who can absorb the thunder of His mighty deeds?” (26:14)

Ignatius to the Romans
8 – “I want no more of what men call life” (88). He appeals to them once more to understand this completely.

9 – He asks his readers to remember the church of Syria; “it has God for its pastor now, in place of myself, and Jesus Christ alone will have the oversight of it – He, and your own love” (88).  He does not feel worthy to be considered one of them, for he came late in life to be a Christian.

10 – Ignatius writes that he is writing from Smyrna. Others are with him. And, in his own hand, he adds, “As I write this, it is the twenty-fourth of August. Farewell now until the end, and wait with patience for Jesus Christ” (88).

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