Friday, March 15, 2013

Job 40-42 and Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans 8-10

Job 40 – Now God asks Job for some reply. And Job is brought low. “See, I am of small worth; what can I answer You? I clap my hand to my mouth” (40:4).

And God responds to him: “Gird your loins like a man; I will ask, and you will inform Me. Will you prove me in the wrong? Will you condemn me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God, and can you thunder with a voice like his?” (40:7-9).

The powers of man are second only to those of God. He can grow food, keep the brook from rushing and rest in the shade of plants.

Job 41 – God continues – So if you cannot tame Leviathan, how can you stand up against God. The strengths of Leviathan are reviewed at length.

Job 42 – Job then replies to his God. “I know that You can do everything, that nothing you propose is impossible for You. . . . I spoke without understanding” (42:2-3).  But the main thing is now Job can say, “I see you with my eyes; therefore, I recant and relent, being but dust and ashes” (42:5-6).

After Job relents, the Lord expresses His anger at the three “friends” and tells them they must offer sacrifice. God’s anger against Job is gone, and He restores Job’s prosperity – gives him “twice” what he had before.

 “So Job died old and contented” (42:17).

Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans
8 – Ignatius urges everyone to “[a]bjure all factions, for they are the beginning of evils” (103). Maintain unity by following your bishop “as Jesus Christ followed the Father” (103). “Make sure that no step affecting the church is ever taken by anyone without the bishop’s sanction” (103).

They should not go to a Eucharistic celebration if it is not led by a bishop or a person authorized by him. “Where the bishop is to be seen, there let all his people be; just as wherever Jesus Christ is present, we have the catholic Church” (103).

All the celebrations of the church – baptisms and agape meals – must have the sanction of the bishop. “This is the way to make certain of the soundness and validity of anything you do” (103).

9 – Ignatius prays that it is not to late to get things back in order. It all seems to him to depend on submitting in all things to the bishops.

He thanks them for their support of him. “Absent or present, I have had your love; and may God reward you for it. Do but endure all things for His sake, and you will attain to Him in the end” (103).

10 – He praises them for welcoming the men who have been accompanying him (Ignatius) on his trip to Rome. “My life is a humble offering for you; and so are these chains of mine, for which you never showed the least contempt or shame. Neither will Jesus Christ in His perfect loyalty show Himself ashamed of you” (103).

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