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Dec 03: Job 3-4 | Jonah 4 | Heb 10

Reading 1 - Job 4

Eliphaz (who speaks in Job 4; 5; 15; 23) rests his philosophy on general observation and special revelation (Job 4:8; 5:3,27; 15:17; 4:12-16; 15:18,19). He is committed to a fixed theory, with a much too narrow view of providence (Job 5:3-16; 15:20-35): that is, that no innocent man suffers or perishes (Job 4:7). Therefore, according to Eliphaz, Job suffers because he sinned.

Reading 2 - Jon 4:5

"Jonah went out and sat down at a place east of the city. There he made himself a shelter, sat in its shade and waited to see what would happen to the city" (Jon 4:5).

"In high dudgeon he went out of the city (on its east side because there was high ground, and on the west Calah abutted on the wide fast-flowing Tigris). There he built himself a booth, of the sort he had made in early days at Jerusalem at the Feast of Tabernacles; and there he would discipline his impatient soul with patience. Perhaps, after all, his remonstration to the angel would bring thunderbolts from heaven, something comparable to Sodom's grim fate and would 'turn Nineveh to ashes, condemning it with an overthrow.' What a satisfaction it would be to himself and to his countrymen to see a politically-inflated Nineveh wiped out!" (Harry Whittaker, "Jonah").

Jonah chose his "ringside" seat and waited, hopefully, for the heaven-sent destruction of the great city. But... nothing happened! Do we -- sometimes -- wait eagerly for what will NOT happen... because we misunderstand the character of God, or His prophetic timetable?

Reading 3 - Heb 10

Heb 10:23: "Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)"

"The second 'Let us' [the first is in v 22] is connected with hope, although the AV obscures the matter by translating 'elpis' in this sole instance by the word faith. 'Let us hold fast the confession of our hope, that it waver not; for he is faithful that promised.' Hope is grounded upon promise, even the promises made unto the fathers. God is faithful; the promise is sure. Only man's part is in doubt; their beginning was right in their confession of Christ. The end would also be so if they held fast to that confession. Every generation sees its quota of waverers, and to every generation may this appeal be made, 'Let us hold fast' " (John Carter, "Hebrews" 192,193).

Heb 10:24 : "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds."

"Do everything in love: love of God and love of man. Forget yourself. Forget all your own desires: they will never give you any real satisfaction -- only frustration and disappointment. There is nothing there: so quit looking for it there. Get independent of personal pleasure and desire. That is the greatest emancipation possible. It frees you to get into the real joys and satisfactions -- which are all in love of, and work for, God. This beautifies the character and purifies the flesh" (GV Growcott).

Heb 10:25: "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-- and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

" 'I am too tired' -- 'I prefer to hear the lecture' -- 'Bro So-and-so is the speaker, and I never get any good from his addresses'. These are not justifiable excuses for absence from the Breaking of Bread. Christ's command is this: 'This do in remembrance of me' (1Co 11:24), and for us to ignore the command is to imperil our salvation. Was ever a divine appointment set aside without incurring disastrous consequences to ourselves and God's displeasure towards us? Those who absent themselves from the Lord's Table should think of this. To refrain wilfully from assembling together on the first day of the week is not only to display a shocking lack of appreciation of the importance and profit of the appointment, but it is a direct insult to Christ" (AT Jannaway).


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