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Dec 04: Job 5 | Micah 1 | Heb 11

Reading 1 - Job 5

"It must have been one of the sorest trials that Job had to suffer, when his closest friends condemned him for wickedness, and refusal to acknowledge the righteousness of God. Job knew that he was not guilty of such terrible crimes against the great One he worshipped. His friends acted without knowledge of the true facts to which we are privy through the Inspired Record. Eliphaz claimed to have received a visitation, and this colored his comments. He asserts:

  • That suffering stems from personal folly: vv 1-7.

  • That as suffering is divine judgment on sin, Job should seek God's forgiveness: vv 8-16.

  • If Job places himself in the hands of God, He may deliver him: vv 17-27.

"But Eliphaz's basic mistake is applying what ultimately will be to present circumstances, and so observing all things from that biased viewpoint. He presses the teaching of the vision by the evidence of personal experience, and in so doing adds to the sufferings of Job -- as the misunderstanding of the apostles (and ourselves!) added to the distress of the Lord Jesus" (GE Mansfield).

Reading 2 - Mic 1:10-16

In Mic 1:10-16, the prophet used several clever wordplays in this poem to describe the desolation that God would bring on Judah. He selected towns and villages near his own hometown in Judah's Shephelah whose names were similar to the coming devastations or to other conditions that he described.

"There follows a series of lamentations for villages in the Shephelah, or coastal plain, along which Sennacherib was to sweep in his triumphal invasion. The section is to be compared with the remarkable passage Isa 10:28-32 -- where the prophet describes the panic spreading from one town to another as the Assyrians invaded from the northeast, whereas Micah describes the effect of the invasion from the southwest, even as far as Lachish" (Fred Pearce, "From Hosea to Zephaniah" 132).

"This section begins with words that recall David's lament at the death of Saul and ends with the name of the cave where David hid from Saul [Adullam: v 15]. These dark moments in David's life form a gloomy backdrop to the description of the fall of the towns Micah spoke of. Though he is never directly mentioned, the figure of David appears hauntingly in the tapestry of destruction -- not a David standing tall in triumph, but a David bowed down by humiliation. It is as if Micah saw in the fall of each town and the eventual captivity of the two kingdoms the final dissolution of the Davidic monarchy. Like David, the glory of Israel would come to Adullam" (Expositor's Bible Commentary).

Reading 3 - Heb 11:13

"And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth" (Heb 11:13).

The story is told about some Christians who were traveling in the Middle East. They heard about a wise, devout, beloved old believer, so they went out of their way to visit him. When they finally found him, they discovered that he was living in a simple hut. All he had inside was a rough cot, a chair, a table, and a battered stove for heating and cooking. The visitors were shocked to see how few possessions the man had, and one of them blurted out, "Well, where is your furniture?" The aged saint replied by gently asking, "Where is yours?" The visitor, sputtering a little, responded, "Why, at home, of course. I don't carry it with me; I'm traveling." "So am I," the godly Christian replied. "So am I."


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