Dec 10: Job 12 | Nahum 1, 2 | James 5
Reading 1 - Job 12
"Zophar's air of superiority aroused the ire of Job, who answered with heavy sarcasm: 'Thou are the people without doubt, and wisdom shall die with you.' He declared that his understanding was not inferior to theirs (Job 12:1-5). He then advanced incontestable facts:
The wicked prosper in spite of the dogma of his friends (v 6), and
God is both wise and omnipotent (v 7 -- Job 13:2)" (GE Mansfield).
Reading 2 - Nah 1:3
"The LORD is slow to anger and great in power" (Nah 1:3).
Yahweh is low to show anger, BECAUSE He is great in power. His power to judge is omnipotent, but His mercy is stronger!
"He is truly great in power who hath power over himself. When God's power doth restrain Himself, then it is power indeed: the power that binds omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed. A man who has a strong mind can bear to be insulted long, and only resents the wrong when a sense of right demands his action. The weak mind is irritated at a little: the strong mind bears it like a rock which moveth not, though a thousand breakers dash upon it, and cast their pitiful malice in spray upon its summit. God marketh His enemies, and yet He bestirs not Himself, but holdeth in His anger. If He were less divine than He is, He would long ere this have sent forth the whole of His thunders, and emptied the arsenals of heaven; He would long ere this have blasted the earth... and man would have been utterly destroyed; but the greatness of his power brings us mercy" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 3 - James 5:10
"Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord" (James 5:10).
"In pursuing our duties in the Truth, we must be actuated by a higher motive than that of present success. Whether men will hear or forbear, through evil report or good report, we must steadily and cheerfully go on. God more frequently than not permits our labors to be fruitless. 'How few receive with cordial faith the tidings which we bring.' We think of the labour and expense in our big and little efforts, and the infinitesimal results.
"Our failures, too, are not confined to the alien. How often is the faithful word of warning, of counsel, of reproof, treated with heartless contempt by professors in the household? Yes, there is now but little success; failure is the rule.
"Yet so far as the obedient are concerned, it is not really failure, for by means of it inconceivable good is being evolved. This will be apparent when the day arrives for the manifestation of the sons of God. Even the offense given, the misunderstanding created, the enmity and bitterness evoked, aid in developing the sufferings which teach obedience and bring perfection. Christ's service calls for the exhibition of patience and long-suffering. These virtues can only be cultivated by turning a deaf ear to the likes and dislikes of man and performing our duties as unto Christ, who is at the head of affairs, manipulating them as His wisdom sees fit. In our trials, let us think of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and all the prophets, who through their patient endurance have earned the praise of God (Jam 5:10). Let us pray with Paul that we may be 'strengthened with all might, according to His (God's) glorious power unto all patience and long-suffering and with joyfulness' (Col 1:11)" (AT Jannaway).