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Dec 12: Job 14 | Hab 1 | 1 Pet 2

Reading 1 - Job 14:4

"Who can bring what is pure from the impure? No one!" (Job 14:4).

"O that a clean might come out of an unclean..." (cp RV mg). If only man did not inherit by birth the impulse to sin...

While it is true that cleanness cannot come from the unclean -- Haggai makes this point (Hag 2:13) -- Job was incorrect to suppose that man cannot be cleansed by God. This is the work of Jesus, but was available to all by faith (Gen 15:6). However, it is righteousness that is imputed -- not cleanness. Maybe Job should have used a Biblical word rather than one of his own making.

Reading 2 - Hab 1:2

"How long, O LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?" (Hab 1:2).

"Habakkuk is a book in which a man, the prophet, asked questions and received answers. Note, for example, Hab 1:2, which voices the prophet's initial question. Then turn to Hab 3:19, which gives his final affirmation after having received answers. The contrast between these verses is startling. It is a contrast between a wail of despair and a shout of confidence. GC Morgan observed, 'From the affirmation of faith's agnosticism we come to the affirmation of agnosticism's faith.'

"This is the story of Habakkuk. At the beginning we hear a believer questioning God. The prophet's problem was why God was not doing what He promised to do, specifically delivering His people from the violence with which the Babylonians were threatening them. Every believer faces the same problem sooner or later. Circumstances challenge the promises of God, and we wonder why God does not do something about the situation. Habakkuk wondered how God could use a more wicked nation, Babylon, to disciple the wicked Judahites.