Reading for Today: Job 35:1–36:33


Reading for Today:

Job 35:1–36:33
Psalm 99:1-9
Proverbs 23:22-25
1 Corinthians 4:1-21
Notes:

Job 35:1–16 Elihu again referred to Job’s complaints, first of all his thinking that there appeared to be no advantage to being righteous (v. 3), which Job had said, as recorded in 21:15 and 34:9. The first part of his answer is that Job gained nothing by sinning or not sinning because God was so high that nothing men do affects Him (vv. 5–7). It only affects other men (v. 8). Job had also complained that God did not answer his prayers when he cried under this oppression (see 24:12; 30:20). Elihu coldly gave 3 reasons why Job’s prayers had not been heard: pride (vv. 10, 12), wrong motives (v. 13), and lack of patient trust (v. 14). Again, all this theoretical talk missed Job’s predicament completely because he was righteous. Elihu was no more help than the other counselors.

Job 36:15 opens their ears in oppression. This was a new insight and perhaps the most helpful thing Elihu said. He went beyond all that had been said about God’s using suffering to chasten and bring repentance. He was saying that God used suffering to open men’s ears, to draw them to Himself. But as long as Job kept complaining, he was turning to iniquity rather than drawing near to God in his suffering (vv.16–21).

Psalm 99:5 His footstool. In general, this is a metaphor for the temple in Jerusalem (Is. 60:13; Lam. 2:1); but more specifically, for the ark of the covenant (1 Chr. 28:2). Footstools were included with the thrones of the kings of Israel (2 Chr.9:18).

Psalm 99:9 His holy hill. This is the hill in Jerusalem where the temple was (Pss. 15:1; 24:3), and where it will be located in the future messianic kingdom (Is. 24:23).

Proverbs 23:23 Buy the truth. Obtain the truth at all costs. Then never relinquish it at any price.

1 Corinthians 4:8 full!…rich!…reigned. In a severe rebuke, Paul heaps on false praise, sarcastically suggesting that those Corinthians who were self-satisfied had already achieved spiritual greatness. They were similar to the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:17). reign. Yet, Paul genuinely wished it really were the coronation time of the Millennium, so that they all might share in the glory of the Lord.

DAY 22: How did Paul want to be regarded by the Corinthians?

“Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1). Paul wanted everyone to view him and his fellow ministers only as the humble messengers God ordained them to be (3:9, 22). “Servants.” Paul expresses his humility by using a word literally meaning “under rowers,” referring to the lowest, most menial, and most despised galley slaves, who rowed on the bottom tier of a ship. “Stewards.” Paul defines his responsibilities as an apostle by using a word originally referring to a person entrusted with and responsible for his master’s entire household: e.g., buildings, fields, finances, food, other servants, and sometimes even children of the owner. “Mysteries of God.” “Mystery” is used in the New Testament to refer to divine revelation previously hidden. Here the word is used in its broadest sense as God’s fully revealed truth in the New Testament. It was all that truth which Paul had to oversee and dispense as God’s servant and steward.

The most essential quality of a servant or steward is obedient loyalty to his master (vv. 2, 17; 7:25; Matt. 24:45–51; Col. 1:7; 4:7). Because of that, Paul said that “it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court” (v. 3). Paul is not being arrogant or saying that he is above fellow ministers, other Christians, or even certain unbelievers. He is saying that a human verdict on his life is not the one that matters, even if it was his own.

“For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this” (v. 4). Paul was not aware of any unconfessed or habitual sin in his own life, but his limited understanding assumed that his was not the final verdict. Paul’s own sincere evaluation of his life did not acquit him of all failures to be faithful. The Lord is the ultimate and only qualified Judge of any man’s obedience and faithfulness (2 Tim. 2:15). Since final rewards will be based not just on outward service but on inward devotion (10:31), only God can give the praise each deserves. He will “bring to light the hidden things of darkness…counsels of the hearts” (v. 5).

From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.

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