2/27 Reading (Job 31-33; 2 Timothy 3)

Job 31: This chapter marks the end of Job’s tenth speech. In this chapter he asks God to directly face him. Job actually declares an oath, declaring his innocence against seven possible charges: “deceit (vv. 5–8), adultery (vv. 9–12), disregard of servants (vv. 13–15), disregard of the poor (vv. 16–23), trust in wealth (vv. 24–28), rejoicing at the misfortune of others (vv. 29–34), and assault on the land (vv. 38–40b)” (NRSV Study Bible notes, p. 757). In essence, Job is presenting his case again. He is so confident he is right that he says he is willing to accept punishment if he is lying.

It’s kinda funny how this chapter ends: “Job’s words are complete” (31:40). It’s like a mic drop.

Job 32: Enter Elihu. Apparently Elihu is younger than Job and his three friends. Up to this point I honestly thought the only people around were Job and his three friends. Now it seems like at least Elihu was observing the interaction.

Here’s some helpful info from the NRSV study bible:

Many scholars think that the Elihu speeches (chs. 32–37) are a later addition to the book, partly because Elihu is not mentioned in the prologue or epilogue. It may be, however, that the Elihu speeches originally followed directly a er the last of the friends’ third speeches, i.e., a er chap. 27, and that chap. 28 was the last of Elihu’s speeches. This rearrangement would make be er sense of the phrase these three men in 32.1, and it would also mean that the Lord addresses Job immediately a er Job’s last speech (chaps. 29–31) is concluded. In any case, the Elihu speeches are part of the book we now have, and Elihu has a distinctive contribution to make to its argument. Elihu, who professes himself opposed both to Job and to his friends (32.2–3,10–12; 33.1–12) is offering a middle way between them. Against the friends, he argues that suffering is not necessarily the penalty for sin already commi ed, but may be a warning, to keep a person back from sin; it is be er understood as discipline or education. (p. 758)

We learn at the beginning of the chapter that Elihu is angry with both Job and his friends. He’s angry with Job because Job thinks he is more righteous than God. He’s angry with Job’s friends because they couldn’t provide an answer for his suffering but thought he was wicked anyway. In this chapter Elihu presents his justification for speaking. One part that is kinda funny is that he tells them that age doesn’t make one wise, instead God makes one wise.

Job 33: Here Elihu turns to Job and addresses him directly. He pretty much tells Job to prepare for a debate in the beginning of this chapter. He then goes into his argument. Elihu quickly summarizes Job’s arguments and just flat out tells him that he is wrong. He tells Job that “God is greater than anybody” (33:12). He tells Job that God speaks to people in multiple ways: through dreams and through suffering. He points out instances where God saves people from their pain and from certain death. It seems like these examples are referring to “miraculous” healings that occurred during that time frame. Elihu ends this chapter with the following statement to Job: “Listen, Job; hear me; be quiet, and I will speak. If you have words, answer me; speak, for I want to be innocent. If not, you must hear me; be quiet, and I will teach you wisdom” (33:31-33).

2 Timothy 3: The first part of this chapter really resonated with me and I think speaks to current society. Here it is:

Understand that the last days will be dangerous times. 2 People will be selfish and love money. They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud. They will slander others, and they will be disobedient to their parents. They will be ungrateful, unholy, 3 unloving, contrary, and critical. They will be without self-control and brutal, and they won’t love what is good. 4 They will be people who are disloyal, reckless, and conceited. They will love pleasure instead of loving God. 5 They will look like they are religious but deny God’s power. Avoid people like this. 6 Some will slither into households and control immature women who are burdened with sins and driven by all kinds of desires. 7 These women are always learning, but they can never arrive at an understanding of the truth. 8 These people oppose the truth in the same way that Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses. Their minds are corrupt and their faith is counterfeit. 9 But they won’t get very far. Their foolishness will become obvious to everyone like those others. (3:1-9)

Reading this just made me think about Trump. “People will be selfish and love money.” Check. “They will be the kind of people who brag and who are proud.” Check. “They will slander others….” Check. “They will be without self-control….” Check.

Now, others could probably argue that many people are like this and this may be true. However, this is my blog, so I’m going to argue what I believe. I believe parts of this chapter definitely sound like our current POTUS as well as many of the people around him. It’s pretty upsetting.

Finally, in his effort to help Timothy, Paul tells him this:

14 But you must continue with the things you have learned and found convincing. You know who taught you. 15 Since childhood you have known the holy scriptures that help you to be wise in a way that leads to salvation through faith that is in Christ Jesus. 16 Every scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for showing mistakes, for correcting, and for training character, 17 so that the person who belongs to God can be equipped to do everything that is good.

That’s an interesting little tidbit and I find it interesting that Paul referred to scripture here. Pretty cool. Here’s a sidebar addressing this:

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