After a fairly laborious trudge through Leviticus we are going to look at 90 chapters and 90 days of stories, advice, and more advice, and even more advice. We will begin on August 12 and it will take us through November 9. I already have the next 90 day Challenge set up and it will include Isaiah since we are going through Advent. But this challenge is going to take us through Job, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Lamentations. I heard a theologian once say that they felt like Proverbs was more like a cross-country trip with an in-law. That is actually something I would enjoy because my in-laws are awesome (you hear that Dave and Randi?), but I’m pretty sure the theologian did not mean it in a positive way.
We still have plenty more chapters to make our way through the entire Bible and this should be really good summer reading, especially since Job takes through the rest of the summer. I can’t encourage you enough to hear about his life and how he describes it and how his faith does not waver. What a contrast that is with King Solomon whom many more conservative commentaries say wrote Proverbs and Ecclesiastes. Here is a king who had everything and yet somehow is seen as this cynical ruler who really didn’t have much positive to say about anything. He didn’t lose anything like Job did, and yet he is personified as the ruler who was grizzled and disgruntled.
Then we have Lamentations which is thought to be written by Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. Again our life situations are such that you would think they inevitably color what our understanding of life is and to some extent what our understanding of God is. I pray that we would be more like Job. Not in the life situations that befall us, I would wish that on no one, but rather in how we approach life when we have seen the worst of times. A quiet confidence in the providence of God which propels us into a life of optimism and hope is what ultimately God wants from us on this earth.
If we don’t believe that God is in control, then nothing else really matters. If we believe that God has all control, then everything else serves the purpose of living for God’s kingdom and ensuring that our lives are a reflection for the gratitude of what God is able to do for us.
I pray that you are enriched with these readings and find yourself filled with a hope that comes from outside of our life situations. We need to give thanks and find hope in the work of Jesus Christ who is the God of all nations. Again, don’t forget to follow along at http://www.straspres.org/90-day-challenge-v.
Your servant in Christ,