Day 148 – March 13, 2024: Job 18-21 and Romans 14-16

The crux of Job is not so much that his friends think that he simply did something wrong, but rather that he is inherently wicked and it is only the wicked who are punished. He should be considered, according to his friends, as coming from evil and God punishes the wicked and the evil one and so God is punishing him. Job’s answer, especially in 21 is, have you travelled? Have you seen the world in which we live? God seems to reward the wicked with prosperity and their children go around with dancing and without thinking about the future. There is no justice in this world. The justice we think that God uses is not what God uses at all. I am a victim of the capriciousness, my words not Job’s, of God and we cannot understand it. But in the midst of Job’s explanation we do find this one verse which we should all love: 19:25 – I know, that my redeemer lives. Yes, this was Job who said this in the midst of his suffering. Pretty impressive.

Paul ends out his letter to the Romans and reminds them to be considerate for those who are newer to the faith or who seem to have a little less faith. Basically we could read this as be considerate to those who are little more legalistic than we are. So if it offends some Christians that you eat the meat sacrificed to idols, don’t eat it in their presence. If it offends some Christians that you drink alchohol, don’t drink alchohol in their presence. If it offens some Christians that you watch some movies or follow some TV series, don’t suggest that you watch it together as a group. There are some actions and some ways of life that are offensive to some Christians, especially some Christians who are more legalistic than others, avoid those actions while they are around.

Now, let’s be clear, there are some ways of life that are destructive, just avoid those ways of life because they take you away from the Lord. It isn’t a matter of faith that you can somehow sustain a destructive way of life because your freedom allows you to do it. There is a way to live that takes you away from the Lord, and another way to live that brings you closer. We need to have the wisdom to differentiate between the two.

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