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April 2011

I repent in dust and ashes

From the very first verse of the book, Job is presented as a blameless and upright man. The LORD is proud of Job’s matchless virtue (1:8; 2:3).  Job fears God and shuns evil.  And even when calamity falls he does not sin by cursing God (1:22; 2:10).  Instead, through all his laments and complaints, the […]

Gird up thy loins

“Brace yourself.” “Get ready to take it like a man.” “Roll up your sleeves, there’s work to be done.” These are all rough modern equivalents to “gird up thy loins.”  Essentially it’s a command to gather up your loose hanging robes (etc!), in a belt because action is called for. But perhaps we’re surprised at […]

I know that my Redeemer liveth

What phrases do you use in consolation?  Imagine that you have some bad news to tell: My credit cards have been stolen, they’ve cleared out my bank account… How do you finish that sentence? …still, worse things happen at sea … serves me right for being so careless … I suppose I’m just cursed … […]

Escaped by the skin of my teeth

Here’s one of the more famous phrases in the bible.  We’ve probably all used it.  And we’ve probably used it in its biblical sense – i.e. to describe an extremely narrow escape.  But if we were asked to explain it, we’d struggle.  Why “skin of my teeth”?  Why not “hair of my kidneys”?  Or “lips […]

Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward

When two massive egos clash we say “sparks fly.”  But for Job, when “man” meets “world”  that’s when the sparks fly. As we’ve seen earlier, the book of Job is the story of man.  And at its heart is the question of innocent suffering.  Is there such a thing?  His miserable comforters say no.  And […]

Miserable comforters

The world cannot abide innocent suffering.  It unnerves us, to put it mildly.  Some of this is compassion.  But much of it is fear and selfishness. Our (subterranean) thought processes go something like this:  If tragedy really is indiscriminate, then the world really is an unsafe place to make my home.  If my careful preparations, […]

The LORD gave and the LORD hath taken away

Job is a very old book.  Many scholars think Job would have been a rough contemporary of Abraham.  That’s almost 2000 years before Jesus took flesh.  It might well have been the first biblical book to be written down.  Yet it appears fairly much in the middle of our bibles.  This is because of the […]

Ye must be born again

Apologies for this one – out of order!  No time to write something new today.  So here’s one I prepared earlier…. As they all gather around the newborn, they coo and smile and remark “What a gorgeous little nose!”  “What soft skin!”  “Isn’t she perfect!?”  Then uncle Alan butts in.  With a frown and a […]

Carried away

When we get “carried away” it’s not so serious.  Perhaps we’re a little overcome by a bout of silliness.  Or we lose track of the time in conversation.  Or we go a bit far as we rant about some pet topic. But getting “carried away” in the bible was very serious.  The phrase is used […]

Put your house in order

The beginning of Solomon’s reign was far more illustrious than its end.  As with David his father, his downfall was a matter of the heart.  He should have been a man after the LORD’s heart.  And as christ he should surely have demonstrated faithful love for his bride, “But king Solomon loved many strange women”  […]