Daily Readings and Thought for December 4th. “HE ENDURED AS SEEING HIM WHO IS INVISIBLE”

This Days Readings: Job 5 | Micah 1 | Hebrews 11 |


Today’s familiar “Faith” chapter in Hebrews 11 is in stark contrast to the fallible human reasoning’s and imagining’s of Eliphaz that we are reading in Job.  Those who live by faith have times of enduring difficulties and injustice, as is illustrated by what Moses is commended for – that he “endured as seeing him who is invisible.” [v.27]

We read of “… Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets” [v.32] who are commended for their faith, a faith that grew and conquered difficult situations and injustices.  “Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life”  [v.35].  Tomorrow’s chapter leads us to consider Jesus “who endured from sinners such hostility against himself. [12 v.3]

In total contrast to this we have read in Job the words of Eliphaz to Job; this man has such an idealistic vision of what life should be like.  He tells Job, “Remember: who that was innocent ever perished? Or where were the upright cut off?” [4 v.7]  He says God “frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success” [5 v.12]  He wants to believe that God was always overseeing life so that justice prevails and punishment is soon brought on those who do wrong.  His conclusion is that Job must have done wrong otherwise all these calamities would not have happened to him.

We will see at the end of the book that the LORD appears and speaks directly to Eliphaz and says, “My anger burns against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has” [42 v.7]    Eliphaz had claimed God even charged his angels with error [4 v18].  He had other strange ideas about life, claiming he received visions in the night  [4 v.13] and encounters with spirits gliding past his face. There appear to be many reasons why God’s anger burned against him – and does not the same apply today with those who indulge in their own imagination and superstition instead of reading and comparing all the words of God – words that give them strength to endure.

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