Camels, needles and wisdom….what a tangled web !!

28 01 2011

DAY TWENTY-EIGHT : Job 8 v. 1 – 10 v. 22; Matthew 19 v. 16 – 30; Proverbs 3 v. 11 – 20

Again, an exchange between one of Job’s “friends” (Bildad this time), before Job complains to God.
Also, again, like Eliphaz’s contributions, Bildad appears to suggest that the Just God only sends punishment on the wicked, even suggesting that the death of Job’s children must be punishment for their sins (hardly words of comfort and reassurance). 
My imagination played with the idea that those who forget God, or those who are hypocritical, have trust “like a spider’s web….it does not stand….it does not endure.” In others’ eyes, the spider’s web stands for strength, persistence and determination (in relation to the spider building the web) – though the point here is that it can be wiped away in one moment. 

There is hope, at least, in Bildad’s words that “God will not cast away the blameless…He will yet fill your mouth with laughing, and your lips with rejoicing.”

Job’s response is that God is unjust, that he’d love to take God to court over all this, but knows he would lose, because God is all-powerful, so he simply complains about the way God is treating him. There are a couple of times his words sparked my thinking….

9 v. 32 – 33 : “For He (God) is not a man that I may answer Him, and that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us who may lay his hand on us both.”
Wesley points out that ‘we can no longer complain that there is no mediator. Jesus Christ now mediates between heaven and earth. To Him the Father has committed all authority and judgement.’ Jesus understands the human struggle and pleads our cause in the heavens.

10 v. 2 – 3 : “Do not condemn me, but tell me what charges you have against me. Does it please You to oppress me, to spurn the work of Your hands….?
Job’s assumption is that it is God who is oppressing him, when, of course, it is Satan who has done the damage. Job is keen to know what is wrong in his life that he has had to suffer so much, and in his agony wishes he’d never been born.

This well-known story highlights a number of things for me :
Jesus states that obeying the commandments is an important part of entering the kingdom. I guess Jesus’s reply to the question “Which commandments?” is meant to sound like an “all of them”, rather than singling out those that are most important. Interestingly, though, the commandments Jesus chooses to highlight for the man are the ethical ones, around how we are to be with others, rather than the devotional ones, around how we are to be with God (no other gods, not taking His name in vain, keeping the sabbath day). Jesus also includes His own, “love your neighbour as yourself”.  
The man still senses he lacks something. Often our way (back) to God begins with a sense of lack, of there being something missing.

“If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

Jesus sees that the need in this man is to be freed from the hold material possessions have over him. What’s preventing him from ‘following’ Jesus is the love of money and possession. This is the rich man’s challenge. There may be other ‘holds’ over us which Jesus needs us to be freed from in order to be perfect and to truly follow Him.

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.”

Jesus reminds his disciples that salvation and perfection are impossible for human beings, but only possible for God, that we need to look increasingly to have our needs met there, in Him.

His final word is hope-filled for the disciples who have left everything to follow Him, and a promise to us, too, of our eternal life, and the rewards / treasures being stored up in heaven.

Wisdom is often perceived to be the Spirit (if the Word is Jesus), though both are in very essence, God.
The link to the Matthew passage is in Wisdom being more profitable than silver, with better returns than fine gold (treasures in heaven).
“Wisdom’s ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.”

My re-created thoughts :

Kindle Your fire in my soul
Help me live a life that’s whole
Let me reach that final goal in this hour
Heal my fractured life of pain
Help me feel alive again
Climb aboard the Kingdom-train by Your power.




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