31 01 2011

DAY THIRTY-ONE : Job 19 v. 1 – 21 v. 34; Matthew 21 v. 1 – 17; Psalm 18 v. 1 – 6

JOB – begs his ‘friends’ to stop their tormenting. Again he points out that his tragedies have more to do with God’s purpose than with his own sin and failings. In ch. 19, Job makes some bold hope-filled claims :
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and He shall stand at last on the earth”
He longs to see God in the future and has an assurance that he will !
He warns his ‘friends’ to be careful, or their careless talk will be judged harshly by God.

ZOPHAR – lets rip with a tirade about how bad it is for the wicked, and how God punishes the unrighteous harshly, whilst the righteous have a good life (if only !!!!). He paints a vivid picture of the tactics of evil – it tastes sweet initially (v.12), and then it begins to corrupt completely, like venom !

JOB – rebuffs Zophar’s assertion by talking of examples of the wicked who don’t always suffer. The wicked don’t always die painful deaths, with good people living long lives. Good and bad things happen to good and bad people alike, but God is sovereign.

PALM PROCESSION – Oh, I was back in Jerusalem in my imagination today, remembering walking the way of the Palm Sunday procession from the Mount of Olives into the city. It was a very special journey. We even encountered a man with a donkey (looking for a few shekels for a photo opportunity).

It’s a powerful image to think of Jesus riding a young colt, fronting a procession of enthusiastic worshippers and fulfilling the Old Testament prophecies from Isaiah and Zechariah, and it causes quite a stir.

JESUS AT HIS ANGRIEST – we get the sense that the temple courts are corrupt, noisy, discriminatory, and Jesus boils over, and turns the tables. Jesus reminds them that the temple is to be a ‘house of prayer’. You can just feel the tension rising as you read these verses. The blind and the lame, as unclean, would not have been welcomed at the temple, but they come to Jesus, who heals them. When He is challenged by the religious leaders, He points out the it is the children who are leading the praises.  Bad day at the office for the chief priests, riots in the courts.
All this followed by a quiet night in Bethany.
It’s all hotting up in Jerusalem now.

PSALM – a song accredited to David when the Lord helped him flee from angry Saul.
My re-created Psalm 18 includes the following :

“My Lord, my God – how I love You
 I adore You for the strength I find in You.
 Oh Lord, You are my solid rock, my safe defence, my true rescuer.
 Oh God, You are my mountain-rock, I run to You for cover.
 You are my protecting shield, my strong deliverer, my safe stronghold.
 How worthy You are to be praised
 I cry out to You
 and You rescue me over and over again.”

What an awesome God we serve.