In yesterday's beginning to Exodus, we heard of Moses' birth
and his young adulthood in Egypt. He murdered a man and had
to flee for his life, going to Midian. We also read of his helping
the seven daughters of Reuel, a scene that I can't read without
thinking of the Cecil B. DeMill movie.
Job having finished his defense, Elihu takes the stage. HC Mears
Eliphaz basically said, “God never makes a mistake. What
have you done to bring this on yourself?” Bildad essentially said, “God is just. Confess your sin.” Zophar suggested, “God is all-wise. He knows man.” Elihu, God's man, said the wisest thing: “God is good; look up, and trust Him.”
Note that at the end, Elihu is not mentioned as having misrepresented God. He does seem to speak wisely, but we can fault
him for his arrogance.
We turn to James 1. Yesterday in 1Peter 5, Peter gave a very important encouragement to elders within the church, and among other things, he gave an important word on spiritual battle with Satan.
The book of James is in some ways similar to 1 Peter in that James addresses his book to a dispersed Jewish audience. James is also similar to Peter in the way he sets out several themes and keeps returning to them. Moyer says of this book, “As soon as we read through the letter of James we say to ourselves, ‘This man was a preacher before he was a writer.’”
James is probably the oldest book of the New Testament, written perhaps only 15 years after Jesus' death and before the first council of Jerusalem in AD50. This was written, not by the disciple named James, but by James the half brother of Christ. While Jesus was alive, James was not a believer. But he came to believe when, soon after his resurrection, Jesus appeared to him. Some time after this and before his martyrdom in AD 62, James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
James does not call himself 'the brother of Jesus' but his slave!
1 This letter is from James, a slave of God and of [our
Lord Christ Jesus//the Lord Jesus Christ].
6 But when you ask him, be sure that [you fully believe that God is willing to give you that wisdom you are asking for./ /your faith is in God alone.]Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us
from God our Father, who created all the lights in the
heavens. [But unlike those heavenly lights, God//He] never changes or casts a shifting shadow.
24 You see [that you have dirt on your face, and then just//yourself,] walk away, and forget what you