Preparing to read EXODUS 3-4:
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.
Turning to JOB 32:
Job having finished his defense, Elihu takes the stage. HC Mears says,
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 of the book, Elihu is not mentioned as having misrepresented God. He does seem to speak wisely, but we can fault him for his arrogance.
10 So now [,//I want you to] listen to me;
let me tell you what I think.
13 How can you claim [that] you have discovered wisdom?
God must answer Job, for you have failed.
Let’s 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 letter of James is similar to 1 Peter in several ways. In the first verse of both letters, both mention that their audience is dispersed throughout the world. Both describe their audience using Jewish catch phrases. 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 AD 50. 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 Jesus appeared to him shortly after His resurrection. 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 From James, a [slave//servant] of God and of the Lord [Christ Jesus//Jesus Christ}:
Greetings to [the twelve tribes of//all] God's people scattered over the whole world.
With these words, James pictures that all the followers of Jesus are like the twelve tribes of Israel that were scattered everywhere. The twelve tribes of Israel had scattered as a result of persecution, and it was the same with the followers of Jesus.
2 My brothers and sisters, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, 3 for you know that when your [belief in Christ//faith] succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure.