The Radical Experiment is well underway... ok... only two days into it. The Lord has been speaking to me through His Word in even just that short amount of time.
First off, I've seen the ways in which the enemy and my flesh try to distract me. I was totally caught off guard by it this morning. Be aware. Yeah, it is only two days in to it... but be aware of the distractions. Some of you are also trying out some physical New Years resolutions. The first two weeks are the most difficult. You're retraining your body; breaking old habits and laying the foundation for new ones. Don't get distracted.
Secondly, seeing the lineage of sin and realizing that the only difference between Cain's offering and Able's was faith (Hebrews 11) makes me that much more sobered by my sin.
Remember, we're going through the word together chronologically. So, if you've been treking with us for the past few days, then today you got a little surprise when our reading plan told you to take a right turn to Job. So far, you've gotten through Creation, the Fall, Flood, and then you're right where the nations--coming from Shem, Ham, and Japheth--began to spread throughout the earth. Here, then, enters the story of Job. People have discussed for years where Job fits in the Old Testament. Some place it after Dueteronomy 28 while many others place it here, after the Flood.
Can God be trusted?
You're about to get an overwhelming picture of God's sovereignty in the first few pages of Job. Oh yes, you saw His sovereignty over creation; yet, you're about to get a picture of His sovereignty over the affairs of men on earth. Do we always know the reasons for our suffering and the suffering of others? These are great questions personified in the narrative of Job.
So just to make sure that you get this picture, God gloriously created the world. Sin entered the world. Death as a result of sin took root not only in Adam and Eve, but in their offspring. The heart was marred, so murder took place, which was just a snapshot of the evil and perversity in the hearts and minds of men. Then, as a result of sin... suffering.
Here are some things to keep in mind while reading through Job:
1. Chapters 1 and 2 are introduction; they set the stage for everything else in the book.
Pay attention to the main characters: Job, Satan and God. You'll probably recognize some songs as you read ("Blessed Be the Name of the Lord").
2. In order to understand what happens next, you've got to get a big picture of what is happening.
During Job's suffering, some friends come to console him. Before you read anything after chapter 2, go back and read Job 1:8; Job 2:3, 11-13 and then jump to 42:7-9. Pay attention to what is said about Job and what God says about Job's friends. This will help you better understand what you're going to read over the next few days. If you're writing with a little journal or something to keep some notes, which I highly recommend, then you may want to jot this down. As you come to each chapter, you may want to write down who is talking and to whom.
3. Remember, the Bible is one story.
You've hit the highlights over the past two days--God, creation, and Fall--the whole of Scripture is about God's plan of redemption in order to bring Himself glory. Keep that in mind as you read through Job and every other text. Remember, the scarlet thread throughout Scripture is the Prophet, Priest and King Jesus.