"God's Word is Living & Active!" ~ Hebrews 4:12
Job 20:1-22:30 ~ 2 Corinthians 1:1-11 ~ Psalm 40:11-17 ~ Proverbs 22:2-4
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Old Testament – Today in Job chapter 21 verses 7 through 13 we read these words of Job: “”The truth is that the wicked live to a good old age. They grow old and wealthy. They live to see their children grow to maturity, and they enjoy their grandchildren. Their homes are safe from every fear, and God does not punish them. Their bulls never fail to breed. Their cows bear calves without miscarriage. Their children skip about like lambs in a flock of sheep. They sing with tambourine and harp. They make merry to the sound of the flute. They spend their days in prosperity; then they go down to the grave in peace.”
New Testament – Today we begin Paul’s Second Letter to the church in Corinth! Corinth was a city known in the 1st century for its wealth and lust. It was a trade center with thousands of sailors who disembarked there. Its pagan temples encouraged the practice of sexual immorality along with idol worship. Thus, this was not an easy place for the early church! But clearly a place where the church was so needed! Below is a map of where Corinth is in Greece – it is about 48 miles west of Athens. And below that is a modern day photo of ancient remains of the pagan temple to Apollo from ancient Corinth:
~ Second Corinthians ~
Author: Paul the apostle
Date: A.D. 57
Content: Paul’s earlier letter to the Corinthians had not settled all of the problems. It had some good effect upon them but much more remained to be done. In particular, Paul had to settle the problem concerning his own authority. Deep suspicions had been aroused concerning him, for what reasons we do not fully understand. But in great anguish Paul writes to reestablish his own apostolic authority. He also attempts to deal with some more practical matters, like supporting the poor believers elsewhere.
Theme: Triumph over adversity is seen throughout this letter. It is a very personal one, written by one who loved his people but had been deeply wronged by them. As Paul catalogs the experiences of his life and the nature of the Christian ministry, it is possible to see the grace of God at work bringing good from evil. Satan is active, seeking to destroy God’s work, but God is greater still, establishing those who trust in him.
Below is “The Apostle Paul”, by the artist Rembrandt from the year 1657:
Bible.org’s commentary on today’s readings in Second Corinthians chapter 1 titled “Why Bad things happen to God’s people” is at this link. Below is a great image for 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 from today’s readings.
Psalms – Today Psalm 40 verse 16 stood out to me for it’s pure joy and praise: “But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, “The LORD is great!””
Maybe if verse 16 does not resonate for you today, hopefully verse 17 can encourage you: “As for me, I am poor and needy, but the Lord is thinking about me right now. You are my helper and my savior. Do not delay, O my God.”
Proverbs – Proverbs 22 verse 2 is a great reminder that our wealth or status does not affect who we are in God’s eyes or in God’s very hands: “The rich and the poor have this in common: The LORD made them both.” As we are all created by God, we should not ever consider ourselves better than anyone – nor lesser than anyone – because someone else has a different set of finances than we do. If you think about it, every single person you meet has a different set of finances than you do. Some are richer, some are poorer. And yet we all have this in common – God made us.
Below is Michelangelo’s “Creation” from the Sistine Chapel in Rome, circa 1505-1513:
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on two verses of Scripture today: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 (NIV)
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