Wednesday, March 10, 2010

What I’ve been reading lately

A trek through the book of Job in the Old Testament is challenging me, especially the King James Version. I finished reading Chapter 13 yesterday in which Job was asking questions that explore the character of God. Job pleads for understanding about why God is letting such bad stuff happen to him when he has led an exemplary life and honored God.

His “friends” tell him that his misfortune is the result of his sin. Those kinds of friends are of little help when someone is grieving. Job disagrees with them, certain that his heart and actions have been right and his woes are not a consequence of sin. The reader can be certain, too. At the beginning of this chronicle, Job 1: 8, God calls Job “a perfect and upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil.” In the NIV that description becomes “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

Helping me to decipher this story are the notes in the Ryrie Study Bible I am reading plus occasional comparisons to my New International Version. Not for the first time I am struggling to return to regular Bible reading after a period of hit and miss. In my reading yesterday, I found this note I had written in the margin on July 5, 1986: “Reading God’s word regularly opens a hatch for creative power to flow through. After abandoning the practice for 11 months, it took seven months of self-coercion for ease of reading and creative flow to return.”

In years past, when I regularly read the Bible through each year, some verse or passage that had barely registered in a previous year would pop out at me. It would be just what I needed to meet a current challenge. Life is much richer, even in the midst of rough patches, when I don’t let other priorities push aside regular appointments with God’s word.

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