Monday, May 23, 2011

Judgment Day? Job 24-31

"why does the almighty not set times for judgment?"  Lot describes all of the evil in the world and how you just want to know why God doesn't come down here and take care of the good and the bad.  Hand out some rewards and some punishment.  You know it is going to happen sooner or later, but wouldn't it be easier for the faithful if you just knew when it was going to happen?

Now isn't that kind of what we just finished with Harold Camping and the end of the world on May 21.  Won't we see some more of it with the publicity around 2012 and the Inca calendar?  Why are we in such need to know the mind of God?  Shouldn't we consider it grace upon grace every day that we have life and breath and another opportunity to do good and speak the promise of God's grace to our neighbors and friends?  Shouldn't we want doomsday to be pushed off as far as God's mercy will allow it so we can save another from the judgment?

God will come one day to judge the quick and the dead, on that we can be sure, but until that day comes we should be found doing good works and praising his name, even if we are afflicted like our friend Job.

Job's friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar have tried to convince him of the error of his ways.  The have tried to tell him that his wisdom is false, that his hope is somehow twisted.  They have told him in previous chapters that wisdom comes from experience, but alert watchfulness of God's actions in the world, and from within the righteous man.  Lot listens but protests that wisdom does not come from any of these places, rather, wisdom comes from the Fear of the Lord (28:28)  This will be reinforced and restated when we come to the writings of Solomon in the Proverbs.  Even in his tumultuous state, in his sadness and despair, Lot is much wiser that his friends.

In Chapter 31, Lot defends himself by telling what he is not.  He has made a covenant with his eyes.  He has not victimized others, he is not an Idolator, he is not greedy, he has not taken advantage of his servants or widows or orphans or the poor.  He may err in this as we would if we seek to prove our righteousness by what we do not do.  None are righteous except the author or righteousness.  We are only made righteous by the Grace of God.  Having said that, we would all be better if we made the same covenant that Lot espouses when he says he has made a covenant with his eyes.  The eyes that observe the continuous onslaught of violence, sexuality, carnality and abusive behaviors become desensitized to the sin that invades our lives and our homes.  We are no longer to protect the innocent among us because the sin has been normalized....we accept it as "the stuff of life".  God forgive us for the downward spiral of the world that we have been given dominion of. 

When will God come to judge the wicked and reward the good? 

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