Job Bible Quotes

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I want to read the employment section of the Bible. I think it’s simply called Job.
Jarod Kintz (I Want Two apply for a job at our country's largest funeral home, and then wear a suit and noose to the job interview.)
By the way, if you get mad at your Mac laptop and wonder who designed this demonic device, notice the manufacturer's icon on top: an apple with a bite out of it.
Peter Kreeft (Jesus-Shock)
If you really want to be a rebel get a job, cut your grass, read your bible, and shut up. Because no one is doing that.
Mark Driscoll
You can lose your MONEY. You can lose your FRIENDS. You can lose your JOB and you can lose your MARRIAGE...and still long as there is HOPE. Never lose HOPE.
John Paul Warren
It’s all right,” she said. “You’re through.” “Jesus,” he finally managed, pushing water off his face. “Jesus Christ and John the Baptist. For that matter, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John.” Still not enough. He needed to reach back to the Old Testament for this. “Obadiah. Nebuchadnezzar. Methuselah and Job.” “Be calm,” she said, taking him by the shoulders. “Be calm. And there are women in the Bible, you know.” “Yes. As I recall it, they were trouble, every last one.
Tessa Dare (A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2))
The Bible says that the Cross offends. If you are offended, I am doing my job. If you are attracted to Christ, the Spirit is doing his work. - Bruce Barnes
Tim LaHaye
One way to be sure you are not making the wrong decision, is to look vertically upwards
Oche Otorkpa (The Unseen Terrorist)
For instance, some evangelicals have turned Proverbs 31 into a woman’s job description instead of what it actually is: the blessing and affirmation of valor for the lives of women, memorized by Jewish husbands for the purpose of honoring their wives at the family table. It is meant as a celebration for the everyday moments of valor for everyday women, not as an impossible exhausting standard.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
I too was pinched off from a piece of clay, I too modeled by omnipotence and flanked by things too wonderful for me
Bryana Joy (Having Decided To Stay)
The authors of Job and Ecclesiastes explicitly state that there is no afterlife.
Bart D. Ehrman (Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know About Them))
It's not your job to judge or to decide if someone deserves something. It's your job to lift the fallen and comfort the broken.
Karen Gibbs
It's interesting that in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the only practical advice given about living a meaningful life is to find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God. It's as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help.
Donald Miller
On average, at least 95 percent of what you need to know you learn on the job. This is true for doctors, lawyers, nurses, investment bankers, and everyone else.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
As the books of Job, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk clearly show, God has a high threshold of tolerance for what appropriate to say in a prayer. God can "handle" my unsuppressed rage. I may well find that my vindictive feelings need God's correction - but only by taking those feelings to God will I have the opportunity for correction and healing.
Philip Yancey (The Bible Jesus Read)
sadly, the book of Job was but a speed bump on the Deuteronomic superhighway. The delusion of divine punishments still prevails inside and outside religion over the clear evidence of human consequences, random accidents, and natural disasters. This does not simply distort theology; it defames the very character of God.
John Dominic Crossan (How to Read the Bible and Still Be a Christian: Struggling with Divine Violence from Genesis Through Revelation)
Too many people think that finding the reason God placed us here on earth will come in one assignment with a big title and complete job description. I believe that discovering our purpose will unfold slowly, like a seed planted deep in the ground.
Lysa TerKeurst (Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl)
I am convinced that there is an urgent need in the church today for much greater understanding of Christian doctrine, or systematic theology. Not only pastors and teachers need to understand theology in greater depth -- the WHOLE CHURCH does as well. One day by God's grace we may have churches full of Christians who can discuss, apply and LIVE the doctrinal teachings of the Bible as readily as they can discuss the details of their own jobs or hobbies - or the fortunes of their favorite sports team or television program.
Wayne Grudem (Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine)
God created us to dream. When we fail to dream, we rob Him of the opportunity to do great things. Sometimes we shy away from dreaming big dreams. Maybe we don’t want to ask for too much. Maybe we somehow don’t feel worthy. But over and over again in the Bible, the Lord instructs us to envision what He can do. Our job is to dream.
Debbie Macomber (Patterns of Grace (Voices of Faith))
The bulletproof vest--'bullet resistant,' technically--is made of two double panels of a synthetic material called Kevlar, inside a cloth carrier that holds it around your torso like a lead X-ray smock. One cop wrote phrases from the Bible on his, 'Yea, though I walk in the valley of the Shadow of Death...' Other cops wrote their blood type.
Edward Conlon (Blue Blood)
Yet man is born to trouble as surely as sparks fly upward.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: New International Version)
Every progress made by Satan and every technological breakthrough in human history occurs because God allowed it; God created Satan and God is in complete control of everything. Job 1:6-12
Felix Wantang (God's Blueprint of the Holy Bible: Volume Two)
One bold message in the Book of Job is that you can say anything to God. Throw at him your grief, your anger, your doubt, your bitterness, your betrayal, your disappointment—he can absorb them all. As often as not, spiritual giants of the Bible are shown contending with God. They prefer to go away limping, like Jacob, rather than to shut God out. In this respect, the Bible prefigures a tenet of modern psychology: you can’t really deny your feelings or make them disappear, so you might as well express them. God can deal with every human response save one. He cannot abide the response I fall back on instinctively: an attempt to ignore him or treat him as though he does not exist. That response never once occurred to Job.
Philip Yancey (Disappointment with God: Three Questions No One Asks Aloud)
In the Bible, God never gives anyone an easy job. God never comes to Abraham, or Moses, or Esther and says, “I’d like you to do me a favor, but it really shouldn’t take much time. I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you.” God does not recruit like someone from the PTA. He is always intrusive, demanding, exhausting. He says we should expect that the world will be hard, and that our assignments will be hard.
John Ortberg (Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You)
Living loved, we relax our expectations, our efforts, our strivings, our rules, our spine, our breath, our plans, our job descriptions and checklists; we step off the treadmill of the world and the treadmill of religious performance. We are not the authors of our redemption.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
Yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.
Anonymous Holy Bible Job 5 7
Keep negative people long meters away from you; their presence is a threat to your high self-esteem! Job, the man of God kept his wife afar before he could make it again!
Israelmore Ayivor (The Great Hand Book of Quotes)
Only God possesses the love and wisdom necessary to deal with human pride in a consistently constructive manner.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
Any dollar given to you voluntarily, no matter the physical form, is a certificate of performance and validation of a job well done.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
Oswald Chambers once said that the Psalms teach you how to pray; Job teaches you how to suffer; the Song of Solomon teaches you how to love; Proverbs teaches you how to live; and Ecclesiastes teaches you how to enjoy.
Philip Yancey (The Bible Jesus Read)
We didn't try to force God's hand or do the "I just heard a sermon about David and Goliath so I need to quit my job right this second" leap of faith that's so popular in Christian circles. We took our time with the decision, like another guy in the Bible, named Jesus. He spent thirty years in obscurity before he started his adventure. Often, we're not willing to spend thirty minutes in preparation, never mind thirty years, especially when we come home from a conference and find our day jobs waiting for us on Monday morning. I'm not sure why Christians sometimes think the maturation of our own missions will be radically shorter than that of Jesus. But it happens and in the past I've certainly wanted to take wild, unplanned, possibly-not-inspired-by-God leaps of faith.
Jon Acuff (Quitter: Closing the Gap Between Your Day Job and Your Dream Job)
I looked at her. "Does God hate me? Me and Dante?" "Of course not. I've never read anything in the Bible that indicates that God hates. Hate isn't in his job description." "You sound so sure, Mom. Maybe you're not such a good Catholic." "Maybe some people would say I'm not. But I don't need anybody to tell me how to live my faith." "But me, I'm a sin, right?" "No, you're not a sin. You're a young man. You're a human being. And you're my son.
Benjamin Alire Sáenz (Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World (Aristotle and Dante, #2))
The Bible said the devil may come in many forms. Some time he may appear as a friend, celebrity or even a pretty girl or well built young man. A well paying job, easy money opportunity or simply a chance at something too good to be true. More the often it probably is.
Carlos Wallace
It’s not illegal to pray. We can own a Bible. We can utter Jesus’s name without fear of being tossed into jail or killed. When we refuse to bow down to the idols of our culture we may lose our job. We may lose some friends. But we won’t be thrown into a fiery furnace.
Larry Osborne (Thriving in Babylon: Why Hope, Humility, and Wisdom Matter in a Godless Culture)
In the religious version, you’ll often hear that when this happens, one group heads to a good place, and the rest of humanity heads to a bad place. (The people who tell this version of the story are always in the good group, coincidentally enough.) And so your job is to get as many people inside the tent/club/religion/group as possible so that when that day comes, you can all escape together and go somewhere else.
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
I make decrees over my family every day. I speak blessings over my family every day. I declare things from God’s word over my family every day. Things like,… … As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15) No weapon formed against us shall prosper…. (Isaiah 54:17) He has given His angels charge over us… (Psalms 91:11) Angels listen for God’s word to perform it. And they do. The Bible says Thou shalt also decree a thing and it shall be established unto thee, and light shall shine upon thy ways. (Job 22:28) There is power in your decree and in your agreement with this word of the Lord. If you decree on the authority of the Word that your eyes will open and see clearly, it will come to pass. The Lord is not a man that He should lie, nor the son of man that He should repent. If He said it, will He not do it? (Numbers 23:19)
Michael R. Van Vlymen (How To See In The Spirit)
Do you read your Bible?” “Sometimes.” “With pleasure?  Are you fond of it?” “I like Revelations, and the book of Daniel, and Genesis and Samuel, and a little bit of Exodus, and some parts of Kings and Chronicles, and Job and Jonah.” “And the Psalms?  I hope you like them?” “No, sir.
Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
Everyone. The church, the parish, politicians, people who believed in God, people who didn’t believe in God… she made it her job to defend the weakest: the homeless, migrants, even criminals. Because somewhere in the Bible Jesus says something like: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was homeless and you looked after me, I was sick and you cared for me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ And then He says something like, what we do for the weakest among us, we also do for Him. And she took everything so damn literally, my wife. That’s why she kept causing trouble.
Fredrik Backman (Anxious People)
Today more than ever, we are in need not only of godly pastors and Bible teachers, but also godly lawyers, politicians, diplomats, judges, doctors, economists, educators, artists, carpenters, mechanics, and used car salesmen who see their jobs as a way to honorably represent God's ways in daily living.
Christian Overman (Assumptions That Affect Our Lives: How Worldviews Determine Values That Influence Behavior and Shape Culture)
Anonymous (Holy Bible: King James Version)
JOB14.7 For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
Anonymous (KING JAMES BIBLE - VerseSearch - Red Letter Edition)
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Job 24
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Job 6
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Job 14
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Job 11
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Job 25
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Job 29
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Job 34
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Job 31
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Job 27
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Job 5
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Job 32
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Job 30
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Job 15
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Job 3
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Job 28
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JOB19.25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
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Job 20
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Job 22
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Job 1
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Job 2
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Job 17
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job.3.1 After this opened Job his mouth, and cursed his day.
Anonymous (King James Bible (KJV))
Job 26
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Job 4
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JOB1.1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.
Anonymous (The Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV))
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Job 16
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Job 8
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Job 19
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Job 21
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Job 7
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Job 10
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Job 23
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Job 13
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JOB1.21 And said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: King James Version)
pride.” Job’s Confession
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
8 And the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that
Anonymous (The Holy Bible: English Standard Version)
The first job of self-control is resisting the temptation to put yourself first.
Drew Dyck (Your Future Self Will Thank You: Secrets to Self-Control from the Bible and Brain Science (A Guide for Sinners, Quitters, and Procrastinators))
With what dread and apprehension we entrust important jobs into the hands of others. Imagine the love of a needless God who is willing to want our work.
Calvin Miller (The Words of Christ: An Every Day Journey with Jesus)
On any job application I ever do, if they want my references, I always list the Bible.
Jarod Kintz (This Book is Not for Sale)
Job is an optimist. He shakes the pillars of the world and strikes insanely at the heavens; he lashes the stars, but it is not to silence them; it is to make them speak.
G.K. Chesterton
Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord praised.
Bible, Job 1:21, NASV
The Holy Spirit acts as an agent of TOTAL RECALL. One of his jobs is to bring to memory the word of God.
Darshan Nicole Williams (SELAH)
20, 51; 1 Thess. 4:13–17). Sleep is an excellent analogy. The
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
Job 9
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Job 33
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Job 18
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To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, Even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.
Anonymous (Holy Bible: The New King James Version)
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When we humans attempt to humble others, we tend to do harm in the process. We humiliate in ways that either tear down and destroy a person or propel a person in self-defense toward greater expressions of pride or self-exaltation. Only God has the capacity to cause the precise internal and external circumstances that will bring a person to appropriate humility. Only
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
We are living in a fear epidemic, stoked in part by a 24/7 media that makes tragedies from around the world seem part of our everyday experience, or makes a global pandemic appear to be crouching at our door. We live in a time of great uncertainty, when important things that we once thought we could rely upon, like a job for life, have been taken from us. Perhaps not since World War II has a generation been exposed to such uncertainty and fear. The causes may be different, but the effects can be the same. In such a time as this, if you want to live your life free from fear then remind yourself, every day, that your shepherd is with you, every step of the way. Trust in him, your shepherd is with you always, and he is mighty to save.
David Knott (The Psalm 23 Life: Experiencing the Love of God Every Day)
When I tried to meet some impossible standard for motherhood, tried to earn my way to a weird sort of Proverbs 31 Woman Club, I collapsed in exhaustion and simmering anger, sadness, and failure. This was not life in the Vine, this exhausting job description; this was not the Kingdom of God, let alone a redeemed woman living full. This was the shell of someone trying to measure up, trying to earn through her mothering what God had already freely given. This was someone feeling the weight of unmet expectations from the Church and her own self and the world all at once.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
job.2.12 And when they lifted up their eyes afar off, and knew him not, they lifted up their voice, and wept; and they rent every one his mantle, and sprinkled dust upon their heads toward heaven.
Anonymous (King James Bible (KJV))
Social anxiety disorder”—which essentially means pathological shyness—is now thought to afflict nearly one in five of us. The most recent version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV), the psychiatrist’s bible of mental disorders, considers the fear of public speaking to be a pathology—not an annoyance, not a disadvantage, but a disease—if it interferes with the sufferer’s job performance.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
If you have ever belonged to such a community, however, you may have discovered that the trouble starts when darkness falls on your life, which can happen in any number of unsurprising ways: you lose your job, your marriage falls apart, your child acts out in some attention getting way, you pray hard for something that does not happen, you begin to doubt some of the things you have been taught about what the Bible says. The first time you speak of these things in a full solar church, you can usually get a hearing. Continue to speak of them and you may be reminded that God will not let you be tested beyond your strength. All that is required of you is to have faith. If you still do not get the message, sooner or later it will be made explicit for you: the darkness is your own fault, because you do not have enough faith.
Barbara Brown Taylor
The job of a leader is often to carry the burden of worry and concern alone to spare his followers worry over that which they, as followers, cannot change or influence even if they had all of the discomforting facts.
Daniel Lapin (Business Secrets from the Bible: Spiritual Success Strategies for Financial Abundance)
Finding things and losing things is what the Bible is all about. God even seemed to encourage it. He talked about losing your job, or even your life, if you want to find it. He talked about losing your status to find real power.
Bob Goff (Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World)
Then he opened the Bible Queen Alexandra had given them and ripped out the flyleaf and the page containing the Twenty-third Psalm. He also tore out the page from the Book of Job with this verse on it: Out of whose womb came the ice? And the hoary frost of Heaven, who hath gendered it? The waters are hid as with a stone. And the face of the deep is frozen. The he laid the Bible in the snow and walked away. It was a dramatic gesture, but that was the way Shackleton wanted it. From studying the outcome of past expeditions, he believed that those that burdened themselves with equipment to meet every contingency had fared much worse than those that had sacrificed total preparedness for speed.
Alfred Lansing (Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage)
When something doesn’t go your way, you respond with humor and wit instead of anger and emotion. You understand that your energy is better suited for the big battles—such as job layoffs or family deaths—and not for rejections by strangers.
Roosh V. (Bang: The Pickup Bible That Helps You Get More Lays)
God is still breathing. The Bible is both inspired and inspiring. Our job is to ready the sails and gather the embers, to discuss and debate, and like the biblical character Jacob, to wrestle with the mystery until God gives us a blessing.
Rachel Held Evans (Inspired: Slaying Giants, Walking on Water, and Loving the Bible Again (series_title))
Jethro, be reasonable. I'm here by order of the President. Do you understand? The President of the United States—the most powerful man in the world.” “Anyone who swears on a Bible to get inaugurated into his job doesn't qualify as powerful to me.
Zoltan Istvan (The Transhumanist Wager)
To learn about ‘true’ early Christianity Read the Church Fathers” And THIRD, a big lie: Warning: The “Early Church Fathers” were not the real Early Church Fathers! If you want to be a Roman Catholic, read their books. THIS WAS THE BIGGEST CON JOB IN HISTORY!
David W. Daniels (Did the Catholic Church Give Us the Bible?)
For two hundred years we had sawed and sawed and sawed at the branch we were sitting on. And in the end, much more suddenly than anyone had foreseen, our efforts were rewarded, and down we came. But unfortunately there had been a little mistake: The thing at the bottom was not a bed of roses after all; it was a cesspool full of barbed wire . . . It appears that amputation of the soul isn’t just a simple surgical job, like having your appendix out. The wound has a tendency to go septic. —GEORGE ORWELL Notes on the Way, 1940
Vishal Mangalwadi (The Book that Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization)
You’re a literary person. If you ask me, there are passages in the Bible that a lover of literature has to appreciate, even if they have no interest in religious matters. The Book of Job, for example. A great mystery, and full of wonderful metaphors. None of this purple prose.
Pasi Ilmari Jääskeläinen (The Rabbit Back Literature Society)
It’s interesting that in the Bible, in the book of Ecclesiastes, the only practical advice given about living a meaningful life is to find a job you like, enjoy your marriage, and obey God. It’s as though God is saying, Write a good story, take somebody with you, and let me help.
Donald Miller (A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life)
The context of the entire book of Job—the book in the Bible that deals most with this subject—is pain. “Why?” Job asked from various vantage points, but not once did he question God’s existence. He struggled with wanting to know God’s purpose and understand His ways. Job wondered about the purpose of his own existence, but he never questioned God’s existence. Deep within he ultimately recognized that outside of God there were no answers, just haunting questions. But in the philosophical and the theological pursuits of the answers to the reality of his experience two realities emerged, one negative and the other positive. First, the negative: the colossal failure of his friends. They were at their best when they took time out of their own lives just to be with him, saying nothing. The moment they began to give their own observations for why Job was suffering and offer their suggestions for remedying his situation, Job’s pain intensified. To be loved and feel cared about is what someone who is hurting needs from friends. The person who is experiencing pain and suffering simply needs to know that he or she is not alone.
Ravi Zacharias (Why Suffering?: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn't Make Sense)
Since one could virtually open the Bible to any page and likely find something that speaks to his particular situation, is it fair to attribute this to the voice of God? After all, the Bible is not the only relevant book in existence. There are other religions with other scriptural texts which could do the same job. In fact, the text need not even be “scriptural.” I could select Sartre’s “Existentialism and Humanism” off the shelf, randomly flip to any page, and likely find something applicable to my life. Does this mean God is speaking through the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, a man who was by no means considered a friend to Christian thought? If the answer is yes, then who really needs to read the Bible? If this God is capable of turning anything into his “word” at any time, then you could theoretically receive a message from him in your Alpha-Bits.
Michael Vito Tosto (Portrait of an Infidel: The Acerbic Account of How a Passionate Christian Became an Ardent Atheist)
A mature Christian recognizes that correcting every wrong on the Internet would take more hours than a full-time job. If you snap every time your great-aunt’s friend’s cousin thrice-removed makes a snarky comment about “all the contradictions in the Bible,” it will consume you and your joy.
Ed Stetzer (Christians in the Age of Outrage: How to Bring Our Best When the World Is at Its Worst)
So could a woman be faithfully keeping her house, in exactly the way Paul tells her to, but also have “a job”? Well, the Proverbs 31 woman was doing it—so it would be ludicrous of us to say that women may not engage in any business ventures. Of course the Bible doesn’t prohibit a woman making money. On the other hand, as I’ve written before, that’s not really the problem of our generation. We’ve got bigger questions to answer. We are a generation that needs to recover a sense of the importance of the home, and the importance of wives and mothers who are invested in their people.
Rebekah Merkle (Eve in Exile and the Restoration of Femininity)
Bagpipe Music' It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw, All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow. Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python, Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison. John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa, Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker, Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey, Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty. It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky, All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi. Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather, Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna. It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture, All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture. The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober, Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over. Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion, Said to the midwife 'Take it away; I'm through with overproduction'. It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh, All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby. Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage, Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage. His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish, Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish. It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible, All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle. It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium, It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums, It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections, Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension. It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet; Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit. The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever, But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.
Louis MacNeice
And so of course we won't define 'biblical womanhood' well using a list of chores or a job description, a schedule or income level. After all, healthy God-glorifying homes look as different as the image bearers that entered into the covenant, biblical doesn't mean a baptized version of any culture, ancient or modern. No, I am a biblical woman because I live and move and have my being in the daily reality of being a follower of Jesus, living in the reality of being loved, in full trust of my Abba. I am a biblical woman because I follow in the footsteps of all the biblical women who cam before me. Biblical womanhood isn't so different from biblical personhood. Biblical personhood becomes a dead list of rules when it becomes a law to keep. If we have a long list of rules—Put others first! Be generous! Give money! Believe this! Do that!— it's a dead religion from a glorified rule book.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
Job 3:10. Because it shut not up the doors of my mother's womb, nor hid sorrow from mine eyes. Job 3:12. Why did the knees prevent me? or why the breasts that I should suck? Job 10:18. Wherefore then hast thou brought me forth out of the womb? Oh that I had given up the ghost, and no eye had seen me! Job 10:19
Anonymous (Bible, King James (KJV Annotated))
The key to seeing ourselves in this picture is to firmly grasp that God is still working his plan even when we can’t see it. We cannot genuinely claim to believe in the unseen, supernatural world while not believing that God’s intelligent providence is active in our lives and the affairs of human history. God wants us to live intentionally​—believing that his unseen hand and the invisible agents loyal to him and us (Heb. 1:14) are engaged in our circumstances so that, together, God’s goal of a global Eden moves unstoppably onward. Each of us is vital to someone’s path to the kingdom and the defense of that kingdom. Each day affords us contact with people under the dominion of darkness and opportunities to encourage each other in the hard task of fulfilling our purpose in an imperfect world. Everything we do and say matters, though we may never know why or how. But our job isn’t to see—it’s to do. Walking by faith isn’t passive—it’s purposeful.
Michael S. Heiser (Supernatural: What the Bible Teaches about the Unseen World And Why It Matters)
...the job of the spiritual memoirist is to read the world like a book. Medieval monks believed the natural world was a scriptural text, liber mundi, requiring as much study and devotion as the Bible. This impulse is literary as well: Writers are constantly alert to the environment, seeking out its inherent metaphoric resonance.
Elizabeth J. Andrew
Most churches do not grow beyond the spiritual health of their leadership. Many churches have a pastor who is trying to lead people to a Savior he has yet to personally encounter. If spiritual gifting is no proof of authentic faith, then certainly a job title isn't either. You must have a clear sense of calling before you enter ministry. Being a called man is a lonely job, and many times you feel like God has abandoned you in your ministry. Ministry is more than hard. Ministry is impossible. And unless we have a fire inside our bones compelling us, we simply will not survive. Pastoral ministry is a calling, not a career. It is not a job you pursue. If you don’t think demons are real, try planting a church! You won’t get very far in advancing God’s kingdom without feeling resistance from the enemy. If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. Once a month I get away for the day, once a quarter I try to get out for two days, and once a year I try to get away for a week. The purpose of these times is rest, relaxation, and solitude with God. A pastor must always be fearless before his critics and fearful before his God. Let us tremble at the thought of neglecting the sheep. Remember that when Christ judges us, he will judge us with a special degree of strictness. The only way you will endure in ministry is if you determine to do so through the prevailing power of the Holy Spirit. The unsexy reality of the pastorate is that it involves hard work—the heavy-lifting, curse-ridden, unyielding employment of your whole person for the sake of the church. Pastoral ministry requires dogged, unyielding determination, and determination can only come from one source—God himself. Passive staff members must be motivated. Erring elders and deacons must be confronted. Divisive church members must be rebuked. Nobody enjoys doing such things (if you do, you should be not be a pastor!), but they are necessary in order to have a healthy church over the long haul. If you allow passivity, laziness, and sin to fester, you will soon despise the church you pastor. From the beginning of sacred Scripture (Gen. 2:17) to the end (Rev. 21:8), the penalty for sin is death. Therefore, if we sin, we should die. But it is Jesus, the sinless one, who dies in our place for our sins. The good news of the gospel is that Jesus died to take to himself the penalty of our sin. The Bible is not Christ-centered because it is generally about Jesus. It is Christ-centered because the Bible’s primary purpose, from beginning to end, is to point us toward the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus for the salvation and sanctification of sinners. Christ-centered preaching goes much further than merely providing suggestions for how to live; it points us to the very source of life and wisdom and explains how and why we have access to him. Felt needs are set into the context of the gospel, so that the Christian message is not reduced to making us feel better about ourselves. If you do not know how sinful you are, you feel no need of salvation. Sin-exposing preaching helps people come face-to-face with their sin and their great need for a Savior. We can worship in heaven, and we can talk to God in heaven, and we can read our Bibles in heaven, but we can’t share the gospel with our lost friends in heaven. “Would your city weep if your church did not exist?” It was crystal-clear for me. Somehow, through fear or insecurity, I had let my dreams for our church shrink. I had stopped thinking about the limitless things God could do and had been distracted by my own limitations. I prayed right there that God would forgive me of my small-mindedness. I asked God to forgive my lack of faith that God could use a man like me to bring the message of the gospel through our missionary church to our lost city. I begged God to renew my heart and mind with a vision for our city that was more like Christ's.
Darrin Patrick (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission)
In the Bible, God uses several different types of writing to convey his truth. There are narratives (often with commentary), preaching and exhortation (as in the prophets), laws and regulations, the distilled wisdom of Proverbs, philosophical discussion (as in Job and Ecclesiastes), and poetry (as in the Psalms). Poetry has its own ways.
J. Stafford Wright (Psalms, a Guide Psalm by Psalm)
But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. Or speak to the Earth, and let it teach you; And the fish of the sea declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?
Job 12:7-10
My point is, sometimes letting go of things we care about can cause greater things to come our way. Think of Job in the Bible. Satan used him as his plaything and took all the man had. But Job, he kept his faith. He loved God, knew true love, and didn't let the worldly things sway him. And God blessed him for it, with twice as much as he had before.
Allyson Kennedy (The Fall (The Ballad of Emery Brooks, #2))
They tell you the story of Job so often to remind you when you lose it all, stay calm. I've always refused it. I hated the story. It made no sense, and then I developed the belief that religion’s only purpose is to keep the poor from murdering the rich. And then I found the most dangerous folks are those who have nothing to lose, and I put it all together.
Darnell Lamont Walker
Typically, preachers in our work-oriented society teach that God rested to provide humanity with a precedent for rest, an example for our good. Seldom have I heard mention of the other meaning for rest, the one used in musical notation. This meaning refers to cessation rather than recovery from weariness. Our enjoyment of music owes much to these brief pauses.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
Speak Life Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life]. PROVERBS 18:21 If we ride to work with somebody and gossip about our boss and talk about how we hate our job and what a stupid place it is, we will have a bad day. The Bible says, “A man’s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]” (Proverbs 18:20). Clearly, we will have to eat our words, so we need to talk about the right things to be happy. If we murmur and gossip, we will eat the fruit of death. But if we speak life, we will eat the fruit of the Spirit (see Matthew 12:37). Choose to eat good fruit today.
Joyce Meyer (Starting Your Day Right: Devotions for Each Morning of the Year)
When Lebanese Muslims and Palestinians declared jihad on Christians in 1975, we didn’t even know what that word meant. We had taken the Palestinians in, giving them refuge in our country, allowing them to study side by side with us in our schools and universities. We gave them jobs and shared our way of life with them. What started as political war spiraled very fast into a religious war between Muslims and Christians, with Lebanese Muslims joining the PLO fighting the Christians. We didn’t realize the depth of their hatred and resentment toward us as infidels. The more that Christians refused to get involved in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to allow the Palestinians to use Lebanon as a launching pad from which to attack Israel, the more the Palestinians looked at us as the enemy. Muslims started making statements such as “First comes Saturday, then comes Sunday,” meaning first we fight the Jews, then we come for the Christians. Christian presence, influence, and democracy became an obstacle in the Palestinians' fight against Israel. Koranic verses such as sura 5:51—"Believers, take not Jews and Christians for your friends. They are but friends and protectors to each other"—became the driving force in recruiting Muslim youth. Many Christians barely knew the Bible, let alone the Koran and what it taught about us, the infidels. We should have seen the long-simmering tension between Muslims and Christians beginning to erupt, but we refused to believe that such hatred and such animosity existed. America also failed to recognize this hatred throughout all the attacks launched against it, beginning with the marine barracks bombing in Beirut in 1983 all the way up to September 11, 2001. It was that horrible day that made Americans finally ask, What is jihad? And why do they hate us? I have a very simple answer for them: because you are “infidels.
Brigitte Gabriel (Because They Hate)
Jack Miles's wonderful literary reading of the Hebrew Bible as a biography of God offers the insight that after the Book of Job, God never speaks again. God may seem to silence Job, but Job silences God. It is lovely that Job silencing God is part of the text (though likely an accidental order of the books), because it reflects a real change in the real world after the Book of Job came into it.
Jennifer Michael Hecht (Doubt: A History)
read the Bible daily? That means every day without fail. Each of us should say to ourselves,“No Bible, no breakfast. No read, no feed.” Be like Job, who “treasured the words of His mouth more than [his] necessary food” (Job 23:12, emphasis added). The key is to put your Bible before your belly—to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. If we are not “disciples” of Christ—disciplined to His Word—we will more than likely reproduce after our own kind. If we are worldly and undisciplined, our kids may grow up to follow our poor example of what a Christian should be. If we are hypocrites, we may just reproduce hypocrites. What greater parental betrayal could there be than to lead your children to hell? So esteem God’s Word more than your necessary food, and teach your kids to do the same.
Ray Comfort (How to Bring Your Children to Christ...& Keep Them There: Avoiding the Tragedy of False Conversion)
In one sense, the dialogue between Job and his friends serves as one of the greatest worship examples in the Bible. Though the five men differed in their understanding of God and his ways, each stayed with the conversation, wrestling with his beliefs, and meanwhile repeatedly extolling God for his greatness, majesty, justice, and mercy. Each man revered him as Creator and ultimate Authority over all creation.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
It was a journalist (it was always journalists these days), and she had something to read to him. She’d had a crash course in media relations since her exams, and dealing with them/it had taught her there was no point in trying to deal with each one separately. To give some unique point of view to the Financial Times and then to the Mirror and then to the Daily Mail was impossible. It was their job, not yours, to get the angle, to write their separate book of the huge media bible. Each to their own. Reporters were factional, fanatical, obsessively defending their own turf, propounding the same thing day after day. So it had always been. Who would have guessed that Luke and John would take such different angles on the scoop of the century, the death of the Lord? It just went to prove that you couldn’t trust these guys.
Zadie Smith (White Teeth)
Themes of descent often turn on the struggle between the titanic and the demonic within the same person or group. In Moby Dick, Ahab’s quest for the whale may be mad and “monomaniacal,” as it is frequently called, or even evil so far as he sacrifices his crew and ship to it, but evil or revenge are not the point of the quest. The whale itself may be only a “dumb brute,” as the mate says, and even if it were malignantly determined to kill Ahab, such an attitude, in a whale hunted to the death, would certainly be understandable if it were there. What obsesses Ahab is in a dimension of reality much further down than any whale, in an amoral and alienating world that nothing normal in the human psyche can directly confront. The professed quest is to kill Moby Dick, but as the portents of disaster pile up it becomes clear that a will to identify with (not adjust to) what Conrad calls the destructive element is what is really driving Ahab. Ahab has, Melville says, become a “Prometheus” with a vulture feeding on him. The axis image appears in the maelstrom or descending spiral (“vortex”) of the last few pages, and perhaps in a remark by one of Ahab’s crew: “The skewer seems loosening out of the middle of the world.” But the descent is not purely demonic, or simply destructive: like other creative descents, it is partly a quest for wisdom, however fatal the attaining of such wisdom may be. A relation reminiscent of Lear and the fool develops at the end between Ahab and the little black cabin boy Pip, who has been left so long to swim in the sea that he has gone insane. Of him it is said that he has been “carried down alive to wondrous depths, where strange shapes of the unwarped primal world glided to and fro . . . and the miser-merman, Wisdom, revealed his hoarded heaps.” Moby Dick is as profound a treatment as modern literature affords of the leviathan symbolism of the Bible, the titanic-demonic force that raises Egypt and Babylon to greatness and then hurls them into nothingness; that is both an enemy of God outside the creation, and, as notably in Job, a creature within it of whom God is rather proud. The leviathan is revealed to Job as the ultimate mystery of God’s ways, the “king over all the children of pride” (41:34), of whom Satan himself is merely an instrument. What this power looks like depends on how it is approached. Approached by Conrad’s Kurtz through his Antichrist psychosis, it is an unimaginable horror: but it may also be a source of energy that man can put to his own use. There are naturally considerable risks in trying to do so: risks that Rimbaud spoke of in his celebrated lettre du voyant as a “dérèglement de tous les sens.” The phrase indicates the close connection between the titanic and the demonic that Verlaine expressed in his phrase poète maudit, the attitude of poets who feel, like Ahab, that the right worship of the powers they invoke is defiance.
Northrop Frye (Words with Power: Being a Second Study of the Bible and Literature)
voracious reader, and it dawned on her that a corporate job in Tampa or Jacksonville was not, in fact, the be-all and end-all. Something lay beyond that point. Florence had haunted the library, desperate for glimpses of lives unlike her own. She had a penchant for stories about glamorous, doomed women like Anna Karenina and Isabel Archer. Soon, however, her fascination shifted from the women in the stories to the women who wrote them. She devoured the diaries of Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf, who were far more glamorous and doomed than any of their characters. But without a doubt, Florence’s Bible was Slouching Towards Bethlehem. Admittedly, she spent more time scrolling through photos of Joan Didion in her sunglasses and Corvette Stingray than actually reading her, but the lesson stuck. All she had to do was become a writer, and her alienation would magically transform into evidence of brilliance rather than a source of shame. When she looked into the future, she saw herself at a beautiful desk next to a window, typing her next great book. She could never quite see the words on the screen, but she knew they were brilliant and would prove once and for all that she was special. Everyone would know the name Florence Darrow. And who’d trade that for a condo?
Alexandra Andrews (Who Is Maud Dixon?)
The first known prosecution took place in Egypt around 1300 BC, for a crime that would today constitute practicing medicine without a license. (That supernatural medic was male.) Descended from Celtic horned gods and Teutonic folklore, Pan's distant ancestor the devil was not yet on the scene. He arrived with the New Testament, a volume notably free of witches. Nothing in the Bible connects the two, a job that fell, much later, to the church.
Stacy Schiff (The Witches: Salem, 1692)
Most people, like the Israelites, complain far more often than they express gratitude. People frequently register a complaint with a manufacturer or service provider, but they rarely write a note of thanks for a job well done. We would all do well to consider writing a thank you note each time we write a letter of complaint. Similarly, and more importantly, too many people criticize their spouses more often than they compliment them. That is the road to an unhappy marriage.
Dennis Prager (The Rational Bible: Exodus)
born and raised in Honolulu but had spent four years of his childhood flying kites and catching crickets in Indonesia. After high school, he’d passed two relatively laid-back years as a student at Occidental College in Los Angeles before transferring to Columbia, where by his own account he’d behaved nothing like a college boy set loose in 1980s Manhattan and instead lived like a sixteenth-century mountain hermit, reading lofty works of literature and philosophy in a grimy apartment on 109th Street, writing bad poetry, and fasting on Sundays. We laughed about all of it, swapping stories about our backgrounds and what led us to the law. Barack was serious without being self-serious. He was breezy in his manner but powerful in his mind. It was a strange, stirring combination. Surprising to me, too, was how well he knew Chicago. Barack was the first person I’d met at Sidley who had spent time in the barbershops, barbecue joints, and Bible-thumping black parishes of the Far South Side. Before going to law school, he’d worked in Chicago for three years as a community organizer, earning $12,000 a year from a nonprofit that bound together a coalition of churches. His task was to help rebuild neighborhoods and bring back jobs. As he described it, it had been two parts frustration to one part reward: He’d spend weeks planning a community meeting, only to have a dozen people show up. His efforts were scoffed at by union leaders and picked apart by black folks and white folks alike. Yet over time, he’d won a few incremental victories, and this seemed to encourage him. He was in law school, he explained, because grassroots organizing had shown him that meaningful societal change required not just the work of the people on the ground but stronger policies and governmental action as well. Despite my resistance to the hype that had preceded him, I found myself admiring Barack for both his self-assuredness and his earnest demeanor. He was refreshing, unconventional, and weirdly elegant.
Michelle Obama (Becoming)
We need, then, to ask people questions and get them talking. We ought to know more about the Bible than they do, but they are likely to know more about the real world than we do. So we should encourage them to tell us about their home and family life, their job, their expertise and their spare-time interests. We also need to penetrate beyond their doing to their thinking. What makes them tick? How does their Christian faith motivate them? What problems do they have which impede their believing or inhibit them from applying their faith to their life?
John R.W. Stott (Between Two Worlds)
One of the bad habits that we pick up early in our lives is separating things and people into secular and sacred. We assume that the secular is what we are more or less in charge of: our jobs, our time, our entertainment, our government, our social relations. The sacred is what God has charge of: worship and the Bible, heaven and hell, church and prayers. We then contrive to set aside a sacred place for God, designed, we say, to honor God but really intended to keep God in his place, leaving us free to have the final say about everything else that goes on.
Anonymous (The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language)
Job’s account of creation tells us that after God “laid the earth’s foundation” he “made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness” (38:4, 9). The pronouns “its” and “it” here refer to the vast sea that covered the entire surface of Earth at the time. Job leaves no room for ambiguity. Darkness initially pervades the surface of the deep (Gen. 1:2) not because the sun and stars hadn’t yet been created, but rather because Earth’s primordial atmosphere was like a thick blanket that prevented light from penetrating to the surface of Earth’s waters.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
We struggle to interpret some difficult passages, not simply because we want to weasel out of the Bible's plain demands, but also because we know that sometimes Scripture corrects Scripture. Within the canon is an ongoing argument with itself over certain subjects. In Matthew's Gospel, Jesus often pronounces, "You have heard it said [in Scripture], but I say to you . . ." Most scholars see the book of Job as an extended argument of the smug equation of good works equaling easy lives that occurs in some of the Wisdom Literature. Scripture interprets Scripture.
William H. Willimon (The Best of William H. Willimon: Acting Up in Jesus' Name)
mean that you can’t do anything else but pray. But it does mean that you are always ready and willing to go before God with any concern or praise. Nothing is too small or too big for prayer. Prayer is simply opening your heart and connecting with God. It’s taking His promises and applying them to your life. Prayer processes the plan of God. You should bathe your life in prayer. Pray for wisdom, peace, and patience. Pray for your relationships, your job, and your children. Pray for your country and leaders. Pray with others, knowing that when two or more are gathered in His name, He is there.
Joel Osteen (Hope for Today Bible)
The graves in the Pet Sematary mimed the most ancient religious symbol of all: diminishing circles indicating a spiral leading down, not to a point, but to infinity; order from chaos or chaos from order, depending on which way your mind worked. It was a symbol the Egyptians had chiseled on the tombs of the Pharaohs, a symbol the Phoenicians had drawn on the barrows of their fallen kings; it was found on cave walls in ancient Mycenae; the guild-kings of Stonehenge had created it as a clock to time the universe; it appeared in the Judeo-Christian Bible as the whirlwind from which God had spoken to Job.
Stephen King (Pet Sematary)
When my personal world is falling apart and something or someone precious is at stake, it is frightening when God doesn't show up to hold things together, especially when I'm begging him to come....Christians are great pretenders. We tell ourselves it's not supposed to be this way for Christians, and so we resort to a cover-up....God won't and doesn't participate in this kind of masquerade. ....On every page of the Bible there is recognition that faith encounters troubles. We are broken ourselves and can't escape the brokenness and loss of our fallen world. ....An honest reading [of Job and Naomi's stories] reveals a God who doesn't explain himself. He didn't tell Job about his earlier conversation with Satan and he didn't give Naomi three good reasons why her world fell apart. Both sufferers went to their graves with their whys unanswered and the ache of their losses still intact. But somehow, because they met God in their pain, both also gained a deeper kind of trust in him that weathers adversity and refuses to let go of God. Their stories coax us to get down to the business of wrestling with God instead of chasing rainbows and to employ the same kind of brutal honesty that they did, if we dare.
Carolyn Custis James (The Gospel of Ruth: Loving God Enough to Break the Rules)
A different study revealed another aspect of humanity’s unique spiritual nature—the capacity for malevolence. It appears that only humans among Earth’s creatures harm each other for harm’s sake.[64] The research team housed chimpanzees in cages that allowed them to withhold food from other chimpanzees by pulling on a rope. The researchers found that the chimpanzees would withhold food (in a statistically significant manner) only from chimpanzees that stole their food—not from others. In others words, they showed no tendency toward behavior that in humans would be defined as “spite” or displaced retaliatory anger. The research team concluded that spiteful behavior appears unique to humans. Only humans engage in malicious behavior toward fellow humans for no reason other than the impulse to hurt or harm someone. The team also commented on humanity’s flip side, “pure altruism.” Only humans, not primates, engage in self-sacrificial acts performed to assist or benefit other humans or even animals with whom no social context has ever been or likely will be established. In other words, the study confirmed what the Bible says about humanity’s spiritual nature and condition: humans are uniquely sinful and uniquely righteous among all living creatures.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
Animals at the high end of heartbeat longevity, such as mice, cats, dogs, horses, elephants, and whales, have the capacity for as many as a billion heartbeats within their life spans. Human hearts, on the other hand, can sustain nearly three billion beats in a lifetime. This significant difference in humans’ capacity for longevity demands explanation. The human body’s characteristics allowing for such extended activity on all levels (physical, mental, and spiritual) suggests uniqueness of design and purpose. It argues for a qualitative rather than mere quantitative difference between humans and the rest of Earth’s creatures.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
My personal belief is that Job is the key book in the Bible,” Virgil said. “The question of why God allows evil to exist.” Feur leaned forward, intent on the point: “Job talks of the world as it is. Revelation tells us what is coming. I’m not entirely of this world, Mr. Flowers; not entirely. Some of this world has been burned out of me.” Virgil said, “We’re all entirely of this world, Reverend. You’re just like anybody else, going to and fro on the earth, and walking up and down on it.” Feur was smiling at him, then shook his head once and said to Trevor, “Show Mr. Flowers to the door. And give him one of our booklets about the niggers.
John Sandford (Dark Of The Moon (Virgil Flowers, #1))
You see, when you marry someone, they do become “the one.” They’re the one you’ve committed to love for the rest of your life. The Bible even says that the two of you together become one (Mark 10:7–8). And they will still be the one when they gain weight, lose weight, lose their job, get cancer, or make mistakes. It’s not magical, but that’s what makes it wonderful. It means you’re accepted and loved and secure in your relationship despite your flaws. It means you’ll always pursue each other and work to reconcile any disagreements, because that’s what you’ve taken a covenantc vow to do. In other words, it sounds a lot like our relationship with Christ.
Jonathan Pokluda (Outdated: Find Love That Lasts When Dating Has Changed)
Tu viens d'incendier la Bibliothèque ? - Oui. J'ai mis le feu là. - Mais c'est un crime inouï ! Crime commis par toi contre toi-même, infâme ! Mais tu viens de tuer le rayon de ton âme ! C'est ton propre flambeau que tu viens de souffler ! Ce que ta rage impie et folle ose brûler, C'est ton bien, ton trésor, ta dot, ton héritage Le livre, hostile au maître, est à ton avantage. Le livre a toujours pris fait et cause pour toi. Une bibliothèque est un acte de foi Des générations ténébreuses encore Qui rendent dans la nuit témoignage à l'aurore. Quoi! dans ce vénérable amas des vérités, Dans ces chefs-d'oeuvre pleins de foudre et de clartés, Dans ce tombeau des temps devenu répertoire, Dans les siècles, dans l'homme antique, dans l'histoire, Dans le passé, leçon qu'épelle l'avenir, Dans ce qui commença pour ne jamais finir, Dans les poètes! quoi, dans ce gouffre des bibles, Dans le divin monceau des Eschyles terribles, Des Homères, des jobs, debout sur l'horizon, Dans Molière, Voltaire et Kant, dans la raison, Tu jettes, misérable, une torche enflammée ! De tout l'esprit humain tu fais de la fumée ! As-tu donc oublié que ton libérateur, C'est le livre ? Le livre est là sur la hauteur; Il luit; parce qu'il brille et qu'il les illumine, Il détruit l'échafaud, la guerre, la famine Il parle, plus d'esclave et plus de paria. Ouvre un livre. Platon, Milton, Beccaria. Lis ces prophètes, Dante, ou Shakespeare, ou Corneille L'âme immense qu'ils ont en eux, en toi s'éveille ; Ébloui, tu te sens le même homme qu'eux tous ; Tu deviens en lisant grave, pensif et doux ; Tu sens dans ton esprit tous ces grands hommes croître, Ils t'enseignent ainsi que l'aube éclaire un cloître À mesure qu'il plonge en ton coeur plus avant, Leur chaud rayon t'apaise et te fait plus vivant ; Ton âme interrogée est prête à leur répondre ; Tu te reconnais bon, puis meilleur; tu sens fondre, Comme la neige au feu, ton orgueil, tes fureurs, Le mal, les préjugés, les rois, les empereurs ! Car la science en l'homme arrive la première. Puis vient la liberté. Toute cette lumière, C'est à toi comprends donc, et c'est toi qui l'éteins ! Les buts rêvés par toi sont par le livre atteints. Le livre en ta pensée entre, il défait en elle Les liens que l'erreur à la vérité mêle, Car toute conscience est un noeud gordien. Il est ton médecin, ton guide, ton gardien. Ta haine, il la guérit ; ta démence, il te l'ôte. Voilà ce que tu perds, hélas, et par ta faute ! Le livre est ta richesse à toi ! c'est le savoir, Le droit, la vérité, la vertu, le devoir, Le progrès, la raison dissipant tout délire. Et tu détruis cela, toi ! - Je ne sais pas lire.
Victor Hugo
People want black-and-white answers, but Scripture is rainbow arch across a stormy sky. Our sacred book is not an indexed answer book or life manual; it is also a grand story, mystery, invitation, truth and wisdom, and a passionate love letter. I’ve abandoned the idea that my job is to get the absolute, 100 percent right answers on everything. And my task here, in this book, isn’t to silence all discussion or find the magic key that unlocks a “This is the answer! Case closed! Court dismissed!” answer for you. I want you to wrestle with the Bible. Do it. Wrestle until, Jacob-like, you walk with a limp ever after, and you receive the blessing of the Lord.
Sarah Bessey (Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women)
Why do I say that? Because if you are expecting just prayer to do it, it won’t work. It’s exercising faith in God’s Word that makes prayer work. To expect prayer itself to do the job is the same as expecting your physical hand to unlock a car door; it can’t do it by itself. You have to have the key to unlock the door. And in prayer you have to have faith in the Name of Jesus and in the Word of God in order to get the job done. The Name of Jesus is our key. I think sometimes we think we can move God with our tears and our prayers and our fasting. But God doesn’t ever change. He’s always the same (Mal. 3:6; Heb. 13:8). God moves when you come to Him according
Kenneth E. Hagin (Bible Prayer Study Course)
In the stories of faith I grew up with, men were allowed a full range of emotion: King David, who calls on God to destroy his enemies. Absalom rising up against his father the king. Jonah stewing under his tree, looking out on the city God saved but he hates. Job crying out to God for his miserable fate. But the rage of good women in the Bible is all in the subtext. Nowhere is there an Eve angry for being removed from Eden and the loss of her two sons. Where is Esther, where is her horror and pain watching the genocide of her people? Or Ruth, who followed her miserable mother-in-law to a foreign land and had to listen to that lady bitching as if she felt nothing? The women allowed to have feelings in the Bible are always the villains. Michal sneering at David that he ought to put his clothes on and stop dancing like a naked fool. She is indicted for her words, but hadn’t she just been married, abandoned, and then taken back by this man? Used as a political pawn, then ignored for Bathsheba. Then there is Sarah, who beat her maidservant Hagar, blaming her for what should have rightly fallen on the shoulders of Abraham. And Job’s wife, who Biblical scholars condemn for telling her husband to curse God and die. But wasn’t she just wishing him a swift end to the suffering that they had walked through hand in hand?
Lyz Lenz (God Land: A Story of Faith, Loss, and Renewal in Middle America)
God is light and God is love, and when you put those two together you get fire. Fire is both light and warmth. As someone has well pointed out, fire will destroy what it cannot purify, but it purifies what it cannot destroy. That is the whole explanation of life in this present hour. We are passing through fire which is designed either to destroy that which can be destroyed, or to purify that which can never be destroyed. God is leading us through these trials and through the difficulties of our day, in order that we may learn to cry with old Job, back there in the oldest book of the Bible, He knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10).
Ray C. Stedman (How to Live What You Believe)
The Rough Beast snorted. “You don’t get it at all, buddy. It’s not about wrestling. It’s about stories. We’re storytellers.” Caperton studied him. “Somebody at my job just said that.” “It’s true! You have to be able to tell the story to get people on board for anything. A soft drink, a suck sesh, elective surgery, gardening, even your thing--public space? I prefer private space, but that’s cool. Anyway, nobody cares about anything if there isn’t a story attached. Ask the team that wrote the Bible. Ask Vincent Allan Poe.” “But doesn’t it seem kind of creepy?” Caperton said. “All of us just going around calling ourselves storytellers?” The Rough Beast shrugged. “Well, you can be negative. That’s the easy way out.
Sam Lipsyte
Though I am sometimes reluctant to admit it, there really is something 'timeless' in the Tyndale/King James synthesis. For generations, it provided a common stock of references and allusions, rivalled only by Shakespeare in this respect. It resounded in the minds and memories of literate people, as well as of those who acquired it only by listening. From the stricken beach of Dunkirk in 1940, faced with a devil’s choice between annihilation and surrender, a British officer sent a cable back home. It contained the three words 'but if not…' All of those who received it were at once aware of what it signified. In the Book of Daniel, the Babylonian tyrant Nebuchadnezzar tells the three Jewish heretics Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that, if they refuse to bow to his sacred idol, they will be flung into a 'burning fiery furnace.' They made him an answer: 'If it be so, our god whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thy hand, o King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.' A culture that does not possess this common store of image and allegory will be a perilously thin one. To seek restlessly to update it or make it 'relevant' is to miss the point, like yearning for a hip-hop Shakespeare. 'Man is born unto trouble as the sparks fly upward,' says the Book of Job. Want to try to improve that for Twitter?
Christopher Hitchens
The book of Job offers some remarkable insights into the ways these higher animals relate to humans and shows that God endowed soulish animals with unique capacities to serve and please humanity, each creature in its own special way. Job even provides a top ten list of animals that have played essential roles both in the launch of civilization and in sustaining human well-being today. The ancient observer describes how the different kinds of soulish animals offer valuable instruction and assistance to humanity. In chapters 8–11, I describe some of the amazing attributes soulish creatures manifested long before humans even existed, which readied them to meet humanity’s needs from the very first moment people appeared on Earth.
Hugh Ross (Hidden Treasures in the Book of Job (Reasons to Believe): How the Oldest Book in the Bible Answers Today's Scientific Questions)
MY FIRST ASSIGNMENT AFTER BEING ORDAINED as a pastor almost finished me. I was called to be the assistant pastor in a large and affluent suburban church. I was glad to be part of such an obviously winning organization. After I had been there a short time, a few people came to me and asked that I lead them in a Bible study. “Of course,” I said, “there is nothing I would rather do.” We met on Monday evenings. There weren’t many—eight or nine men and women—but even so that was triple the two or three that Jesus defined as a quorum. They were eager and attentive; I was full of enthusiasm. After a few weeks the senior pastor, my boss, asked me what I was doing on Monday evenings. I told him. He asked me how many people were there. I told him. He told me that I would have to stop. “Why?” I asked. “It is not cost-effective. That is too few people to spend your time on.” I was told then how I should spend my time. I was introduced to the principles of successful church administration: crowds are important, individuals are expendable; the positive must always be accented, the negative must be suppressed. Don’t expect too much of people—your job is to make them feel good about themselves and about the church. Don’t talk too much about abstractions like God and sin—deal with practical issues. We had an elaborate music program, expensively and brilliantly executed. The sermons were seven minutes long and of the sort that Father Taylor (the sailor-preacher in Boston who was the model for Father Mapple in Melville’s Moby Dick) complained of in the transcendentalists of the last century: that a person could no more be converted listening to sermons like that than get intoxicated drinking skim milk.[2] It was soon apparent that I didn’t fit. I had supposed that I was there to be a pastor: to proclaim and interpret Scripture, to guide people into a life of prayer, to encourage faith, to represent the mercy and forgiveness of Christ at special times of need, to train people to live as disciples in their families, in their communities and in their work. In fact I had been hired to help run a church and do it as efficiently as possible: to be a cheerleader to this dynamic organization, to recruit members, to lend the dignity of my office to certain ceremonial occasions, to promote the image of a prestigious religious institution. I got out of there as quickly as I could decently manage it. At the time I thought I had just been unlucky. Later I came to realize that what I experienced was not at all uncommon.
Eugene H. Peterson (Run with the Horses: The Quest for Life at Its Best)
Now, this does not negate the fact that God might choose to bless us with a great paying job, a beautiful family, and a healthy life on account of his grace. But the bottom line is we should never expect those things to happen or seek to appeal to the promise of Jeremiah 29:11–13 in order to substantiate our expectations. We have no right to hold God hostage to a promise that we have misunderstood. Friends, in the end, we should never be looking and living for our own glory in this life. Instead, we should be living for God’s glory now and waiting for the glory that we will receive from him in the life to come. The Bible says we should consider ourselves as aliens and strangers in this world. God will fulfill his promises, yes, but not all of his promises were meant to be fulfilled the way we want them to be fulfilled in this life, and we cannot twist Scripture around in order to make that happen, or to make Scripture work for us the way we want it to. We have to live by faith. And those who do will receive what he promised. And when we seek him with all of our heart, we will certainly find him. I’ve grown up a lot since church camp, and I still believe that it’s permissible for someone to choose for themselves a life verse. But let’s agree to study it in context first, lest we make the catastrophic mistake of misusing and misapplying it. Jeremiah 29:11–13 contains some great promises, but if I use it to demand the American Dream from God, then perhaps I should also be willing to literally endure seventy years of captivity first (if that’s what God should choose). I think it’s better to use it to inspire us to look for the spiritual life that is truly life now, while trusting in the future hope of the life that is yet to come.
Eric J. Bargerhuff (The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood)
But science also emerges from an ancient longing, and from an older narrative of our complex relationship with the natural world. Its primary creative grammar is the question, rather than the answer. Its primary energy is imagination rather than fact. Its primary experience is more typically trial than triumph--the journey of understanding already travelled always appears to be a trivial distance compared with the mountain road ahead. But when science recognises beauty and structure it rejoices in a double reward: there is delight both in the new object of our gaze and in the wonder that our minds are able to understand it. Scientists recognise all this--perhaps that is why when, as I have often suggested to my colleagues, they pick up and read through the closing chapters of the Old Testament book of Job, they later return with responses of astonishment and delight.
Tom McLeish (Faith and Wisdom in Science)
The key point here is Macaulay’s belief that “knowledge and reflection” on the part of the Hindus, especially the Brahmanas, would cause them to give up their age-old belief in anything Vedic in favor of Christianity. The purpose was to turn the strength of Hindu intellectuals against their own kind by utilizing their commitment to scholarship in uprooting their own tradition, which Macaulay viewed as nothing more than superstitions. His plan was to educate the Hindus to become Christians and turn them into collaborators. He persisted with this idea for fifteen years until he found the money and the right man for turning his utopian idea into reality. He needed someone who would translate and interpret the Vedic texts in such a way that the newly educated Indian elite would see the superiority of the Bible and choose that over everything else. Upon his return to England, after a good deal of effort he found a talented but impoverished young German Vedic scholar by name Friedrich Max Muller who was willing to take on the arduous job. Macaulay used his influence with the East India Company to find funds for Max Muller’s translation of the Rig Veda. Though an ardent German nationalist, Max Muller agreed for the sake of Christianity to work for the East India Company, which in reality meant the British Government of India. He also badly needed a major sponsor for his ambitious plans, which he felt he had at last found. The fact is that Max Muller was paid by the East India Company to further its colonial aims, and worked in cooperation with others who were motivated by the superiority of the German race through the white Aryan race theory. This was the genesis of his great enterprise, translating the Rig Veda with Sayana's commentary and the editing of the fifty-volume Sacred Books of the East. In this way, there can be no doubt regarding Max Muller’s initial aim and commitment to converting Indians to Christianity. Writing to his wife in 1866 he observed: “It [the Rig Veda] is the root of their religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years.” Two years later he also wrote the Duke of Argyle, then acting Secretary of State for India: “The ancient religion of India is doomed. And if Christianity does not take its place, whose fault will it be?” This makes it very clear that Max Muller was an agent of the British government paid to advance its colonial interests. Nonetheless, he still remained an ardent German nationalist even while working in England. This helps explain why he used his position as a recognized Vedic and Sanskrit scholar to promote the idea of the “Aryan race” and the “Aryan nation,” a theory amongst a certain class of so-called scholars, which has maintained its influence even until today.
Stephen Knapp (The Aryan Invasion Theory: The Final Nail in its Coffin)
There are people in this country who will argue that because of the demise of morals in general, and Sunday school in particular, kids today are losing their innocence before they should, that because of cartoons and Ken Starr and curricula about their classmates who have two mommies, youth learn too soon about sex and death. Well, like practically everyone else in the Western world who came of age since Gutenberg, I lost my innocence the old-time-religion way, by reading the nursery rhyme of fornication that is the Old Testament and the fairy tale bloodbath that is the New. Job taught me Hey! Life's not fair! Lot's wife taught me that I'm probably going to come across a few weird sleazy things I won't be able to resist looking into. And the book of Revelation taught me to live in the moment, if only because the future's so grim. Being a fundamentalist means going straight to the source. I was asked to not only read the Bible, but to memorize Bible verses. If it wasn't for the easy access to the sordid Word of God I might have had an innocent childhood. Instead, I was a worrywart before my time, shivering in constant fear of a god who, from what I could tell, huffed and puffed around the cosmos looking like my dad did when my sister refused to take her vitamins that one time. God wasn't exactly a children's rights advocate. The first thing a child reading the Bible notices is that you're supposed to honor your mother and father but they're not necessarily required to reciprocate. This was a god who told Abraham to knife his boy Isaac and then at the last minute, when the dagger's poised above Isaac's heart, God tells Abraham that He's just kidding. This was a god who let a child lose his birthright because of some screwball mix-up involving fake fur hands and a bowl of soup. This was a god who saw to it that his own son had his hands and feet nailed onto pieces of wood. God, for me, was not in the details. I still set store by the big Judeo-Christian messages. Who can argue with the Ten Commandments? Don't kill anybody: don't mess around with other people's spouses: be nice to your mom and dad. Fine advice. It was the minutiae that nagged me.
Sarah Vowell (Take the Cannoli)
I pray that you must have peace within yourself. Have you seen yourself lately. You are always angry & busy fighting. You are fighting everything & fighting everyone. First you had valid good reasons why you should be fighting. Now you have excuses why you are fighting. I pray that you have peace within yourself. Its foreigners your fighting. After winning. It's racism war your fighting. After winning. It tribalism your fighting. After winning. Its culture vs religion war your fighting. After winning. Its gender war ,boys verses girls your fighting. After winning . Its girls against other girls (feminine war) & boys against other boys (muscular war) your fighting. After winning . Its your thoughts against your heart war your fighting. After winning . Its your feelings against spirituality war your fighting. After winning. its something else your fighting................ Money you have. Status you have. Job and friends you have. Pride and ego you have, but I pray you have peace. and I pray that you have inner peace. Some battles you fight them but the real war is within yourself.
De philosopher DJ Kyos
How the jury responds to a victim is an enormous percentage of the verdict in any sex crimes trial–which is why prosecutors want Good Victims. In New York City, Good Victims have jobs (like stockbroker or accountant) or impeccable status (like a policeman’s wife); are well educated and articulate, and are, above all, presentable to a jury; attractive–but not too attractive, demure–but not pushovers. They should be upset–but in good taste–not so upset that they become hysterical. And they must have 100 percent trust and faith in the prosecutor, so that whatever the ADA decides to do with the case is fine with them. The criteria for a Good Victim varies with locale. In the Bible Belt, for example, the profile would be a “Christian Woman.” But the general principle remains the same. Such attitudes are not only distasteful, they are also frightening. They say that it’s O.K. to rape some people–just not us. Old-time convicts spell justice “just us”–prosecutors aren’t supposed to. Sex-crimes prosecutors are supposed to understand that the only way to keep the wolf from our own door isn’t to throw him fresh meat but to stop him the first time he darkens anybody’s door.
Alice Vachss (Sex Crimes: Then and Now: My Years on the Front Lines Prosecuting Rapists and Confronting Their Collaborators)
May the day of my birth perish. May it turn to darkness. May God above not care about it. May no light shine on it. May gloom and utter darkness claim it once more. May a cloud settle over it. May blackness overwhelm it. May thick darkness seize it. May it not be included among the days of the year nor be entered in any of the months. May that night be barren. May no shout of joy be heard in it. May those who curse days curse that day. May its morning stars become dark. May it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn, for it did not shut the doors of the womb on me to hide trouble from my eyes. Why did I not perish at birth, and die as I came from the womb? Why were there knees to receive me and breasts that I might be nursed? For now I would be lying down in peace; I would be asleep and at rest. Why is light given to those in misery, and life to the bitter of soul, to those who long for death that does not come, who search for it more than for hidden treasure, who are filled with gladness and rejoice when they reach the grave? For sighing has become my daily food; my groans pour out like water.What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me.I have no peace, no quietness; I have no rest, but only turmoil.
Anonymous (The Book of Job)
I have a covenant with almighty God sealed with the blood of Jesus. He has set me free from the waterless pit. Never again will I be unsatisfied with life. He has become my stronghold of safety and prosperity. He has restored to me double what was taken from me. He has bent me like a bow and filled me with His own power. He has stirred me up and made me like a warrior’s sword. Jesus, the warrior of warriors whose arrow flashes like lightning, is my supreme commander. I follow His every command and rally to His side when He sounds the battle horn. He is my very strength and shield of protection in the midst of the battle. Together, we destroy and overcome the enemy with heaven’s own artillery. I drink deeply of the Spirit and roar as one filled with wine. I am full to the brim with the anointing of God. The Lord has taken His stand at my side and sees to it that I rise victorious in every battle. I sparkle in His land like a jewel in a crown. He has made me as one to be envied—radiant and attractive to the eye—and I prosper and succeed in all that He has called me to do. (Hebrews 2:10; 8:6; John 10:10; Psalm 91:16; Job 42:10; Colossians 1:29; Ephesians 1:19; 5:18; 6:10-18; Genesis 12:1-3; 15:1; 1 John 2:20; 1 Corinthians 15:57; Romans 8:37; Daniel 1:4; Deuteronomy 28:12)
James Riddle (Complete Personalized Promise Bible for Women)
In the land of Uz, there lived a man, righteous and God-fearing, and he had great wealth, so many camels, so many sheep and asses, and his children feasted, and he loved them very much and prayed for them. 'It may be that my sons have sinned in their feasting.' Now the devil came before the Lord together with the sons of God, and said to the Lord that he had gone up and down the earth and under the earth. 'And hast thou considered my servant Job?' God asked of him. And God boasted to the devil, pointing to his great and holy servant. And the devil laughed at God's words. 'Give him over to me and Thou wilt see that Thy servant will murmur against Thee and curse Thy name.' And God gave up the just man He loved so, to the devil. And the devil smote his children and his cattle and scattered his wealth, all of a sudden like a thunderbolt from heaven. And Job rent his mantel and fell down upon the ground and cried aloud, 'Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return into the earth; the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever.' Fathers and teachers, forgive my tears now, for all my childhood rises up again before me, and I breathe now as I breathed then, with the breast of a little child of eight, and I feel as I did then, awe and wonder and gladness. The camels at that time caught my imagination, and Satan, who talked like that with God, and God who gave His servant up to destruction, and His servant crying out: 'Blessed be Thy name although Thou dost punish me,' and then the soft and sweet singing in the church: 'Let my prayer rise up before Thee,' and again incense from the priest's censer and the kneeling and the prayer. Ever since then - only yesterday I took it up - I've never been able to read that sacred tale without tears. And how much that is great, mysterious and unfathomable there is in it! Afterwards I heard the words of mockery and blame, proud words, 'How could God give up the most loved of His saints for the diversion of the devil, take from him his children, smite him with sore boils so that he cleansed the corruption from his sores with a pot-sherd - and for no object except to board to the devil! 'See what My saint can suffer for My Sake.' ' But the greatness of it lies just in the fact that it is a mystery - that the passing earthly show and the eternal verity are brought together in it. In the face of the earthly truth, the eternal truth is accomplished. The Creator, just as on the first days of creation He ended each day with praise: 'That is good that I have created,' looks upon Job and again praises His creation. And Job, praising the Lord, serves not only Him but all His creation for generations and generations, and for ever and ever, since for that he was ordained. Good heavens, what a book it is, and what lessons there are in it! What a book the Bible is, what a miracle, what strength is given with it to man! It is like a mold cast of the world and man and human nature, everything is there, and a law for everything for all the ages. And what mysteries are solved and revealed! God raises Job again, gives him wealth again. Many years pass by, and he has other children and loves them. But how could he love those new ones when those first children are no more, when he has lost them? Remembering them, how could he be fully happy with those new ones, however dear the new ones might be? But he could, he could. It's the great mystery of human life that old grief passes gradually into quiet, tender joy. The mild serenity of age takes the place of the riotous blood of youth. I bless the rising such each day, and, as before, my heart sings to meet it, but now I love even more its setting, its long slanting rays and the soft, tender, gentle memories that come with them, the dear images from the whole of my long, happy life - and over all the Divine Truth, softening, reconciling, forgiving!
Fyodor Dostoevsky (The Brothers Karamazov)
As a society we are only now getting close to where Dogen was eight hundred years ago. We are watching all our most basic assumptions about life, the universe, and everything come undone, just like Dogen saw his world fall apart when his parents died. Religions don’t seem to mean much anymore, except maybe to small groups of fanatics. You can hardly get a full-time job, and even if you do, there’s no stability. A college degree means very little. The Internet has leveled things so much that the opinions of the greatest scientists in the world about global climate change are presented as being equal to those of some dude who read part of the Bible and took it literally. The news industry has collapsed so that it’s hard to tell a fake headline from a real one. Money isn’t money anymore; it’s numbers stored in computers. Everything is changing so rapidly that none of us can hope to keep up. All this uncertainty has a lot of us scrambling for something certain to hang on to. But if you think I’m gonna tell you that Dogen provides us with that certainty, think again. He actually gives us something far more useful. Dogen gives us a way to be okay with uncertainty. This isn’t just something Buddhists need; it’s something we all need. We humans can be certainty junkies. We’ll believe in the most ridiculous nonsense to avoid the suffering that comes from not knowing something. It’s like part of our brain is dedicated to compulsive dot-connecting. I think we’re wired to want to be certain. You have to know if that’s a rope or a snake, if the guy with the chains all over his chest is a gangster or a fan of bad seventies movies. Being certain means being safe. The downfall is that we humans think about a lot of stuff that’s not actually real. We crave certainty in areas where there can never be any. That’s when we start in with believing the crazy stuff. Dogen is interesting because he tries to cut right to the heart of this. He gets into what is real and what is not. Probably the main reason he’s so difficult to read is that Dogen is trying to say things that can’t actually be said. So he has to bend language to the point where it almost breaks. He’s often using language itself to show the limitations of language. Even the very first readers of his writings must have found them difficult. Dogen understood both that words always ultimately fail to describe reality and that we human beings must rely on words anyway. So he tried to use words to write about that which is beyond words. This isn’t really a discrepancy. You use words, but you remain aware of their limitations. My teacher used to say, “People like explanations.” We do. They’re comforting. When the explanation is reasonably correct, it’s useful.
Brad Warner (It Came from Beyond Zen!: More Practical Advice from Dogen, Japan's Greatest Zen Master (Treasury of the True Dharma Eye))
Mason bleakly exhales. “No Hell, then?” “Not inside the Earth, anyway.” “Nor any . . . Single Administrator of Evil.” “They did introduce me to some Functionary,— no telling,— We chatted, others came in. They ask’d if I’d take off as much of my Clothing as I’d feel comfortable with,— I stepp’d out of my Shoes, left my Hat on . . . ? They walk’d ’round me in Circles, now and then poking at me . . . ? Nothing too intrusive.” “Nothing you remember, anyway,” Mason can’t help putting in. “They peer’d into my Eyes and Ears, they look’d in my Mouth, they put me upon a Balance and weigh’d me. They conferr’d. ‘Are you quite sure, now,’ the Personage ask’d me at last, ‘that you wish to bet ev’ry-thing upon the Body?— this Body?— moreover, to rely helplessly upon the Daily Harvest your Sensorium brings in,— keeping in mind that both will decline, the one in Health as the other in Variety, growing less and less trustworthy till at last they are no more?’ Eeh. Well, what would thoo’ve said?” “So, did you— ” “We left it in abeyance. Arriv’d back at the Observatory, it seem’d but minutes, this time, in Transit, I sought my Bible, which I let fall open, and read, in Job, 26:5 through 7, ‘Dead things are formed from under the waters, and the inhabitants thereof. “ ‘Hell is naked before him, and destruction hath no covering. “ ‘He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
Thomas Pynchon (Mason & Dixon)
Jesus is the true and better Adam who passed the test in the garden, a much more difficult garden, and whose obedience is imputed to us. Jesus is the true and better Abel who, though innocently slain, has blood now that cries out, not for our condemnation, but for acquittal. Jesus is the true and better Abraham who answered the call of God to leave all the comfortable and familiar and go out into the void not knowing wither he went to create a new people of God. Jesus is the true and better Jacob who wrestled and took the blow of justice we deserved, so we, like Jacob, only receive the wounds of grace to wake us up and discipline us. Jesus is the true and better Joseph who, at the right hand of the king, forgives those who betrayed and sold him and uses his new power to save them. Jesus is the true and better Moses who stands in the gap between the people and the Lord and who mediates a new covenant. Jesus is the true and better Job, the truly innocent sufferer, who then intercedes for and saves his stupid friends. Jesus is the true and better David whose victory becomes his people’s victory, though they never lifted a stone to accomplish it themselves. Jesus is the true and better Esther who didn’t just risk leaving an earthly palace but lost the ultimate and heavenly one, who didn’t just risk his life, but gave his life to save his people. Jesus is the true and better Jonah who was cast out into the storm so that we could be brought in. The Bible’s really not about you—it’s about him.
Matt Papa (Look and Live: Behold the Soul-Thrilling, Sin-Destroying Glory of Christ)
God famously doesn't afflict Job because of anything Job has done, but because he wants to prove a point to Satan. Twenty years later, I am sympathetic with my first assessment; to me, in spite of the soft radiant beauty of many of its passages, the Bible still has a mechanical quality, a refusal to brook complexity that feels brutal and violent. There has been a change, however. When I look at Revelation now, it still seems frightening and impenetrable, and it still suggests an inexorable, ridiculous order that is unknowable by us, in which our earthly concerns matter very little. However, it not longer reads to me like a chronicle of arbitrarily inflicted cruelty. It reads like a terrible abstract of how we violate ourselves and others and thus bring down endless suffering on earth. When I read And they blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pain and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds, I think of myself and others I've known or know who blaspheme life itself by failing to have the courage to be honest and kind—and how then we rage around and lash out because we hurt. When I read the word fornication, I don't read it as a description of sex outside legal marriage: I read it as sex done in a state of psychic disintegration, with no awareness of one's self or one's partner, let alone any sense of honor or even real playfulness. I still don't know what to make of much of it, but I'm inclined to read it as a writer's primitive attempt to give form to his moral urgency, to create a structure that could contain and give ballast to the most desperate human confusion.
Mary Gaitskill (Somebody with a Little Hammer: Essays)
Then one evening he reached the last chapter, and then the last page, the last verse. And there it was! That unforgivable and unfathomable misprint that had caused the owner of the books to order them to be pulped. Now Bosse handed a copy to each of them sitting round the table, and they thumbed through to the very last verse, and one by one burst out laughing. Bosse was happy enough to find the misprint. He had no interest in finding out how it got there. He had satisfied his curiosity, and in the process had read his first book since his schooldays, and even got a bit religious while he was at it. Not that Bosse allowed God to have any opinion about Bellringer Farm’s business enterprise, nor did he allow the Lord to be present when he filed his tax return, but – in other respects – Bosse now placed his life in the hands of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. And surely none of them would worry about the fact that he set up his stall at markets on Saturdays and sold bibles with a tiny misprint in them? (‘Only ninety-nine crowns each! Jesus! What a bargain!’) But if Bosse had cared, and if, against all odds, he had managed to get to the bottom of it, then after what he had told his friends, he would have continued: A typesetter in a Rotterdam suburb had been through a personal crisis. Several years earlier, he had been recruited by Jehovah’s Witnesses but they had thrown him out when he discovered, and questioned rather too loudly, the fact that the congregation had predicted the return of Jesus on no less than fourteen occasions between 1799 and 1980 – and sensationally managed to get it wrong all fourteen times. Upon which, the typesetter had joined the Pentecostal Church; he liked their teachings about the Last Judgment, he could embrace the idea of God’s final victory over evil, the return of Jesus (without their actually naming a date) and how most of the people from the typesetter’s childhood including his own father, would burn in hell. But this new congregation sent him packing too. A whole month’s collections had gone astray while in the care of the typesetter. He had sworn by all that was holy that the disappearance had nothing to do with him. Besides, shouldn’t Christians forgive? And what choice did he have when his car broke down and he needed a new one to keep his job? As bitter as bile, the typesetter started the layout for that day’s jobs, which ironically happened to consist of printing two thousand bibles! And besides, it was an order from Sweden where as far as the typesetter knew, his father still lived after having abandoned his family when the typesetter was six years old. With tears in his eyes, the typesetter set the text of chapter upon chapter. When he came to the very last chapter – the Book of Revelation – he just lost it. How could Jesus ever want to come back to Earth? Here where Evil had once and for all conquered Good, so what was the point of anything? And the Bible… It was just a joke! So it came about that the typesetter with the shattered nerves made a little addition to the very last verse in the very last chapter in the Swedish bible that was just about to be printed. The typesetter didn’t remember much of his father’s tongue, but he could at least recall a nursery rhyme that was well suited in the context. Thus the bible’s last two verses plus the typesetter’s extra verse were printed as: 20. He who testifies to these things says, Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!21. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.22. And they all lived happily ever after.
Jonas Jonasson (Der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand)
THE OBEDIENCE GAME DUGGAR KIDS GROW UP playing the Obedience Game. It’s sort of like Mother May I? except it has a few extra twists—and there’s no need to double-check with “Mother” because she (or Dad) is the one giving the orders. It’s one way Mom and Dad help the little kids in the family burn off extra energy some nights before we all put on our pajamas and gather for Bible time (more about that in chapter 8). To play the Obedience Game, the little kids all gather in the living room. After listening carefully to Mom’s or Dad’s instructions, they respond with “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” then run and quickly accomplish the tasks. For example, Mom might say, “Jennifer, go upstairs to the girls’ room, touch the foot of your bed, then come back downstairs and give Mom a high-five.” Jennifer answers with an energetic “Yes, ma’am, I’d be happy to!” and off she goes. Dad might say, “Johannah, run around the kitchen table three times, then touch the front doorknob and come back.” As Johannah stands up she says, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” “Jackson, go touch the front door, then touch the back door, then touch the side door, and then come back.” Jackson, who loves to play army, stands at attention, then salutes and replies, “Yes, sir, I’d be happy to!” as he goes to complete his assignment at lightning speed. Sometimes spotters are sent along with the game player to make sure the directions are followed exactly. And of course, the faster the orders can be followed, the more applause the contestant gets when he or she slides back into the living room, out of breath and pleased with himself or herself for having complied flawlessly. All the younger Duggar kids love to play this game; it’s a way to make practicing obedience fun! THE FOUR POINTS OF OBEDIENCE THE GAME’S RULES (MADE up by our family) stem from our study of the four points of obedience, which Mom taught us when we were young. As a matter of fact, as we are writing this book she is currently teaching these points to our youngest siblings. Obedience must be: 1. Instant. We answer with an immediate, prompt “Yes ma’am!” or “Yes sir!” as we set out to obey. (This response is important to let the authority know you heard what he or she asked you to do and that you are going to get it done as soon as possible.) Delayed obedience is really disobedience. 2. Cheerful. No grumbling or complaining. Instead, we respond with a cheerful “I’d be happy to!” 3. Thorough. We do our best, complete the task as explained, and leave nothing out. No lazy shortcuts! 4. Unconditional. No excuses. No, “That’s not my job!” or “Can’t someone else do it? or “But . . .” THE HIDDEN GOAL WITH this fun, fast-paced game is that kids won’t need to be told more than once to do something. Mom would explain the deeper reason behind why she and Daddy desired for us to learn obedience. “Mom and Daddy won’t always be with you, but God will,” she says. “As we teach you to hear and obey our voice now, our prayer is that ultimately you will learn to hear and obey what God’s tells you to do through His Word.” In many families it seems that many of the goals of child training have been lost. Parents often expect their children to know what they should say and do, and then they’re shocked and react harshly when their sweet little two-year-old throws a tantrum in the middle of the grocery store. This parental attitude probably stems from the belief that we are all born basically good deep down inside, but the truth is, we are all born with a sin nature. Think about it: You don’t have to teach a child to hit, scream, whine, disobey, or be selfish. It comes naturally. The Bible says that parents are to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6).
Jill Duggar (Growing Up Duggar: It's All About Relationships)
His Burden Is Light Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 What heavy burden is weighing you down and causing a heaviness and weariness in your spirit? Is it the need to take care of an elderly parent? a seemingly impossible deadline at work? juggling overwhelming responsibilities of a job plus parenting a houseful of kids? the burden of chronic illness? a difficult relationship with someone you love? financial struggles? Whatever your “heavy burden” might be, Jesus invites you, just as he did the crowds he was teaching: Come to me. Give me the heavy load you’re carrying. And in exchange, I will give you rest. Whenever I read these verses from Matthew, I breathe a sigh of relief. Jesus knows the challenges and deadlines we face and the weariness of mind or body we feel. He understands the stress, tasks, and responsibilities that are weighing us down. As we lay all that concerns us before him, his purpose replaces our agenda, and his lightness and rest replace our burden. LORD, thank you for your offer to carry my burdens for me. I give them all to you and I gladly receive your rest! I place myself under your yoke to learn from you. Teach me your wisdom that is humble and pure, and help me to walk in the ways you set before me. Thank you for your mercy and love that invite me to live my life resting and trusting in you!   WHEN HE SAYS TO YOUR DISTURBED, DISTRACTED, RESTLESS SOUL OR MIND, “COME UNTO ME,” HE IS SAYING, COME OUT OF THE STRIFE AND DOUBT AND STRUGGLE OF WHAT IS AT THE MOMENT WHERE YOU STAND, INTO THAT WHICH WAS AND IS AND IS TO BE—THE ETERNAL, THE ESSENTIAL, THE ABSOLUTE. Phillips Brooks (1835-1893)    
Cheri Fuller (The One Year Praying through the Bible (One Year Bible))
God continually chooses the least likely to be chosen, the broken and the humble. It’s clearly His modus operandi. I’ve heard this response from people when I talk about this idea: “But how can we possibly get things done without big-time visionaries? Without massive plans to save the world?” Well, the Bible actually singles out a specific, heroic animal species to illustrate how to get things done. If you want to know how to do it, don’t go to the soaring eagle. Don’t go to the impressive, roaring lion, either. God may have a different idea: Go watch the ants, you lazy person. Watch what they do and be wise. Ants have no commander, no leader or ruler, but they store up food in the summer and gather their supplies at harvest. (Prov. 6:6–8 NCV) Yes. Watch how the ants operate. They get it. Sure enough, modern research shows just how remarkable ants are. They all know what to do and when to do it. They know when to rest, when to battle intruders, when to take care of their eggs, all of it. If there are too many ants foraging, just enough ants decide to quit foraging and take on other jobs. They know how to build massive anthills that are marvels of construction engineering. And they do it all without a hierarchy. They manage it all without management. They get it done without any one ant knowing the “big picture.” No ant is a superstar. No ant is irreplaceable. How they operate is still somewhat mysterious to science, but scientists do know that ants just use the information that’s in front of them, and then they respond. That’s it. That’s all the information an ant has. The Bible singles out a species wherein every individual member does whatever needs doing, just by responding to what’s in front of it. An ant can’t worry about the big blueprint. No ant actually has the big picture. If they each do their thing, the thing right in front of them, the big picture takes care of itself.
Brant Hansen (Unoffendable: How Just One Change Can Make All of Life Better)
Sometimes what-if fantasies are useful. Imagine that the entirety of Western civilisation’s coding for computer systems or prints of all films ever made or all copies of Shakespeare and the Bible and the Qur’an were encrypted and held on one tablet device. And if that tablet was lost, stolen, burnt or corrupted, then our knowledge, use and understanding of that content, those words and ideas, would be gone for ever – only, perhaps, lingering in the minds of a very few men of memory whose job it had been to keep ideas alive. This little thought-experiment can help us to comprehend the totemic power of manuscripts. This is the great weight of responsibility for the past, the present and the future that the manuscripts of Constantinople carried. Much of our global cultural heritage – philosophies, dramas, epic poems – survive only because they were preserved in the city’s libraries and scriptoria. Just as Alexandria and Pergamon too had amassed vast libraries, Constantinople understood that a physical accumulation of knowledge worked as a lode-stone – drawing in respect, talent and sheer awe. These texts contained both the possibilities and the fact of empire and had a quasi-magical status. This was a time when the written word was considered so potent – and so precious – that documents were thought to be objects with spiritual significance. (...) It was in Constantinople that the book review was invented. Scholars seem to have had access to books within a proto-lending-library system, and there were substantial libraries within the city walls. Thanks to Constantinople, we have the oldest complete manuscript of the Iliad, Aeschylus’ dramas Agamemnon and Eumenides, and the works of Sophocles and Pindar. Fascinating scholia in the margins correct and improve: plucking work from the page ‘useful for the reader . . . not just the learned’, as one Byzantine scholar put it. These were texts that were turned into manuals for contemporary living.
Bettany Hughes (Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities)
Order Out of Chaos ... At the right temperature ... two peptide molecules will stay together long enough on average to find a third. Then the little trio finds a fourth peptide to attract into the little huddle, just through the random side-stepping and tumbling induced by all the rolling water molecules. Something extraordinary is happening: a larger structure is emerging from a finer system, not in spite of the chaotic and random motion of that system but because of it. Without the chaotic exploration of possibilities, the rare peptide molecules would never find each other, would never investigate all possible ways of aggregating so that the tape-like polymers emerge as the most likely assemblies. It is because of the random motion of all the fine degrees of freedom that the emergent, larger structures can assume the form they do. Even more is true when the number of molecules present becomes truly enormous, as is automatically the case for any amount of matter big enough to see. Out of the disorder emerges a ... pattern of emergent structure from a substrate of chaos.... The exact pressure of a gas, the emergence of fibrillar structures, the height in the atmosphere at which clouds condense, the temperature at which ice forms, even the formation of the delicate membranes surrounding every living cell in the realm of biology -- all this beauty and order becomes both possible and predictable because of the chaotic world underneath them.... Even the structures and phenomena that we find most beautiful of all, those that make life itself possible, grow up from roots in a chaotic underworld. Were the chaos to cease, they would wither and collapse, frozen rigid and lifeless at the temperatures of intergalactic space. This creative tension between the chaotic and the ordered lies within the foundations of science today, but it is a narrative theme of human culture that is as old as any. We saw it depicted in the ancient biblical creation narratives of the last chapter, building through the wisdom, poetic and prophetic literature. It is now time to return to those foundational narratives as they attain their climax in a text shot through with the storm, the flood and the earthquake, and our terrifying ignorance in the face of a cosmos apparently out of control. It is one of the greatest nature writings of the ancient world: the book of Job.
Tom McLeish (Faith and Wisdom in Science)
Jackaby was still engrossed in his examination when I came back inside. “Books. Books. Just books,” he was muttering. Jenny was hovering by the window. I joined her. “How did you manage it, by the way?” I asked. “All those Bibles, all across town? It is a remarkable feat.” “It looks more impressive than it is,” she said, still not meeting my eyes. “I borrowed Jackaby’s special satchel, the one that holds anything. The whole pile took just one trip. The real trick was keeping myself solid all the way home. That’s the bit I’m really proud of—” She turned to face me. “Oh, Abigail, it was amazing. People saw me!” “People saw you?” “I was in disguise, of course. I wore my long coat and gloves, and I had that floppy white hat on, so they didn’t see much, but still—people saw me and they didn’t gasp or make a scene. Someone even mumbled Good day to me as I was crossing the footbridge! It was exhilarating! I have never been so excited to have somebody see me—actually see me—and not care at all!” She glanced at Jackaby. “Although you would think I would be used to it by now.” “Jenny, that is absolutely amazing!” I said. “It is, isn’t it?” she said wistfully. “Just a little bit, at least? Oh, Abigail, I’m exhausted, I’m not ashamed to tell you. I had planned on setting my spoils out in nice triumphant rows when I got back, but it was all I could do to hold myself intact by then. Solidity is sort of like flexing a muscle, except the muscle is in your mind, and your mind is really just an abstract concept. I was basically flexing my entire body into existence the whole way home. But did it merit so much as a Good job, Jenny from that infuriating man?” Jackaby surfaced from his perusal and looked up at last. His cloud gray eyes found focus on Jenny. From his expression, I couldn’t tell if he had been following our conversation or not. “Completely unexceptional,” he said. “Nothing at all in this batch. We will need to scrutinize them more closely, of course, just to be sure. Oh, and Miss Cavanaugh . . .” She raised an eyebrow skeptically. “You performed . . . quite adequately,” he said, “despite expectations.” Jenny opened her mouth to reply, but then closed it again. Her face fluttered through a series of potential reactions. Finally she just threw up her hands and vanished from sight with a muffled whuph of air closing into the space where she suddenly wasn’t. “What in heaven’s name was all that?” said Jackaby. “Exquisite frustration, I believe, sir.” “Ah. Right.” He slumped into the desk chair and began to fidget absently with the spine of one of the Bibles. “Miss Cavanaugh is a singular and exceptional spirit, you know.” “Only a suggestion, sir, but that is precisely the sort of thing you might consider saying when she is still present and corporeal.
William Ritter (The Dire King (Jackaby, #4))
(3) Theology of Exodus: A Covenant People “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God” (Exod 6:7). When God first demanded that the Egyptian Pharaoh let Israel leave Egypt, he referred to Israel as “my … people.” Again and again he said those famous words to Pharaoh, Let my people go.56 Pharaoh may not have known who Yahweh was,57 but Yahweh certainly knew Israel. He knew them not just as a nation needing rescue but as his own people needing to be closely bound to him by the beneficent covenant he had in store for them once they reached the place he was taking them to himself, out of harm's way, and into his sacred space.58 To be in the image of God is to have a job assignment. God's “image”59 is supposed to represent him on earth and accomplish his purposes here. Reasoning from a degenerate form of this truth, pagan religions thought that an image (idol) in the form of something they fashioned would convey to its worshipers the presence of a god or goddess. But the real purpose of the heavenly decision described in 1:26 was not to have a humanlike statue as a representative of God on earth but to have humans do his work here, as the Lord's Prayer asks (“your will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” Matt 6:10). Although the fall of humanity as described in Genesis 3 corrupted the ability of humans to function properly in the image of God, the divine plan of redemption was hardly thwarted. It took the form of the calling of Abraham and the promises to him of a special people. In both Exod 6:6–8 and 19:4–6 God reiterates his plan to develop a people that will be his very own, a special people that, in distinction from all other peoples of the earth, will belong to him and accomplish his purposes, being as Exod 19:6 says “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Since the essence of holiness is belonging to God, by belonging to God this people became holy, reflecting the character of their Lord as well as being obedient to his purposes. No other nation in the ancient world ever claimed Yahweh as its God, and Yahweh never claimed any other nation as his people. This is not to say that he did not love and care for other nations60 but only to say that he chose Israel as the focus of his plan of redemption for the world. In the New Testament, Israel becomes all who will place faith in Jesus Christ—not an ethnic or political entity at all but now a spiritual entity, a family of God. Thus the New Testament speaks of the true Israel as defined by conversion to Christ in rebirth and not by physical birth at all. But in the Old Covenant, the true Israel was the people group that, from the various ethnic groups that gathered at Sinai, agreed to accept God's covenant and therefore to benefit from this abiding presence among them (see comments on Exod 33:12–24:28). Exodus is the place in the Bible where God's full covenant with a nation—as opposed to a person or small group—emerges, and the language of Exod 6:7, “I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God,” is language predicting that covenant establishment.61
Douglas K. Stuart (The New American Commentary - Volume 2 - Exodus)
You are my friend, Prairie Flower. If I tell you what is in my heart, will you promise never to tell?" Prairie Flower laid a hand on Jesse's shoulder, pulling it away quickly when her friend flinched in pain. "I will not betray my friend." Taking a deep breath, Jesse lifted her head. "When Rides the Wing comes near to me, my heart sings.But I do not believe that he cares for me.I am clumsy in all of the things a Lakota woman must know.I cannot speak his language without many childish mistakes. And..." Jesse reached up to lay her hand on her short hair, "I am nothing to look at.I am not..." Prairie Flower grew angry. "I have told you he cares for you.Can you not see it?" Jesse shook her head. Prairie Flower spoke the unspeakable. "Then,if you cannot see that he cares for you in what he does,you must see it in what he has not done. You have been in his tepee. Dancing Waters has been gone many moons." "Stop!" Jesse demanded. "Stop it! I..just don't say any more!" She leaped up and ran out of the tepee-and into Rides the Wind, who was returning from the river where he had gone to draw water. Jesse knocked the water skins from both of his hands. Water spilled out and she fumbled an apology then bent stiffly to pick up the skins, wincing with the effort. "I will do it, Walks the Fire." His voice was tender as he bent and took the skins from her. Jesse protested, "It is the wife's job." She blushed, realizing that she had used a wrong word-the word for wife, instead of the word for woman. Rides the Wind interrupted before she could correct herself. "Walks the Fire is not the wife of Rides the Wind." Jesse blushed and remained quiet. A hand reached for hers and Rides the Wind said, "Come, sit." He helped her sit down just outside the door of the tepee. The village women took note as he went inside and brought out a buffalo robe. Sitting by Jesse,he placed the robe on the ground and began to talk. "I will tell you how it is with the Lakota. When a man wishes to take a wife..." he described Lakota courtship. As he talked, Jesse realiced that all that Prairie Flower had said seemed to be true.He had,indeed, done nearly everything involved in the courtship ritual. Still, she told herself, there is a perfectly good explanation for everything he has done. Rides the Wind continued describing the wedding feast. Jesse continued to reason with herself as he spoke. Then she realized the voice had stopped and he had repeated a question. "How is it among the whites?How does a man gain a wife?" Embarrassed,Jesse described the sparsest of courtships, the simplest wedding.Rides the Wind listened attentively. When she had finished, he said, "There is one thing the Lakota brave who wishes a wife does that I have not described." Pulling Jesse to her feet, he continued, "One evening, as he walks with his woman..." He reached out to pick up the buffalo robe.He was aware that the village women were watching carefully. "He spreads out his arms..." Rides the Wind spread his arms,opening the buffalo robe to its full length, "and wraps it about his woman," Rides the Wind turned toward Jesse and reached around her, "so that they are both inside the buffalo robe." He looked down at Jesse, trying to read her expression.When he saw nothing in the gray eyes, he abruptly dropped his arms. "But it is hot today and your wounds have not healed.I have said enough.You see how it is with the Lakota." When Jesse still said nothing, he continued, "You spoke of a celebration with a min-is-ter.It is a word I do not know.What is this min-is-ter?" "A man who belives in the Bible and teaches his people about God from the Bible." "What if there is no minister and a man and a woman wish to be married?" Jesse grew more uncomfortable. "I suppose they would wait until a minister came.
Stephanie Grace Whitson (Walks The Fire (Prairie Winds, #1))