Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Job 6:21
"Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something
dreadful and are afraid" (Job 6:21).
"Why is it that humans are fascinated by freaks -- the
elephant man, the bearded lady, Siamese twins -- as long as they are kept a safe
distance away? But as soon as we are confronted by a person like that, whose
features are deformed or who has a serious and visible illness, we feel
insecure, frightened and well out of our comfort zone. We can feel similarly out
of our depth if we know of a personal problem of an acquaintance, or when
someone is in mourning from a death. What do we say? How do we react? Do we
ignore it? Or should we dwell on it? I don't have the answers to those
questions, but Job felt that he was in the position of the freak, the outcast.
His friends came to comfort him and he said, 'Now you too have proved to be of
no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid.' If Job had been his normal,
rich, healthy self, his friends would have had no problem discussing his
feelings and solving his problems. But here was a sick, ugly and rejected man
and they couldn't get past his looks and their fear to comfort him.
"Let us be glad that God can see past our outward form and can
look at our hearts to comfort us -- and let us try to do the same" (Robert
Reading 2 - Mic 2:13
"One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will
break through the gate and go out. Their king will pass through before them, the
LORD at their head" (Mic 2:13).
ONE WHO BREAKS OPEN THE WAY WILL GO UP BEFORE THEM: As a
shepherd breaks through obstacles and barriers to lead his sheep into pleasant
pastures, so Israel's Good Shepherd will clear the way for His sheep to return
to the land (cp Psa 78:52,53; 80:1). They will break out of their former
habitations, pass through the way he opens for them, and leave all parts of the
world to return to the Promised Land.
The "Breaker-Through" later became one of the recognized
titles of the Messiah, and was used by various rabbis.
THE KING WILL PASS THROUGH BEFORE THEM, THE LORD AT THEIR
HEAD: Yahweh would not only function as their Shepherd but also as their
(Davidic) King (cp Isa 6:5). He will lead them as a mighty conqueror and ruler
(cp Isa 33:22; Zep 3:15; Zec 14:9), especially in the person of His
Reading 3 - Heb 12:27
"The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be
shaken-- that is, created things -- so that what cannot be shaken may remain"
We have many things in our possession at the present moment
which can be shaken, and it ill becomes a believer to set much store by them,
for there is nothing stable under the sun; change is written upon all things.
Yet, we may derive real comfort from the things that cannot be shaken, which
will remain. Whatever your losses have been, or may be, you enjoy present
salvation. You are standing at the foot of his cross, trusting alone in the shed
blood of Jesus, and no rise or fall of the stock markets can interfere with your
salvation in him; no breaking of banks, no failures and bankruptcies can touch
that. God is your Father. No change of circumstances can ever rob you of that.
Although by losses brought to poverty, and stripped bare, you have another
permanent blessing, namely, the love of Jesus Christ. He loves you with all the
strength of his affectionate nature -- nothing can affect that. The fig tree may
not blossom, and the flocks may cease from the field, it matters not to the one
who can sing, 'My Beloved is mine, and I am his.' Our best portion and richest
heritage we cannot lose. Whatever troubles come, let us show that we are not
such little children as to be cast down by what may happen in this poor fleeting
state of time. Our country is Immanuel's land, our hope is the coming Kingdom,
and therefore, calm as the untroubled sea of the Apocalypse; we may see the
wreck of everything around us, and yet still rejoice in the God of our