FALL 2021 JOB 15 – 28
The book of Proverbs emphasizes that God punishes the wicked and blesses the righteous. Ecclesiastes and Job complement this teaching by pointing out that in this life sometimes the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer. Job’s three friends fail to acknowledge the complementary truths and therefore assume that Job’s suffering is deserved punishment for sins he must have committed.
This fall we consider the book of Job’s second and third speech cycles. Job and his friends take turns giving speeches. Each cycle opens with Eliphaz lobbing accusations at Job (chaps. 15 and 22). All three friends emphasize that God punishes the wicked (“ahem, Job!”). Job won’t hear it, and eventually the friends lose steam. Bildad’s third speech is brief, and Zophar remains silent the third time around.
Job, meanwhile, persists. He is agitated. His pain is great. He is being treated unfairly, he says. He wants to present his case directly to God, but God remains distant. Job has seen the wicked flourish, so he knows his friends are wrong. In his present emotional state, he sometimes contradicts himself: he does and does not have hope; he will and won’t have access to God. The least his friends could do is show some mercy.
The wisdom poem of Job 28 serves as an interlude between the speech cycles and the final section of the book. Here we see movement toward a conclusion. God is transcendent. Wisdom is hard to find. God does, however, make himself known. He has revealed his wisdom to mankind. The wisdom described in Job 28:28 is embodied in Job, but even more so in Jesus Christ. In our own suffering, may we follow the pattern set out for us by the one in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Oct 3: Job 15 “The wicked man writhes in pain.” (Stefan Matzal)
Oct 10: Job 16–17 “My witness is in heaven.” (Stefan Matzal)
Oct 17: Job 18 “The light of the wicked is put out.” (Stefan Matzal)
Oct 24: Job 19 “I know that my Redeemer lives.” (Stefan Matzal)
Oct 31: Reformation Sunday Pulpit Exchange (Pastor Conroy Lewis, Grace Baptist Church)
Nov 7: Job 20 “The exulting of the wicked is short.” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Nov 14: Job 21 “The counsel of the wicked is far from me.” (Stefan Matzal)
Nov 21: Job 22 “Is not your evil abundant?” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Nov 28: Job 23–24 “He knows the way that I take.” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Dec 5: Job 25–27 “My heart does not reproach me.” (Stefan Matzal)
Dec 12: Job 28 “Where shall wisdom be found?” (John Hartung)
Dec 19: Christmas Sunday (Stefan Matzal)
Dec 26: New Year’s Sunday (Nathaniel Jackson)
The Eldership: September 2021
Summer 2021 Hebrews 5:1 – 10:18
Hebrews was written before the destruction of the Temple in AD 70. The content of the letter suggests a familiarity with the recipients, who were primarily Jewish believers. In the face of trials and resistance, the recipients were tempted to seek refuge in Judaism or some aspects of the Jewish tradition. In response, the author of Hebrews demonstrates the importance of Jesus being the guarantor of a better covenant.
In his earnest desire to see his recipients become like those who through faith and patience inherit the promises of God, he warns against apostasy and the danger of stunted spiritual maturity, while assuring them that he feels sure of better things in their case.
The Jewish tradition looked to Abraham and trusted in the ancient sacrificial system. How did the new covenant in Jesus’ name stack up and offer assurance of forgiveness? The writer of Hebrews demonstrates that Jesus’ ministry is far superior to the old covenant, because Jesus is the “priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek.” Jesus has established and is guarantor of the superseding covenant established in his blood. Jesus has entered into the heavenly holy place and his sacrifice for sin has been accepted on our behalf. “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” May these truths give us confidence in our insecurity and purify our consciences from dead works to serve the living God.
Aug 1: Hebrews 5:1–10 “You are priest forever.” (Stefan Matzal)
Aug 8: Hebrews 5:11 – 6:12 “The full assurance of hope.” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Aug 15: Hebrews 6:13–20 “A sure and steadfast anchor.” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Aug 22: Hebrews 7:1–19 “The power of an indestructible life.” (Stefan Matzal)
Aug 29: Hebrews 7:20–28 “Guarantor of a better covenant.” (Mark Weldon)
Sept 5: Hebrews 8 “More excellent than the old.” (Stefan Matzal)
Sept 12: Hebrews 9:1–14 “By means of his own blood.” (Nathaniel Jackson)
Sept 19: Hebrews 9:15–28 “The mediator of a new covenant.” (Stefan Matzal)
Sept 26: Hebrews 10:1–18 “Where there is forgiveness.” (John Hartung)
The Eldership: July 2021