Browsing articles tagged with " Job"
Oct 15, 2015

What must I do?

Flip your Bible open on a random page, point your finger on a random verse and read it out loud.
How would you feel if you had to live your life accordingly?

Jan 27, 2015

God and the Super Bowl

You know what the biggest group of Americans say they DON’T do on any given Sunday?
– Be in church or watch football!

According to the January PRRI/RNS Religious News Survey most people forgo both of these Sunday activities. Now, as a pastor I am a regular at church but I must admit that I do not make time to watch afternoon TV except for the Super Bowl. So here it goes: The big game is coming up and I will be joining the minority elite by going to church at 10 and streaming the game later in the day.

But there were a couple more stunning results in that survey when it comes to football and faith:

1. Americans are split in half over the question as to whether God rewards athletes who have faith with good health and success. Let me take sides here: No, God does not reward actions! Being a person of faith does not make your life any easier: Remember Job! If anything, faith makes your life more challenging. Because bad stuff happens to good people and as a person of faith you have to work that out with your image of God. Health and success as a reward? Job says: Hell no! All I got was pain and misery for nothing! Maybe signing multi-million dollar contracts can boost your success. Maybe exercising for a living can make you healthier. But please, don’t blame God for your good fortune.

2. One in four Americans say that God plays a role in determining which team wins the Super Bowl. Again, let me join the minority elite. Of course, God can do all things! Not a thing happens in the world that God couldn’t prevent. I am one of four! Every Sunday we sing “He’s got the whole world in his hands!” And yes, that includes the football and the scoreboard, he’s got the Patriots and the Seahawks, he’s got the whole world in his hands. “We reject the false doctrine that there could be areas of our life in which we would not belong to Jesus Christ but to other lords”, states the Barmen Declaration. God Almighty rules over time and space so of course the result of a sporting event is within God’s reach.
BUT: Sometimes people have a tendency to forget that God is the Ultimate Free Agent. We can’t tell God what to do. We cannot predict a Super Bowl Winner by turning our praying ear toward God. Because the ruler of heaven and earth has been very clear as to who is in charge. Which ever team you will be rooting for on Sunday, America will most likely be split down the middle again and half of us will be utterly disappointed. The recommended prayer for that prospect is: “He said, ‘Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want.’”

Oct 19, 2011

Job restored

For many readers of Job, the epilogue seems too neat, too simplistic, too much a “happy ending” to the difficult questions raised by the rest of the book. Read a wonderful reflection from Enter the Bible:

Oct 18, 2011


Job 41 introduces Leviathan.

In today’s Hebrew לויתן means simply Whale just like in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick:

John Wood argued this sea monster be a crocodile:

Thomas Hobbes used the name to describe the rule by an absolute sovereign:

Oct 17, 2011


Job 40 introduces the Behemoth.
The word Behemoth appears frequently in the Hebrew Bible and is typically translated as “wild animals” (Psalm 8:8; Joel 1:20; 2:22; Habbakuk 2:17). Here it appears as a pluralis excellentiae though, referring to just one very wild beast.

It is not a dinosaur:

So what does it look like now?

Oct 16, 2011

The ostrich and the horse

Aesop’s well-known fable The Tortoise and the Hare is reflected in Job 39:

Both were written in the 6th century BC.

Oct 15, 2011


Today’s reading attests to God’s control of the forces of nature.

For some that is all there is: Spiritual but Not Religious? Please Stop Boring Me.

At least has a fun error 404 page:

Oct 14, 2011

Zeus in the Bible

When Elihu concludes his speech by describing the creative power of God he borrows extensively from Hellenistic imagery. That is pretty common throughout the Bible. World Literature has always been interconnected across religious and cultural lines.

Oct 13, 2011

Judge ye not

Elihu advises Job: “But you are obsessed with the case of the wicked; judgment and justice seize you. 18Beware that wrath does not entice you into scoffing, and do not let the greatness of the ransom turn you aside.”
That advice is also passed on through Jesus: “Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get.”

Oct 12, 2011

Surely God does not hear an empty cry

Elihu knows: “Surely God does not hear an empty cry, nor does the Almighty regard it.”
He had a good student in rabbi Jesus: “When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. ” (Matthew 6:7-8)