Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Job 12
"Zophar's air of superiority aroused the ire of Job, who
answered with heavy sarcasm: 'Thou are the people without doubt, and wisdom
shall die with you.' He declared that his understanding was not inferior to
theirs (Job 12:1-5). He then advanced incontestable facts:
The wicked prosper in spite of the dogma of his friends (v 6), and
is both wise and omnipotent (v 7 -- Job 13:2)" (GE
Reading 2 - Nah 1:3
"The LORD is slow to anger and great in power" (Nah
Yahweh is low to show anger, BECAUSE He is great in power. His
power to judge is omnipotent, but His mercy is stronger!
"He is truly great in power who hath power over himself. When
God's power doth restrain Himself, then it is power indeed: the power that binds
omnipotence is omnipotence surpassed. A man who has a strong mind can bear to be
insulted long, and only resents the wrong when a sense of right demands his
action. The weak mind is irritated at a little: the strong mind bears it like a
rock which moveth not, though a thousand breakers dash upon it, and cast their
pitiful malice in spray upon its summit. God marketh His enemies, and yet He
bestirs not Himself, but holdeth in His anger. If He were less divine than He
is, He would long ere this have sent forth the whole of His thunders, and
emptied the arsenals of heaven; He would long ere this have blasted the earth...
and man would have been utterly destroyed; but the greatness of his power brings
us mercy" (CH Spurgeon).
Reading 3 - James 5:10
"Brothers, as an example of patience in the face of suffering,
take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord" (James 5:10).
"In pursuing our duties in the Truth, we must be actuated by a
higher motive than that of present success. Whether men will hear or forbear,
through evil report or good report, we must steadily and cheerfully go on. God
more frequently than not permits our labors to be fruitless. 'How few receive
with cordial faith the tidings which we bring.' We think of the labour and
expense in our big and little efforts, and the infinitesimal results.
"Our failures, too, are not confined to the alien. How often
is the faithful word of warning, of counsel, of reproof, treated with heartless
contempt by professors in the household? Yes, there is now but little success;
failure is the rule.
"Yet so far as the obedient are concerned, it is not really
failure, for by means of it inconceivable good is being evolved. This will be
apparent when the day arrives for the manifestation of the sons of God. Even the
offense given, the misunderstanding created, the enmity and bitterness evoked,
aid in developing the sufferings which teach obedience and bring perfection.
Christ's service calls for the exhibition of patience and long-suffering. These
virtues can only be cultivated by turning a deaf ear to the likes and dislikes
of man and performing our duties as unto Christ, who is at the head of affairs,
manipulating them as His wisdom sees fit. In our trials, let us think of
Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, and all the prophets, who through their patient
endurance have earned the praise of God (Jam 5:10). Let us pray with Paul that
we may be 'strengthened with all might, according to His (God's) glorious power
unto all patience and long-suffering and with joyfulness' (Col 1:11)" (AT