Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Job 13:15
"Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him" (Job
"Though He slay me, I will trust Him,"
Said the sainted Job of old;
'Though He try me in the furnace,
I shall then come forth as gold.
Though the "worms of deep affliction"
Cause this body to decay,
In my flesh I shall behold Him --
My Redeemer -- some glad day.
Though He slay me -- can I say it
When I feel the searing fire,
When my fondest dreams lie shattered --
Gone my hope and fond desire?
Though He slay me, I will trust Him,
For He knows just how to mold,
How to melt and shape my spirit --
I shall then come forth as gold!
Reading 2 - Nah 3
"Nineveh is doomed! So came the voice of the second prophet
who was required to set his face against the northern oppressor. About 250 years
earlier, Jonah was sent with a message of repentance, and was received by the
people of this Gentile city in gratitude. The judgment of Yahweh waited in the
days of Jonah, but was unleashed in those of Nahum. Nineveh had deteriorated in
morality, and had returned to its former wickedness. Its history was stained
with blood, and it became the focus of divine judgment. The voice of Nahum
(whose name means 'Consolation' or 'Comfort' and is found in the name of
Capernaum), reflected the abhorrence of Yahweh. He spoke of:
The cause of the overthrow: vv 1-5.
The lesson of the overthrow: vv
The certainty of the overthrow: vv 14-19.
"Nineveh represents the world of today, which captures and
destroys the spirit of the Truth for those who involve themselves in
worldliness. The prophet ironically bids the Ninevites to prepare for a long
siege, and to anticipate their destruction. The prophecy is most appropriate for
today, as we live on the eve of the ultimate judgment of God. Nahum joins with
Jonah to represent the two advents of Christ: the first to reveal the ministry
of reconciliation; the second advent to bring judgment against an evil world"
Reading 3 - 1Pe 1:13
"Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled;
set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed"
The first phrase in the NIV replaces the KJV's literal
translation "Gird up the loins of your mind." The figure is of a man gathering
the folds of his long garment and tucking it into his belt so that he can move
freely and quickly (cf 1Ki 18:46; Jer 1:17; Luk 17:8). This was especially true
at Passover (Exo 12:11). Related uses of the figure occur in Luke 12:35 and Eph
6:14. "Pull yourselves together" is a comparable English idiom.
"Discipline yourself. Keep bringing yourself back very
frequently to the basic purpose of your life. As far as practical, pause very
briefly every hour on the hour for reorientation of your thoughts and
activities. Put aside all passing problems for a moment alone with God and with
His eternal peace. Our greatest problem is distraction and forgetfulness. The
whole weight of the natural mind is toward low and present things. We must keep
pulling the mind upward. It is not merely for man's convenience that God has
caused the day to be divided into hours. They should be points of reference,
compass settings, memory markers. Like the year and the month and the day and
the seven-day cycle, they are measuring milestones to remind us to pause, review
and refresh ourselves. We mean well, we plan well, and we determine well: but
remembering and staying consistently on course are our besetting problems. Set
yourself up periodic memory points, course-checking points. Of course the ideal
is constant unwavering awareness; a perfect, undeviating, arrow-straight course
toward the eternal goal. But we are weak creatures. Life is an endless, painful
(though joyful and glorious) struggle to keep bringing ourselves back to being
what we ought to be and doing what we ought to do" (GV Growcott).
"Be self-controlled": The Greek present participle is
"nephontes" and implies another figure. The original meaning of "nepho" related
to abstaining from excessive use of wine. In the New Testament its sense
broadens to "live soberly" -- a meaning that embraces sound judgment in all
areas of life.
"Set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus
Christ is revealed": Now we are God's children, John wrote, but when Christ
returns, we will be like him (1Jo 3:2,3). This longing for the Second Coming
permeates the New Testament writings (cf Act 1:11; Rom 11:26; 1Co 15:51; 1Th
4:13-17; Heb 9:28; Jam 5:8; 2Pe 3:12,13; Rev 1:7; 19:11; 22:7-20).