Old Testament reading: Job 30-31
Job 30-31 conclude Job’s final defense against the attacks of his three companions. Those who once waited on Job’s counsel and delighted in his approval (29:21-25) now mock him, even among the younger generation (30:1). Disrespect for those older was a grievous sin in those days; Oh, that those days would return! (cf Lev 19:32, Isa 3:5). They go so far as to sing songs of derision using Job’s name (30:9) and unhesitatingly spit in his face (30:10). This latter insult is considered the most despicable even to this day. In chapter 31 Job declares his righteousness regarding lust (vv 1-12), integrity with reference to the poor, the fatherless and the widow (vv 13-23), covetousness (vv 24-28), and even his integrity and righteousness in dealing with his enemies (vv 29-30). Job went so far as to say that no sojourner ever had to sleep in the streets, as he opened his doors to all travelers (v 32). Finally, Job makes a statement he will soon regret, namely that the Almighty would answer him. That answer will come soon enough, and Job will discover he’s not as prepared as he thinks to converse with the God of heaven.
New Testament reading: Mark 9-10
Mark 9:14-29 presents a tremendous difficulty for those who attempt to explain the failures of modern day faith healers. The usual excuse is that the individual who desires healing lacks sufficient faith to be healed. This, despite the fact that those who desire to be healed often express their faith by traveling great distances, and with great difficulty no less, to present themselves to these healers. However, in this inspired account of a healing failure, the problem lay with the healers, not the sick. Moreover, these were men who were accustomed to healing the sick and were well know for their abilities. No sick or disabled person was ever blamed or accused of having a lack of faith to be healed in the New Testament. The truth is, modern day healers fail because they do not possess the ability to heal. All such miraculous abilities died shortly after the days of the apostles (Acts 8:14-20) and the completion of the New Testament (1 Cor 13:10, 2 Tim 3:16-17).