Letters to Young Churches

I would like to introduce you to what I consider to be the most excellent translation-paraphrase of the New Testament Epistles. It is by J. B. Phillips and was his attempt at making these letters more readable than the King James Version, which remains the most beautiful translation. He translated it in 1947, but as C. S. Lewis said in his introduction, we need to continue to make new translations that will make the New Testament readable in today’s language.

Today we have many paraphrases of the New Testament that stray too much from the original text. They make for smooth reading, but they are not always true to the original Greek text. The result is that many Christians are confused concerning the true meaning of what Paul, Peter, James, or John are saying.

I would like to recommend that you try to find a copy of J. B. Phillips’ translation-paraphrase. It is a paraphrase in that he is attempting to express the original meaning in different words to achieve greater clarity. The book may be difficult to find, but you can find one through the internet.

I think you will enjoy it. And it will give you a good “standard” to evaluate the various modern paraphrases and find one that seems good for you. Be sure to use your standard translation – it may be NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, NRSV, or another translation – as your basic study Bible.

Above all, let the Word of God dwell in you richly. When God speaks to you, a new beginning is happening in your life.

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Job Lesson 11

Job 42:1-17

My servant Job

God spoke of Job as His servant in chapter 1, when He spoke to Satan. His love for Job never changed, and in the last chapter (42), He spoke lovingly of “My servant Job.” God speaks of people as servants only when He knows that they love Him as He loves them, and when He knows that they are willing to obey Him in anything He tells them to do. As we come to the end of our study, we can see that God is esteeming Job very highly by bestowing this greatest of honors on Job. He would now speak of Job, and also of all His servants, with the same words He spoke of His Son, the Suffering Servant. “Behold My servant, whom I uphold, My chosen, in whom My soul delights.” (Isaiah 42:1)  

Job, a man of faith

As we conclude our study of the Book of Job, we must remember that Job was a man of faith. He never stopped trusting in God or obeying whatever God told him to do. Perhaps we need to be reminded of what faith really is. John Bright, in his classic book The Kingdom of God, explains it well. “Faith is not that smug faith which is untroubled by questions because it has never asked any; but true faith is that which has asked all the questions and received very few answers, yet has heard the command, Gird up your loins! Do your duty! Remember your calling! Cast yourself forward upon God!” (p. 119-120) This is what Job did: He cast himself completely on God. 

The big Question

Yet he was left with the big question; he struggled with the question of the ages: Why, God, am I suffering? Why do the righteous suffer? Perhaps you have asked the same question. Jesus gave credibility and even dignity to the question “why” when He cried out to His Father on the cross: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Psalm 22:1) Did God answer Job’s question? Yes, He did, but not in the way Job expected. God Himself became the answer. When Job heard God speak in the whirlwind, his whole being was shaken to its depths. God’s word came as fire, consuming everything. Job’s response was to fall on his face and repent.

But we have learned that God did not speak only of Job’s sin. He spoke of Himself as light that conquers darkness; He spoke of His loving care for all His Creatures, of His wisdom that directs and upholds the universe. The eye of a hurricane is quiet and peaceful. Out of this stillness, this incredible silence, God spoke to Job. God speaks in two ways: by His words and by His silence. When Job heard God speak to him not only through the words He spoke, but also through His silence at the heart of the whirlwind, he began to understand that God is love. God’s love, not His judgment, brings us to repentance. God is wholly other; yet He loves and cares for all His creatures, especially for those who suffer. 

God’s everlasting, unconditional, transforming love is revealed in the four words that bring the Book of Job to a close: majesty, mercy, mission, and mystery. I am grateful to Dr. Gary Parrett, a dear friend and former professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and who is greatly loved by his disciples around the world, for introducing these four words.  These four words were the title of a sermon he preached some years ago at Biola University, with the text Isaiah 6:1-13 and Romans 12:1-2. They are used here with his kind permission. (You can listen to his sermon on YouTube. He was not preaching about Job, but these four words enable us to see God’s amazing love.)

Majesty      

Job did not find the cause of his great suffering. No easy intellectual answer to the question of why God allows the righteous, or innocent, to suffer sprang up. He discovered that there is no philosophical answer to one of the greatest questions humans can ask. 

Instead, Job found himself standing in the presence of God in all of His majesty and glory. The all-powerful, all-knowing God, who created the universe and all that is in it and who holds all things together with the word of His power, who controls the destiny of every creature on earth and gives them breath without which they could not exist, appeared to Job in His holiness. Job could only respond in one way, by repentance. “I had heard of You by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees You; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” (Job 42:5-6) 

Others who came face to face with God reacted in the same way, for no human can stand before the majesty of God without becoming aware of his own smallness. God appeared to Moses in a burning bush, and told Moses to take off his shoes because he was standing in a holy place. In the year King Uzziah died, Isaiah saw the Lord. King Uzziah died because he dared to enter boldly, even arrogantly, into the presence of the holy God to burn incense. Only priests were allowed to enter God’s presence, and Uzziah was stricken with leprosy and died. That very year, Isaiah saw the Lord, sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up. His immediate reaction was to fall on his face in repentance, saying, “Woe is me! For I am lost.” God later spoke to Isaiah, saying, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:9) 

It is said that Rabbi Bunam, the great Hasidic teacher, once made this remark: “A man should carry two stones in his pocket. On one, ‘I am but dust and ashes.’ On the other, ‘For my sake the world was created.’ And he should use both stones as needed.”

Mercy

Repentance is the key that opens the door into God’s presence. God showed mercy to Job and welcomed him into His presence, just as Jesus would later welcome the repentant criminal who died next to Him on the cross. The door into God’s presence was immediately opened to this man. “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke 23:43) Repentance leads to God’s loving care for us. 

God delights to forgive. God forgave Job and restored him completely. The prophet Micah says it this way: “Who is a God like You, pardoning iniquity, and passing over transgression? . . . He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in steadfast love.” (Micah 7:18-19) 

Job’s sin was not in the words he spoke about God. God said Job “spoke of me what is right.” (42:7) Job’s sin was evident in the words he spoke about himself. Pride was Job’s greatest sin. Job could easily recognize pride in his three friends, but “if we wish to look on the face of sin, we will see it most clearly in ourselves.” (Henry Fairlie, The Seven Deadly Sins Today, p. 17) Job was a man of self-respect and self-esteem, but he failed to realize how easily those good qualities could turn into pride. Some have called pride the “sin of the noble minded person.” Job could see his friends’ spiritual sickness, which he did not share. But beyond that sickness lay an evil which he did share. But God’s mercy enabled Job to repent. 

Psalm 104 gives us an important clue as to what happened in Job’s life after he repented. Remarkably, the psalmist sings about what happened to Job when God appeared to him (as recorded in chapters 38-41). When God appears to a person, the only response is worship. Another psalm, Psalm 95, explains the meaning of worship. Worship begins with praise, shouting, leaping for joy (Psalm 95:1-1-5). But praise is not the end of worship; rather, it is the beginning. As we continue to worship God, we “kneel before the Lord, our Maker.” (95:6) When Isaiah saw the Lord, he fell on his face, in repentance, yes; but also in worship. Our whole life is worship to the Lord. Isaiah’s response was, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory.” (Isaiah 6:3) 

What is the mark of true repentance? Joy! Repentance and joy are not opposites; we often repent with tears of joy. Job knew that he was completely forgiven. He could now call himself the greatest of sinners but at the same time confess to loving God with his whole heart. We are not told about Job’s future life, other than the fact that the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. (Job 42:12) But we can be sure that Job became a worshiper. He would have understood the words of the psalmist who later wrote, “I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken . . . In Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:8,11) These are words of a true servant of the Lord. 

Mission 

God gives a new mission to His servants. He sends us into the world to proclaim His love and forgiveness, and to invite all people into His Kingdom. Are you aware that the Great Commission to extend God’s Kingdom throughout the world, that we read about in the last chapter of Matthew is actually given in all four Gospels? (In fact, God’s Great Commission can be found in every book of the Bible!) Each account of the Great Commission in the Gospels has a different focus. The Great Commission in the Gospel of John can be found in John 20:19-23. Jesus’ first words to His disciples were “Peace be with you.” He breathed on them and told them to receive the Holy Spirit. Then He commissioned them and sent them out to forgive the sins of all people they met. This is the Great Commission in John’s Gospel: Forgive everyone! Not just to pronounce God’s forgiveness, but you yourself must forgive everyone who has sinned against you. Forgiveness brings reconciliation, and when we forgive everyone, regardless of their sins against us, we become God’s instruments of reconciliation.

 God gave Job the mission of forgiving his brothers who had sinned against him, and of praying for them that God might also forgive them. This was the first thing Job did as a true servant of the Lord: he forgave those who had cursed him. “And the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.” (42:9)

Mystery 

We are left with a mystery. But it is no longer a mystery that has to be solved by human logic. We are invited into the great mystery of God.

The mystery of the Godhead is that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth. The writer of Hebrews tells us what happened: “Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.” (Hebrews 2:14-15 NASB))

But the way God chose to enter into our suffering is also mysterious. He entered the world as a completely helpless baby, dependent on his parents whom He had previously prepared in a supernatural way. He grew up “like a sapling, like a root in arid ground. He had no beauty, no majesty to attract us, no appearance to win our hearts.” As Jesus grew up, He was “despised, shunned by the people, a man of sorrows, familiar with suffering.” (Isaiah 53:2-3a NJB)

The mystery goes deeper. God came to earth in the Person of Jesus Christ, and shared our sufferings, indeed all the sufferings of all mankind, by becoming the Suffering Servant, as described in Isaiah chapters 40 through 66. Nothing could have been more shocking to the Jews of Isaiah’s day: Their victory would come through suffering! We can almost imagine Isaiah’s reaching beyond the Old Covenant into the New Covenant, for he was prophesying about the coming of the Messiah. Jesus the Messiah overcame the sin, sickness and suffering of the world by taking it upon Himself and destroying the works of the devil. (1 John 3:8) He was crucified in weakness, but raised by the power of God! Although He was the Son of God, Jesus “had to be made perfect through suffering.” (Hebrews 2:10) He made the perfect sacrifice, His death; He won the perfect victory, His resurrection. 

Great indeed is the mystery of godliness. “He (Jesus) was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16) We share in this mystery of godliness. We abide in Jesus, God’s Suffering Servant who suffered beyond human recognition, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. (Isaiah 52:13-53:12)  

Job’s story had a happy ending. Everything was doubled. The Lord gave him ten more children and blessed his latter days more than his beginning. But suffering does not always play out this way in the lives of millions of refugees who were seeking a better country but who died at sea or at the hands of border guards, or of prisoners who die in concentration camps, or of those who end their lives on beds of pain.   

The mystery of suffering does not end with Job’s restoration. And it does not end for us when we receive the gift of salvation, eternal life that will never end. We know what Job did not know. God is with us, He has entered into our suffering; He continues to enter into the suffering of the millions who suffer today. He daily bears our burdens. (Psalm 68:15) He comforts us by His Holy Spirit so that we might comfort others who suffer. 

Jesus calls us to die to ourselves daily, and to take up our crosses and follow Him. We who abide in the risen Lord also abide in the Suffering Servant; we also must become “suffering servants” to rescue a dying world.  

Do you ever use your imagination to consider what Job’s life might have been like after God restored him completely? The Book of Job does not invite us to imagine this. But we read that Job forgave his three friends who had condemned him. He could not have done this without in some way entering into their suffering and bringing release and comfort to them. Perhaps God had a greater plan for Job, a greater mission than that of simply being a righteous person. Job learned what it was like to suffer even though he had lived a righteous life. We know nothing of Job’s life other than what we have learned in the Book of Job. But we do know that God wanted to use Job to bless the world. Perhaps this is why we now have the Book of Job. God is preparing us through suffering to bless the world by revealing to them who God is. “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake.” (Philippians 1:29)

We mentioned as we prepared to study the Book of Job that we would find a treasure hidden in suffering. Now we can understand the words of Mother Basilea Schlink, founder of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary. “The treasure is hidden in the cross. This treasure is the gift of God’s love.”

Job was one of the men God used to advance His Kingdom on earth. We are members of the Kingdom of God; we know the power of Jesus’ resurrection, but we also share in the “fellowship of His sufferings.” (Philippians 3:10-11) We are joined by a great crowd of witnesses in heaven as we live our lives as His suffering servants. 

Sometimes we share in Jesus’ sufferings through intercession, identifying with those in sorrow, danger or pain. At other times we share in Jesus’ sufferings by becoming “risk takers” like those “parabolani” (the Greek name for risk-taker, or “gambler”) who entered the city of Carthage in 250 A.D. to care for those dying of the great plague, while all the pagans and leaders deserted the city. Most of the Christians who entered Carthage died in serving suffering people whom they did not even know. These Christians belonged to what I would call “the community of the holy fire,” that demands all things and consumes all things. We see such “risk takers” today among those who dare to enter the covid-19 battleground to care for those who are dying. 

The mystery is that God chooses to work through us by the power of His Holy Spirit to pray for the suffering people of the world, to remove the barriers of injustice and unrighteousness that cause millions of people to suffer unnecessarily, and to serve those who are suffering. Thousands of Christian missionaries continue to spread this treasure of God’s love among the nations today. Many have suffered martyrdom, but all have suffered willingly so that people of all nations may know Jesus Christ and become members of His eternal Kingdom.

“Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1b-2 ESV) 

Some things to consider

Now is the time to look back over the Book of Job and ask ourselves these questions: 

1. What did Job learn about suffering, and how did his life change as a result?

2. As you studied the Book of Job did you discover some of the precious gems that lead us to find the treasure in suffering? Consider some of the following gems:

  • Job’s deepening relationship with God through suffering
  • Job’s enlargement through suffering
  • Job’s being molded into Christ’s image through his suffering
  • Job’s new humility which he acquired through humiliation
  • Job’s newly discovered compassion that gave him renewed strength to comfort others, even those who had judged him
  • Job’s new outlook on the world, including power that comes through weakness, letting go of his own work to allow God to work through him
  • Job’s new understanding of the power of hiddenness, especially God’s hiding him so that Satan could not destroy him
  • Job’s discovery that he was “standing in grace” because of God’s love and mercy
  • Job’s new understanding that God, even while He was testing Job, was walking with him through the valley of the shadow of death 
  • Job’s newly gained ability to place his sufferings under his blessings
  • Job’s discovery of a new community – koinonia, beginning with his three friends and extending far beyond

As you look back over the Book of Job, seek to understand how God was ministering to Job in the midst of his testing, and how God’s purpose in testing Job was to prepare him for greater service in His Kingdom.

3. Notice that Job broke the current tradition of only sons receiving their father’s inheritance. Job gave his daughters an inheritance along with their brothers! (Job 42:15) 

4. Have you discovered in your own life that when you hit “rock bottom” God is there? Remember Corrie ten Boom’s sister Betsie’s last words before she was executed at Auschwitz: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.” Remember also the words of Elisabeth Eliot, whose husband was martyred along with four other missionaries by the Auca Indians, as they were trying to take the Gospel to this unreached people group. “Faith’s most severe tests come not when we see nothing, but we see a stunning array of evidence that seems to prove our faith vain. If God were God, if He were omnipotent, if He had cared, would this have happened? Is this that I face now . . . the reward of my obedience? One turns in disbelief again from the circumstances and looks into the abyss. But in the abyss there is only blackness, no glimmer of light, no answering echo.”

But then she says in conclusion, “It was a long time before I came to the realization that it is in our acceptance of what is given [whatever that might be], that God gives Himself. This grief, this sorrow, this total loss that empties my hands and breaks my heart, I may, if I will, accept, and by accepting it, I find in my hands something to offer. And so I give it back to Him, who in mysterious exchange gives Himself to me.” 

5. What have you gained through this study that will help you minister to suffering people around you, or to suffering people in the world? Can you now understand Paul’s words in Philippians 1:29? “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for His sake.” Do you believe that God sometimes leads people to choose suffering to reveal His love to the world?

6. Are you a worshiper of God?

You have completed your study of one of the greatest books ever written. Begin now to prepare to teach the Book of Job to at least one other person.

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욥기 제11과

욥기 42:1-17

나의  

하나님께서는 1장에서 사탄과 이야기하실 때, 욥을 나의 종이라고 말씀하셨습니다. 욥을 향한 하나님의사랑은 결코 변하지 않았으며, 마지막 장 (42장)에서 주님은 사랑을 담아 “내 종 욥”이라고 말씀하십니다. 하나님께서는 그분이 우리를 사랑하시는 것처럼 하나님을 사랑한다는 것을 알고, 하나님께서 하라고 말씀하시는 모든 것을 기꺼이 순종한다는 것을 아실 때 비로소 그들을 종이라고 말씀하십니다. 이 성경공부를끝마칠 때면, 우리는 하나님께서 욥에게 최고의 영예를 주시면서, 그를 아주 높이 평가하시는 것을 볼 수 있을 것입니다. 하나님은 지금 욥에 대해서, 그리고 그의 모든 종들에 대해서, 그의 아들, 고난 받는 종에게 하신 것과 같은 말씀으로 말씀하고 계십니다. “내가 붙드는 나의 종, 내 마음에 기뻐하는 자 곧 내가 택한 사람을 보라” (이사야 42:1)

믿음의 사람

욥기 성경공부를 마치면서, 우리는 욥이 믿음의 사람이었음을 기억해야만 합니다. 그는 결코 하나님을향한 신뢰나 하나님께서 그에게 하라고 하신 것이 무엇이든 그것에 순종하는 것을 멈추지 않았습니다. 어쩌면 우리는 믿음이 무엇인지 되새길 필요가 있습니다. 존 브라이트 (John Bright)는 그의 고전적인 책 “The Kingdom of God” (하나님의 나라크리스천다이제스트 역간)에서 그 의미를 잘 설명했습니다. “믿음은어떤 의문도 없었기 때문에 질문들로 인해 흐트러지지 않는 의기양양한 신념이 아닙니다. 진정한 믿음은 의문을 가지고 질문했던 모든 것에 대한 아주 적은 답을 얻었음에도, 이 명령들을 확실히 듣는 것입니다. 허리를 동이라! 의무를 다 하라! 자신을 내려놓고 하나님을 향해 나아가라! (p. 119-120) 이것이 욥이 행한 일입니다: 그는 하나님 앞에 자신을 완전히 내던졌습니다. 

가장  질문

그렇지만 그에게 큰 질문이 남아 있었습니다. 그는 모든 시대에 걸쳐 내려온 질문과 씨름했습니다: 하나님, 왜 나는 고난 받고 있습니까? 왜 의인들이 고난 받아야 합니까? 어쩌면 우리도 같은 질문을 했을 것입니다. 예수님은 십자가 상에서 “나의 하나님, 나의 하나님, 어찌하여 나를 버리시나이까?”라고 아버지께 부르짖으실 때, “왜”라는 질문의 신뢰와 존엄성을 주셨습니다. (시편 22:1) 하나님께서 욥의 질문에 대답하셨습니까? 예. 그렇습니다. 그렇지만 욥이 기대했던 방식은 아니었습니다. 하나님 자신이 그 답이 되셨습니다. 욥이 폭풍우 속에서 하나님께서 말씀하시는 것을 들었을 때, 그의 전 존재는 그 깊음 속에 요동쳤습니다. 하나님의 말씀은 모든 것을 태우는 불처럼 임했습니다. 욥의 반응은 그의 얼굴을 땅에 엎드려 회개하는것이었습니다. 

그러나 우리는 하나님께서 욥의 죄만을 말씀하지 않으셨다는 것을 배웠습니다. 그분은 자신을 어둠을정복하시는 빛이라고 말씀하셨습니다. 그분은 그의 모든 피조물들을 향한 인자한 돌보심과 우주를 주관하시고 붙드시는 그분의 지혜에 대해 말씀하셨습니다. 태풍의 눈은 고요하고 평화롭습니다. 이 고요함 속에서, 이처럼 믿을 수 없는 침묵 속에서 하나님은 욥에게 말씀하셨습니다. 하나님은 두 가지 방법으로 말씀하십니다. 그분의 말씀으로, 그리고 침묵으로 말씀하십니다. 욥은 하나님께서 하신 말씀뿐 아니라 폭풍우의한복판에서의 침묵을 통해 하나님의 말씀을 들었고, 그때 그는 하나님은 사랑이심을 이해하기 시작했습니다. 하나님의 심판이 아니라 그분의 사랑이 우리를 회개하게 합니다. 하나님은 본질상 완전히 다른 분이십니다. 그렇지만 그분은 그의 모든 피조물들, 특별히 고난 받는 사람들을 사랑하고 돌보십니다. 

하나님의 영원하시고, 무조건적이며, 변화를 가져다주는 사랑은 욥기를 마무리하는 위엄, 자비, 사명, 그리고 신비의 네 단어 속에서 드러납니다. 이 네 단어를 소개해 주신 친애하는 친구이자 고든 콘웰 신학대학원의 교수였고 전 세계에 있는 그의 제자들에게 큰 사랑을 받고 있는 게리 패럿 박사 (Dr. Gary Parrett) 에게 감사를 드립니다. 이 네 단어는 그가 몇 년 전 바이올라 대학교에서 이사야 6:1-13절과 로마서 12:1-2절을 본문으로 전했던 설교의 제목이었습니다. 그의 친절한 허락 하에 여기에서 그 단어들을 사용하게 되었습니다. (그의 설교는 YouTube를 통해 들으실 수 있습니다. 그는 욥에 대해 설교하지는 않았지만, 이 네단어들은 우리로 하여금 하나님의 놀라운 사랑을 알 수 있게 해 줍니다.)

위엄

욥은 자신의 큰 고난의 원인을 찾아내지 못했습니다. 왜 하나님께서 의롭고 무고한 사람들이 고난 받는것을 허락하시는지에 대한 질문의 지적인 답을 찾는 것은 쉽지 않습니다. 그는 인간이 물을 수 있는 가장 큰질문에 대한 철학적인 대답은 없다는 것을 발견했습니다. 

대신에 욥은 자신이 하나님의 임재 안에서 그분의 모든 위엄과 영광 가운데 서 있음을 발견했습니다. 우주와 그 안에 있는 모든 것을 창조하시고 그의 권능 말씀으로 만유를 함께 붙드시며, 땅 위의 모든 피조물의운명을 다스리시면서, 이 땅에 존재할 수 있도록 호흡을 주시는 전능하시고 모든 것을 아시는 하나님께서자신의 거룩하심 가운데 욥에게 나타나셨습니다. 욥은 한 가지 방법으로만 반응할 수 있었는데, 그것은 회개였습니다. “내가 주께 대하여 귀로 듣기만 하였사오나 이제는 눈으로 주를 뵈옵나이다. 그러므로 내가 스스로 거두어들이고 티끌과 재 가운데에서 회개하나이다.” (욥기 42:5-6)

하나님을 대면했던 다른 사람들도 똑같은 방식으로 반응했습니다. 어떤 사람도 자신의 작다는 것을 인식하지 못한 채 하나님의 위엄 앞에 설 수 없기 때문입니다. 하나님은 불타는 떨기 나무 가운데서 모세에게나타나셨고, 그에게 이 곳은 거룩한 곳이니 신을 벗으라고 모세에게 말씀하셨습니다. 웃시야 왕이 죽던 해에 이사야는 주님을 보았습니다. 웃시야 왕은 대담하고 교만한 태도로 향을 피우기 위해 지성소 안으로 들어간 일로 인해 죽었습니다. 하나님의 임재 안으로 들어가는 것은 제사장들에게만 허락된 것이었고, 결국웃시야는 나병에 걸려 죽고 말았습니다. 바로 그 해에, 이사야는 주님을 만났고, 보좌 앞에 앉아 주님을 높이 올려 드렸습니다. 그의 즉각적인 반응은 얼굴을 땅에 대고 회개하면서 “화로다 나여, 망하게 되었도다.”라고 말하는 것이었습니다. 하나님께서는 후에 이사야에게 이렇게 말씀하셨습니다. “이는 하늘이 땅보다 높음 같이 내 길은 너희의 길보다 높으며 내 생각은 너희의 생각보다 높으니라.” (이사야 55:9)

하시드 파의 훌륭한 교사인 랍비 부남 (Rabbi Bunam)은 이렇게 강조했습니다. “사람은 두 개의 돌을주머니에 가지고 다녀야 한다. 하나는 ‘나는 재와 먼지일 뿐이다’라는 돌이다. 다른 돌은 ‘나를 위해 세상이창조되었다.’라는 돌이다. 그리고 필요에 따라 두 개의 돌 모두를 사용해야 한다.”

자비

회개는 하나님의 임재로 들어가는 문을 여는 열쇠입니다. 하나님은 욥에게 긍휼과 자비를 보이셨고, 예수님의 옆에서 십자가에 달려 죽었던 회개한 범죄자를 후에 맞아 주셨던 것처럼, 주님의 임재 안에서 욥을맞아 주셨습니다. 하나님의 임재로 들어가는 문은 그 사람에게 즉시 열렸습니다. “내가 진실로 네게 이르노니 오늘 네가 나와 함께 낙원에 있으리라 하시니라.” (누가복음 23:43) 회개는 하나님의 인자하신 돌보심으로 우리를 이끌어 줍니다. 

하나님은 용서하기를 기뻐하십니다. 하나님은 욥을 용서하셨고 그를 완전히 회복시켜 주셨습니다. 선지자 미가는 그것을 이렇게 말합니다. “주와 같은 신이 어디 있으리이까 주께서는 죄악과 그 기업에 남은 자의허물을 사유하시며 인애를 기뻐하시므로 진노를 오래 품지 아니하시나이다 …” (미가 7:18-19)

욥의 죄는 그가 하나님에 대해 했던 말에 있지 않았습니다. 하나님은 욥의 세 친구들에게 내 종 욥이 나를 가리켜 말한 것이 옳으니라.”(42:7)고 말씀하셨습니다. 욥의 죄는 그가 자신에 대해 했던 말에서 분명히드러났습니다. 교만은 욥의 가장 큰 죄였습니다. 욥은 세 친구들 안에 있는 교만을 쉽게 발견할 수 있었습니다. 그러나 “만일 우리가 죄의 얼굴을 보고 싶다면, 우리 자신에게서 가장 분명히 볼 수 있습니다.” (헨리 페얼리 (Henry Fairlie), The Seven Deadly Sins Today, p. 17) 욥은 자기 존중과 자존감이 강한 사람이었지만, 그처럼 좋은 성품이 얼마나 쉽게 교만으로 바뀔 수 있는지 깨닫는 데 실패했습니다. 어떤 사람은 교만을 “고결한 사람들의 죄”라고 부릅니다. 욥은 그들과 공유하지 않은 그의 친구들의 영적인 질병을 볼 수있었습니다. 그렇지만 그 질병 너머에는 그가 공유했던 악이 있었습니다. 그러나 하나님의 자비는 욥이 회개할 수 있게 해 주었습니다. 

시편 104편은 욥이 회개한 후의 삶에서 일어난 일에 대한 중요한 단서를 우리에게 제공합니다. 놀랍게도, 시편 기자는 하나님께서 욥에게 나타나셨을 때 그에게 일어났던 일 (38-41장에 기록된 일)을 노래합니다. 하나님께서 어떤 사람에게 나타나실 때, 그의 유일한 반응은 예배입니다. 다른 시편인 시편 95편은 예배의 의미를 설명해 줍니다. 예배는 찬양으로 시작해서 외침, 기쁨으로 뛰는 것으로 이어집니다. (시편95:1-5) 그러나 찬양은 예배의 끝이 아닙니다. 오히려 시작입니다. 우리가 계속해서 하나님을 예배할 때, “우리를 지으신 여호와 앞에 무릎을 꿇게” 됩니다. (95:6) 이사야가 주님을 보았을 때, 그는 얼굴을 땅에 대고 회개했습니다. 예 그렇습니다. 그러나 그는 또한 예배 가운데 있었습니다. 우리의 모든 삶은 주님을 향한예배입니다. 이사야의 반응은 이랬습니다. “거룩하다 거룩하다 거룩하다 만군의 여호와여 그의 영광이 온땅에 충만하도다.” (이사야 6:3) 

진정한 회개의 표지는 무엇입니까? 기쁨입니다! 회개와 기쁨은 반대가 아닙니다. 우리는 기쁨의 눈물로회개하곤 합니다. 욥은 자신이 완전히 용서받았다는 것을 알았습니다. 그는 이제 자신을 죄인들 중에 가장큰 자라고 부르는 동시에 전심으로 하나님을 사랑한다고 고백할 수 있습니다. 우리는 여호와께서 욥의 말년에 욥에게 처음보다 더 복을 주셨다는 사실 (욥기 42:12) 외에 그의 미래의 삶에 대해 말하지 않습니다. 그러나 우리는 욥이 예배자가 되었다는 것을 확신할 수 있습니다. 그는 나중에 이렇게 기록한 시편 기자의 말을 이해했을 것입니다. “내가 여호와를 항상 내 앞에 모심이여 그가 나의 오른쪽에 계시므로 내가 흔들리지아니하리로다… 주의 앞에는 충만한 기쁨이 있고 주의 오른쪽에는 영원한 즐거움이 있나이다.” (시편 16:8, 11) 이 말씀은 주님의 진실된 종들의 고백입니다. 

사명

하나님은 그의 종들에게 새로운 사명을 주십니다. 하나님은 그분의 사랑과 용서를 선포하고, 하나님의나라 안으로 모든 사람들을 초청하기 위해 우리를 세상 속으로 보내십니다. 우리가 마태복음 마지막 장에서읽을 수 있는, 세상에서 하나님 나라를 확장하기 위한 지상대명령이 사실은 사복음서 모두에 주어졌다는 것을 아십니까? (사실, 하나님의 지상대명령은 성경의 모든 책에서 발견할 수 있습니다.) 사복음서에서의 지상대명령에 대한 설명은 각각 다른 초점을 가지고 있습니다. 요한복음에서 지상대명령은 요한복음 20:19-23절에서 찾아볼 수 있습니다. 예수님께서 제자들에게 했던 첫 번째 말씀은 “너희에게 평강이 있을지어다.”였습니다. 그는 제자들에게 숨을 내쉬면서 성령을 받으라고 말씀하셨습니다. 그리고 나서 그들을 파송하시면서 그들이 만나는 모든 사람들을 용서할 수 있도록 그들을 세상으로 보내셨습니다. 요한복음의 지상대명령은 바로 이것입니다. 모든 사람을 용서하라! 하나님의 용서를 선포하는 것뿐 아니라 우리에게 죄를지은 모든 사람들을 우리 자신이 용서해야만 한다는 것입니다. 용서는 화해를 가져오며, 우리에게 대한 그들의 죄가 무엇이든 상관없이 모든 사람들을 용서할 때, 우리는 하나님의 화해의 도구가 될 것입니다.   

하나님이 욥에게 주신 사명은 그에게 죄를 지었던 그의 형제들을 용서하고, 하나님 또한 그들을 용서하실 수 있도록 그들을 위해 기도하라는 것이었습니다. 이것은 욥이 주님의 진실된 종으로서 했던 첫 번째 일이었습니다. 그는 그를 저주했던 사람들을 용서했습니다. “여호와께서 욥을 (욥의 기도를) 기쁘게 받으셨더라.” (42:9)

신비

우리에게는 신비가 남아 있습니다. 그러나 그것은 더 이상 인간의 논리로 풀어내야만 하는 수수께끼가아닙니다. 우리는 하나님의 위대한 신비로 초청받았습니다. 

하나님의 신성의 신비는 말씀이 육신이 되어 우리 가운데 거하시며, 은혜와 진리가 충만케 되는 것입니다. 히브리서의 저자는 우리에게 무슨 일이 일어났는지 이렇게 말해 줍니다. “자녀들은 혈과 육에 속하였으매 그도 또한 같은 모양으로 혈과 육을 함께 지니심은 죽음을 통하여 죽음의 세력을 잡은 자 곧 마귀를 멸하시며 또 죽기를 무서워하므로 한평생 매여 종 노릇 하는 모든 자들을 놓아주려 하심이니.” (히브리서 2:14-15)

그런데 하나님께서 우리의 고난 속으로 들어오시기를 선택한 방식 또한 신비로운 일입니다. 그분은 스스로는 아무 것도 할 수 없는 완전한 아기이자, 하나님의 초자연적인 방법으로 전에 예비된 부모 아래서 자라난 자녀로 세상에 들어오셨습니다. 그분은 주 앞에서 “연한 순 같고 마른 땅에서 나온 뿌리 같아서 고운모양도 없고 풍채도 없은즉 우리가 보기에 흠모할 만한 아름다운 것이 없이” 자라나셨습니다. 예수님께서자라나실 때, 그분은 “멸시를 받아 사람들에게 버림받았으며 간고를 많이 겪었으며 질고를 아는 자”였습니다. (이사야 53:2-3a)

신비는 더욱 깊어집니다. 하나님은 이사야 40장에서 66장에 묘사된 것처럼 예수 그리스도의 인격 가운데 이 땅에 오셔서 고난 받는 종이 되심으로써 우리의 고난, 사실상 모든 인류의 모든 고난을 담당하셨습니다. 이사야 시대에 유대인들에게 그들의 승리가 고난을 통해 임하게 된다는 것보다 더 충격적인 일이 있을수 없었습니다! 우리는 이사야가 메시아의 오심을 예언하고 있다는 것에서 그가 옛 언약을 넘어서 새 언약까지 거의 이르렀음을 상상할 수 있습니다. 메시아이신 예수님은 세상의 죄, 질병, 그리고 고난을 자신이 지심으로써 그 모든 것을 이기셨고, 마귀의 일을 멸하십니다. (요한일서 3:8) 그분은 연약함 가운데 십자가에못박히셨지만. 하나님의 권능으로 다시 살아나셨습니다! 하나님의 아들이심에도 불구하고, 예수님은 “고난을 통하여 온전하게 하심이 합당하십니다.” (히브리서 2:10) 그분은 자신의 죽음으로 완전한 제물이 되셨고, 부활하심으로 완전한 승리를 이루어내셨습니다. 

참으로 경건의 신비는 위대합니다. “그는 (예수님은) 육신으로 나타난 바 되시고 영으로 의롭다 하심을받으시고 천사들에게 보이시고 만국에서 전파되시고 세상에서 믿음 바 되시고 영광 가운데서 올려지셨느니라.” (디모데전서 3:16) 우리는 이러한 경건의 신비에 동참합니다. 우리는 인간의 형체를 알아볼 수 없을 정도로 고통 당하시고 인간의 슬픔과 괴로움을 익히 아시는 하나님의 고난 받는 종이신 예수님 안에 거합니다. (이사야 52:13-53:12)

욥의 이야기는 해피엔딩으로 끝납니다. 모든 소유가 갑절이 되었습니다. 주님은 그에게 열 명의 자녀를더 주셨고, 욥의 말년에 처음보다 더 복을 주셨습니다. 그러나 더 살기 좋은 나라를 찾아 가지만 바다에서또는 국경 경비대의 손에 죽고 마는 수백만의 난민들의 삶이나 정치범 수용소에서 죽어가는 정치범들, 그리고 고통스러운 병상에서 삶을 마감하는 사람들의 삶에서 고난은 똑같은 방식으로 작동하지 않습니다. 

고난의 신비는 욥의 회복으로 끝나지 않습니다. 그리고 영원히 끝나지 않을 구원의 선물, 영원한 생명의선물을 받을 때 그것은 우리에게 결코 끝이 아닙니다. 욥이 알지 못했던 것을 우리는 알고 있습니다. 하나님은 우리와 함께 계시며, 그분은 우리의 고난 속으로 들어오셨습니다. 그분은 오늘날 고난 받는 수많은 사람들의 고난 안으로 계속해서 들어오십니다. 그분은 날마다 우리의 짐을 지시는 분이십니다. (시편 68:15) 그분은 성령님을 통해 우리를 위로하셔서, 우리로 하여금 고난 받는 다른 사람들을 위로하게 하십니다. 

예수님은 우리 자신에 대해 날마다 죽고, 자기 십자가를 지고 그분을 따를 수 있도록 우리를 부르십니다. 부활하신 주님 안에 거하는 우리는 또한 고난 받는 종 안에 거합니다. 우리 또한 죽어가는 세상을 건져내기 위해 “고난 받는 종”이 되어야 합니다.   

하나님께서 욥을 완전히 회복시켜 주신 뒤에 그의 삶이 어떠했을지 생각하기 위해 우리의 모든 상상력을 사용해 보셨습니까? 욥기는 그것을 상상하도록 우리를 초청하지는 않습니다. 그러나 우리는 욥이 자신을 정죄했던 세 친구들을 용서했다는 것을 읽었습니다. 그는 그들의 고통 속으로 들어가 그들을 풀어주고위로를 가지고 가지 않고는 그렇게 그들을 용서할 수 없었을 것입니다. 아마도 하나님은 욥을 위한 더 큰 계획, 단순히 의로운 사람이 되는 것 이상의 더 큰 사명을 가지고 계셨을 것입니다. 욥은 의로운 삶을 살아가는 가운데서도 고난 받은 것이 어떤 것인지 배웠습니다. 우리는 욥기에서 배운 것 외에 욥의 삶에 대해 아는것이 없습니다. 그러나 우리는 하나님께서 욥을 세상을 축복하기 위해 사용하기 원하셨다는 것을 압니다. 아마도 이것이 욥기를 우리가 지금 공부하게 된 이유일 것입니다. 하나님은 우리로 하여금 하나님이 누구신지를 세상에 드러냄으로써 세상을 축복할 수 있도록 고난을 통해 우리를 준비시키고 계십니다. “그리스도를위하여 너희에게 은혜를 주신 것은 다만 그를 믿을 뿐 아니라 또한 그를 위하여 고난도 받게 하려 하심이라.” (빌립보서 1:29)

우리는 욥기 성경공부를 준비할 때 고난 속에 숨겨진 보배를 찾게 될 것이라고 말했습니다. 이제 우리는기독교 마리아 자매회의 설립자인 마더 바실레아 슐링크 (Mother Basilea Schlink)의 말을 이해할 수 있습니다. “보배는 십자가에 숨겨져 있습니다. 이 보배는 하나님의 사랑의 선물입니다.”

욥은 땅 위에서 하나님 나라가 전진하여 나아갈 수 있도록 하나님께서 사용하신 사람이었습니다. 우리는 하나님 나라의 구성원들입니다. 우리는 예수님의 부활의 권능을 알고 있으며, 또한 “그분의 고난에 참여함” 가운데 거기에 동참합니다. (빌립보서 3:10-11) 우리는 그분의 고난 받는 종으로서 우리의 삶을 살아가는 가운데 하늘의 거대한 증인들의 무리에 함께 하게 됩니다. 

때때로 우리는 슬픔, 위험, 또는 고통 가운데 있는 사람들과 동일시하는 중보기도를 통해 예수님의 고난에 동참합니다. 또 다른 때에 우리는 모든 이교도들과 지도자들이 도시를 떠나는 동안, 카르타고에서 죽어가는 사람들을 돌보기 위해 A.D. 250년 카르타고에 들어온 “파라볼라니 (parabolani)” (모험가 또는 도박꾼의 그리스 이름)와 같은 “위험을 감수하는 사람들”이 됨으로써 예수의 고난에 동참합니다. 카르타고로 들어간 대부분의 그리스도인들은 그들이 알지도 못하는 고난 받는 사람들을 섬기다가 죽었습니다. 이 그리스도인들은 내가 “거룩한 불의 공동체”라고 이름 붙인 사람들, 즉 요구되는 모든 것을 행하며 모든 것을 불태우는 무리 가운데 속해 있습니다. 우리는 오늘날 Covid-19과의 싸움터에 기꺼이 들어가서 죽어가는 사람들을 돌보는 사람들 중에서 그런 “위험을 감수하는 사람들”을 볼 수 있습니다.   

세상의 고난 받는 사람들을 위해 기도하고, 수많은 사람들의 불필요한 고통을 야기시키는 불의와 불평등의 장벽을 제거하며, 고난 받는 사람들을 섬길 수 있도록, 하나님께서 성령의 권능으로 우리를 통해 일하시기를 선택한 것이 신비입니다. 수많은 기독교 선교사들은 오늘도 열방 가운데서 이 귀한 하나님의 사랑의보배를 계속해서 전파하고 있습니다. 많은 사람들이 순교의 고난을 받고 있지만, 그 모든 사람들이 열방의백성들이 예수 그리스도를 알고 그분의 영원한 나라의 백성이 되도록 하기 위해 기꺼이 고난을 받고 있습니다. 

“인내로써 우리 앞에 당한 경주를 하며 믿음의 주요 또 온전하게 하시는 이인 예수를 바라보자. 그는 그앞에 있는 기쁨을 위하여 십자가를 참으사 부끄러움을 개의치 아니하시더니 하나님 보좌 우편에 앉으셨느니라.” (히브리서 12:1b-2)

생각해 볼 것들

이제 욥기를 돌아보면서 우리 자신에게 이 질문들을 할 시간입니다. 

1. 욥이 고난에 대해 배운 것은 무엇이며, 그 결과로 그의 삶은 어떻게 변화되었습니까?

2. 욥기를 공부하면서 고난 속에서 보배를 찾을 수 있도록 우리를 이끌어준 귀중한 보석들을 발견하셨습니까? 이어지는 내용들을 보면서 어떤 보석들을 발견했는지 생각해 보십시오. 

  • 고난을 통해 욥이 하나님과 깊은 관계를 가지게 된 것
  • 고난을 통해 확장된 욥의 삶
  • 욥이 그의 고난을 통해 그리스도의 형상으로 빚어진 것
  • 욥이 모욕을 통해 얻게 된 새로운 겸손
  • 욥에게 다른 사람들, 심지어 자신을 판단한 사람들까지 위로할 수 있도록 새 힘을 주신 하나님의긍휼을 새롭게 발견한 것
  • 세상에 대한 욥의 새로운 세계관, 약함을 통해 임하는 권능, 하나님께서 자신을 통해 일하실 수 있도록 자신의 일을 내려놓는 것
  • 숨겨지는 것의 권능에 대한 새로운 이해, 특별히 사탄이 그를 멸할 수 없도록 그를 숨겨 주시는 하나님에 대한 이해
  • 하나님의 사랑과 자비로 인해 그가 “은혜 안에 서 있게 된 것”에 대한 발견
  • 욥을 시험하는 중에도 그와 함께 사망의 그늘의 골짜기를 걷고 계셨던 하나님에 대한 욥의 새로운이해, 
  • 자신의 고난을 축복 아래에 놓을 수 있는 새로운 가능성을 얻게 된 것
  • 그의 세 친구로부터 시작해서 그 너머까지 확장되는 새로운 공동체 – 코이노니아의 발견

욥기를 되돌아보면서 하나님께서 시험 가운데 있는 욥에게 어떻게 사역하셨는지 이해할 수 있기를 구해보십시오. 그리고 욥을 시험하는 하나님의 목적이 하나님의 나라 안에서 더 큰 섬김을 위해 그를 어떻게 준비시켰는지 찾아보십시오. 

3. 욥이 아들에게만 아버지의 유산을 받게 했던 당시의 전통을 깨뜨린 것에 주목하십시오. 욥은 그의 딸들에게 아들들과 같이 유산을 물려주었습니다! (욥기 42:15)

4. 당신의 삶 가운데서 당신이 “바닥을 칠 때” 하나님께서 거기 계심을 발견했던 적이 있습니까? 코리텐 붐 (Corrie ten Boom)의 언니인 벳시가  아우슈비츠 수용소에서 사형 당하기 전에 마지막 했던 말을 기억하십시오. “아무리 구덩이가 깊어도 하나님의 사랑은 그보다 더 깊습니다.” 그리고 남편이 미전도 종족인아우카 인디언들에게 복음을 가지고 가기 위해 나아갔다가, 그들에 의해 다른 네 명의 선교사들과 함께 순교 당했던, 엘리자베스 엘리어트 (Elisabeth Eliot)의 말 또한 기억하십시오. 믿음의 가장 가혹한 시험은우리가 아무 것도 보지 못할 때가 아니라 우리의 믿음이 허망한 것임을 증명하는 뜻밖의 증거를 보게  때입니다만일 하나님이 하나님이셨다면만일 그분이 전능하셨다면만일 그분이 돌보셨다면이런 일이 일어났을까지금 내가 맞닥뜨리고 있는  일이 …  순종의 보상일까내가 환경에 의해 불신앙으로 다시돌아가 심연 속을 들여다봅니다그렇지만  깊은 심연에는 어두움만이 있을 뿐이고희미한 빛도응답하는 메아리도 없습니다.” 

그러나 결론적으로 이렇게 말합니다. “한참 후에야 비로소 나는 깨달았습니다그것은 우리가 주어진 것을 받아들이는데 있다는 것을 말입니다그것은 하나님이 자신에게 주셨다는 것입니다 탄식 슬픔 손을  비게 하고  마음을 깨뜨리는 이처럼 완전한 상실감만일 내가 원한다면 나는 그것을 받아들일 있고그렇게 된다면 나는  손에서 무언가 드릴  있는 것을 찾게  것입니다그래서 나는 그것을 신비스러운 교환으로 자신을 나에게 주신 그분께 돌려드립니다.” 

5. 이 성경공부를 통해 주변에 고통 받는 사람들이나 세상의 고난 받는 사람들을 위해 사역하는 데 도움이 될 수 있는 무언가를 얻었습니까? 이제 빌립보서 1:29절에서 바울이 말한 것을 이해할 수 있으십니까? “그리스도를 위하여 너희에게 은혜를 주신 것은 다만 그를 믿을 뿐 아니라 또한 그를 위하여 고난도 받게 하려 하심이라.” 하나님께서 때로 세상을 향해 자신의 사랑을 나타내시기 위해 사람들이 고난을 선택하도록인도하신다는 것을 믿으십니까?

6. 당신은 하나님을 예배하는 예배자입니까?

지금까지 쓰여진 가장 위대한 책 중 하나에 대한 공부를 끝마쳤습니다. 이제 적어도 한 사람에게 욥기를 가르칠 준비를 하십시오.

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God is the Light of the world!

As we enter the new year of our Lord 2021 – the year of light –  let us praise the Lord who is the light of the world. Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

Satan and his powers of darkness have tried to extinguish the light of Christ during this past year, through disunity, a deadly pandemic, and persecution. But he has failed, because the light continues to shine in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome the light of the world. (John 1:5) 

Let us proclaim loudly as we enter this new year that God is the light of the world. He shines today, and He will shine forevermore. Yes, the people who are walking in great darkness will see a great light. 

You are shining on your children today, Lord, and on me. The dazzling reflection of the light of Your glory has focused on us, and on every human on this planet. Darkness may increase and attempt to block the light. Darkness of pride, rebellion and sin in my own life and in the world’s evils, will make the attempt. But they cannot block the light of God. 

What should we do as we enter this new year? What should be our first step? The psalmist gives us the answer: “Blessed be the name of the Lord from this time forth and forevermore! From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the Lord is to be praised! (Psalm 113:2-3)

Begin now and continue each day to bless the name of the Lord. Bless Him each moment of this day and forevermore. The power of praise is that it keeps us focused on the Lord, and not on the distresses surrounding us. We become full of light, and His reflection will fall on others and bring them into the awareness that God is shining on them also. 

Lord, may this new year reveal Your light through Your people. Remember: “Light dawns in the darkness for the upright!” (Psalm 112:4) People will see God’s grace, His mercy and His justice, in you.  

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Light arises in the darkness . . .

“Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious, merciful, and righteous.” (Psalm 112:4)

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” — Jesus Christ, in John 8:12

Just as the dawn brings the light of a new day (I must begin to welcome the dawn — by listening, watching, anticipating, meeting My Lord as the day breaks), so the light (Jesus said, “I am the light of the world.”) arises in my darkness.

Darkness is not permanent. The darkness of suffering, sorrow, sickness, sin is not forever. Christ’s light breaks through and shines on my darkness. This is true for every believer.

I must welcome the light of each new dawn, thus enabling myself to see Jesus’ light in my darkness.

Gracious Lord!

Merciful Father!

Upright God!

Shine Your light on the darkness of all Your children today.

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Job Lesson 10

 

Job 38:1—41:34

God Speaks to Job

The Lord answers Job out of the whirlwind. 

Job previously had asked the Lord to call to him, and he would answer. (13:22) The Lord now calls on Job, and the first thing He says is: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? . . . I will question you, and you can make it known to Me.” (38:2-3) 

Isaiah gives us the important clue to understanding Job chapters 38-41. “Woe to anyone who argues with his Maker, one earthenware pot among many!” (Isaiah 45:9 RNJB) Remember that God is the Potter and we are the clay.

The Lord appeared to Job. Just as He appeared to Israel at Mt. Sinai “with thunder and lightning and a thick cloud on the mountain and a very loud trumpet blast” (Exodus 19:16); and just as He appeared again at Pentecost with “a sound like a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire resting” on each person there (Acts 2:1-3), so He appeared to Job in the whirlwind. God, in all His might and majesty, appeared to Job. 

  • But at the same time, God appeared to Job as YHWH, I AM – I AM HERE for you. Chapter 38 is the first time the personal name for God appears since the earlier chapters of Job. Almighty God – Job’s eternal Father – appeared to Job.   

Job has lost sight of the wonder and mystery of God’s creation. In the words of J. B. Phillips, who produced a beautiful translation-paraphrase of the New Testament, “Your God is too small!” Job has focused only on his own pain and suffering; He has argued with his Maker. His understanding of God was much too small. 

  • God appears to Job both as his Father who loves him without condition and whose plans for him are for good and not for evil, and also as Almighty God, maker of heaven and earth who upholds all things by the word of His power and who destroys the plans of Satan. 
  • The Lord begins with a rebuke. “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (38:2) He does this not to intimidate Job, but to make him realize his foolishness as a creature attempting to argue with his Creator. God speaks out of His power but also His compassion. 
  • Job 38:1—38 He begins by speaking of His creation and care for nature. He asks Job a question: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?” (38:2) Job has allowed his suffering to cloud his understanding of who God is and how majestically He works in the universe.  
  1. When we read of God’s creation of the universe we learn that He, in His unlimited wisdom created a world of intelligent design. The scientific and mathematical precision of God’s creation continues to amaze scientists today.
    1. The universe is orderly, without chaos. God speaks of how He limited the sea from overflowing onto land, how dawn knows precisely when to arise, how snow and rain function to maintain the universe. When we read about how Jesus calmed the stormy sea with a simple word, we understand the confession of the author of Hebrews: “He (Jesus) upholds the universe [and all things] by the word of His power.” (Hebrews 1:3)
  2. B. God is the God of life, not of death. He is the God of order, not of confusion.
  • Job 38:39—39:40 The Lord continues to speak of the glory of His creation of the animals and His provision for them that requires no human help. 
  1. God created the birds and animals and provides for them directly. He feeds the raven, enables the mountain goat to give birth in a way that its young ones grow healthy and strong. He gives the horse its might, and enables the eagle to soar to great heights and make its nest on high, and gives it an eye that can spy out food from nearly 3 miles away. 
  2. Jesus reminds us of God’s great provisions when He tells us that the birds are not anxious over lack of food, for His Father feeds them; the lilies of the field are clothed in more beauty than Solomon in all his glory. He tells us that God provides for His creation, and we have no reason to be anxious. (Matthew 6:19ff.) 
  • Job 40:1—5  God rebukes Job for arguing with the Almighty. Job answers, “I will proceed no further.” His big error was to accuse God of being unfair, and wanting to take Him to court. God accused Job of seeking to prove that he was right by condemning God. (40:8) 
  • Job 40:6—41:34  God concludes with His description of two powerful creatures that terrify humans, and He tells Job that He rules over them as well. These two beasts seem to be almost supernatural, completely uncontrollable by humans.
  1. Behemoth – No one knows what kind of animal this was. If it actually existed in Job’s day, he would have understood, but there is no biological record of today. It has been understood variously as a form of hippopotamus, or perhaps a kind of dinosaur. The main point that God is making to Job is that He created an animal that was so ferocious that no one could control it. God alone has dominion even over the Behemoth.
  2. Leviathan – God describes this animal as “king over all the sons of pride.” Leviathan has been compared to a crocodile or possibly a form of dragon, but no one knows what this animal actually was. Both these animals created chaos on the earth, but God was the Master of them both. 
  3. God’s description of both these animals is so graphic and powerful that it seems that both were mythical animals. But we have no way of detecting what they actually were. The main point of God’s including them seems to be to overwhelm Job with His majesty and power over all His creation, and to inform Job that he must not, and cannot, argue with His Creator.
  • There are other elements to consider in God’s appearance to Job in these four chapters. He is speaking not only about the wonders of His creation and His unlimited power over all things. He speaks also of His character and of His victory over evil.
  1. Good and evil. God speaks of light as good and darkness as evil. Later, the apostle John speaks in this same way, in his gospel. God speaks of the dawn as the coming of His goodness, so that “the wicked may be shaken out of [the day].” (38:13) He withholds light from the wicked. (38:15) Job himself is caught up in the struggle between good and evil. Satan is determined to destroy Him. But God is holding him tight. 
  2. Lovingkindness. He speaks of His lovingkindness by describing His loving care for all creatures. If God shows His loving care to all the animals and birds, would He not much more show His love and care for Job in his suffering?
  3. Wisdom. God created and continues to maintain the universe by His wisdom. Even though Job himself spoke of wisdom (Job chapter 28), he is responding to his suffering through ignorance and complete lack of wisdom. God speaks of this lack of wisdom, which results in cruelty in both animals (the ostrich) and humans.
  4. Pride and humility. Throughout the long dialogue between Job and his friends, and between Job and God, Job speaks with pride. God confronts him in his audacity to challenge his Creator. He calls Job a “faultfinder” (40:2) who is daring to present himself as a peer with God. God closes His last words to Job by indirectly referring to Job as one of the “sons of pride.” It is not accidental that God, when he spoke of Leviathan, called him “king over all the sons of pride.” (41:34) 

Some things to consider

1. Take some time to read this section (chapters 38—41) slowly (read aloud if you can), and let this grand poetry reach into your soul. Our study of Job must never become academic, merely asking questions and seeking answers. A great drama is taking place. Take your place in the drama.

2. What aspects of God’s character can you detect as you see God’s wisdom and care for all of His creation?

3. Why do you think Behemoth and Leviathan were included in God’s speaking to Job? Do they represent God’s control over all the evils of Satan? Share what you learn.

4. What do you consider the main message God is sending to Job by appearing to Him directly in the whirlwind?

5. In preparation for our last study of Job (Job chapter 42), you will be benefited greatly by reading and meditating on Psalm 104. This psalm speaks directly to the section (Job chapters 38 – 41) and gives us the proper response of a person (including Job) who stands in the presence of God. (If you do nothing else in preparation for our study of Job 42, please read and meditate on Psalm 104.  

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The Shepherd

The Shepherd

At the close of an extraordinary year, my mind is drawn to the confession of Jacob as he was blessing his grandchildren. He spoke of “the God who has been my Shepherd all my life long to this day.” (Genesis 48:15) This has become my own confession, because the only way I can understand the many events and happenings of my life, and my family’s, is that the Good Shepherd has led us all the way. Through the valleys of dark shadows–and I am so glad that Psalm 23 does not merely say “into the valley,” but rather, “Yea, though I walk through the valleys”–God has always been present. 

How many times have you been aware of that strange sensation, a rather marvelous sensation, really, of being able to sense the strong Presence of the Lord in the presence of enemies, the spiritual enemies that attack and try to take away joy? And yet the joy increases because our Shepherd has set a table before us in the presence of our enemies.

As the New Year begins, our family is making the 3 confessions of Psalm 23:

We shall not want, we shall be perfectly content in every situation, because the Lord is our Shepherd. (verse 1)

We shall not be afraid, because the Shepherd is with us. (verse 4)

We shall dwell in the presence of the Lord, because goodness and mercy continue to follow us. (verse 6)

Some time ago, a dear lady from North Korea who sought refuge in the South told me about her father, who left the North in the late 1950’s for freedom in Seoul. He was unable to take his daughter because she had injured her leg, promising to return for her the next year. But the border was closed the next year. She was a little nine year old girl at the time, and her mother would take her under the thick blanket at night, and very secretly and silently sing to her the hymns of the Church, and recite a verse of Scripture to her. As she was reminiscing on those early years of great suffering, unbearable suffering, she said that she learned to walk through the valley of the shadow of death with Jesus, Her Shepherd and Guide. Today she is an “under-shepherd,” walking under the Great Shepherd of the sheep, to serve God’s people in the South. She walks in joy.

So it is with us. We walk through our deep valleys and suddenly discover that we are singing, praising the Lord and overcoming. Our fears are turned into strength, and we are ready for a new year. May you walk, in this New Year, with the God who has been your Shepherd all your life long to this day. And let us pray for the millions of people who are suffering, persecuted because of their faith, or those who are encountering unbearable loneliness and sickness. Perhaps you can be their shepherd.

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욥기 제 10과

욥기 38:1—41:34

하나님께서 욥에게 말씀하시다

여호와께서 폭풍우 속에서 욥에게 응답하시다

욥은 주님께서 그를 부르시면 응답하겠다고 기도한 적이 있습니다. (13:22) 주님께서는 지금 욥을 부르고 계시고, 그분의 첫 마디는 이것이었습니다: “무지한 말로 생각을 어둡게 하는 자가 누구냐? … 내가 네게묻는 것을 대답할지니라.” (38:2-3)

이사야는 욥기 38-41장을 이해하기 위한 중요한 실마리를 제공해 줍니다. “화 있을진저! 많은 질그릇옹기 중 하나 같은 자로서, 토기장이와 다투는 자여!” (이사야 45:9, RNJB 역자번역) 하나님은 토기장이이시며, 우리는 진흙이라는 것을 기억하십시오. 

  1. 주님이 욥에게 나타나셨습니다. 마치 시내산에서 “우레와 번개와 산 위에 있는 빽빽한 구름 속에서 매우크게 들리는 나팔 소리” (출애굽기 19:16) 속에서 나타나신 것처럼, 그리고 오순절에 “급하고 강한 바람같은 소리와 함께 불의 혀 같이 갈라지는 것이” 거기 있는 각 사람 위에 임함으로 (사도행전 2:1-3) 다시나타나신 것처럼 등장하셨습니다. 주님은 폭풍우 속에서 나타나셨습니다. 하나님은 그분의 모든 능력과위엄 가운데 욥에게 나타나셨습니다. 
  2. 그러나 동시에 하나님은 욥에게 야훼, 스스로 있는 자, 너를 위해 스스로 여기 있는 자로 욥에게 나타나셨습니다. 38장은 욥기의 이전 장들 이후 처음으로 하나님 자신의 이름이 등장한 장입니다. 전능하신 하나님, 욥의 영존하시는 아버지께서 욥에게 나타나셨습니다. 

3. 욥은 하나님의 창조의 경이로움과 신비를 잊어버렸습니다. 신약성경을 아름답게 번역하고 풀어낸 J. B 필립스 (J. B. Phillips)의 말에 의하면, “너의 하나님은 너무 작다!”고 말할 수 있습니다. 욥은 자신의 고통과 고난에만 집중했고, 그를 만드신 창조주와 다투었습니다. 하나님에 대한 그의 이해는 너무 작았습니다. 

하나님은 욥에게 조건 없이 그를 사랑하시며, 악을 위한 것이 아닌 그를 위한 선한 계획을 가지고 계신아버지로서, 그리고 하늘과 땅을 창조하시고 그의 말씀과 권능으로 만유를 붙드시며, 사탄의 계획을 멸하시는 전능하신 하나님으로서 나타나셨습니다. 

4. 주님은 책망으로 시작하십니다. “무지한 말로 생각을 어둡게 하는 자가 누구냐?” (38:2) 주님이 이렇게하신 이유는 욥을 위협하기 위한 것이 아니라 그로 하여금 그를 창조하신 창조자와 논쟁하려는 피조물로서의 욥의 어리석음을 깨닫게 하기 위해서입니다. 하나님은 그분의 권능 뿐만 아니라 긍휼의 마음으로말씀하십니다. 

  • 욥기 38:1-38 하나님은 그분의 창조 사역과 자연을 돌보시는 것을 말씀하심으로 시작하십니다. 그리고욥에게 이렇게 질문하십니다. “무지한 말로 생각을 어둡게 하는 자가 누구냐?” (38:2) 욥은 고통으로 인해 하나님이 누구이신지, 그리고 그분이 우주 안에서 행하시는 일들이 얼마나 위엄 있는 것인지에 대한이해가 흐려졌습니다. 
  1. 하나님께서 우주를 창조하신 것들에 대해 읽을 때 우리는 하나님께서 그분의 무한한 지혜로 이 세계를 지적으로 설계하셨다는 것을 배우게 됩니다. 하나님의 창조의 과학적이고 수학적인 정확도는오늘날의 과학자들을 계속해서 놀라게 합니다. 
  2. 우주는 혼돈이 없는 질서 가운데 있습니다. 하나님은 어떻게 바다가 육지로 넘치지 않도록 제한하셨는지, 새벽은 어떻게 정확히 떠오르는 때를 알게 되는지, 그리고 눈과 비가 어떻게 우주를 지탱할 수 있도록 기능하는지에 대해 말씀하십니다. 예수님께서 폭풍이 치는 바다를 어떻게 잠잠하게하셨는지를 읽을 때, 우리는 히브리서 저자의 고백을 이해하게 됩니다. “그 (예수님)의 능력의 말씀으로 만물을 [그리고 우주를] 붙드시며” (히브리서 1:3)
  3. 하나님은 생명의 하나님이시며, 사망의 하나님이 아니십니다. 그분은 질서의 하나님이시며, 혼돈의 하나님이 아니십니다. 
  • 욥기 38:39-39:40 주님께서는 짐승들을 창조하신 그분의 창조의 영광과 사람의 도움이 필요하지 않는그들에 대한 공급하심에 대해 계속해서 말씀하십니다. 
  1. 하나님은 새들과 짐승들을 창조하셨고, 그들을 직접 먹이십니다. 그분은 까마귀를 먹이시고, 산염소가 건강하고 강하게 그들의 새끼들을 낳아 자라게 하십니다. 그분은 말에게 힘을 주시고, 독수리가 공중에 떠서 높은 곳에 보금자리를 만들게 하시고, 그들이 거의 3마일 떨어진 곳에서도 먹이를살필 수 있는 눈을 주십니다.  
  2. 예수님께서는 하나님의 놀라운 공급하심에 대해서 떠올리게 하시면서 새들이 먹을 것이 부족해서염려하지 않는 것은 아버지께서 그들을 먹이시기 때문입니다. 들의 백합화는 솔로몬의 모든 영광보다 더 아름답게 옷을 입었습니다. 예수님은 우리에게 하나님께서는 그의 피조물들에게 공급해주시는 분이시며, 그래서 우리가 염려할 이유가 없다고 말씀하십니다. (마태복음 6:19)
  • 욥기 40:1-5 하나님께서는 전능자와 논쟁하는 욥을 꾸짖으십니다. 욥은 이렇게 대답합니다. “다시는 더대답하지 아니하겠나이다.” 그의 가장 큰 실수는 하나님이 불공평하시다고 비난하면서, 하나님을 법정으로 나오게 하려 했던 것입니다. 하나님은 욥이 하나님을 정죄함으로써 자신의 의를 증명하려 한다고 비난하셨습니다. (40:8)
  • 욥기 40:6-41:34 하나님은 인간을 두렵게 하는 두 가지 강력한 피조물에 대한 묘사로 결론을 내리고 욥에게 그들 또한 하나님께서 다스린다고 말씀하셨습니다. 이 두 괴물은 거의 초자연적이며 사람의 힘으로는 완전히 통제가 불가능한 것처럼 보입니다. 
  • 1.베헤못 – 이 짐승이 어떤 종류의 짐승인지 아무도 알지 못합니다. 만일 실제로 이것이 욥의 시대에존재했다면, 그는 이해할 수 있었을 것이지만, 오늘날에는 어떤 생물학적 기록이 존재하지 않습니다. 이 짐승은 하마의 한 형태나, 공룡의 한 종류로 다양하게 이해되어 왔습니다. 하나님께서 욥에게 말씀하시는 요점은 아무도 통제할 수 없을 정도로 사나운 짐승을 하나님께서 창조하셨다는 것입니다. 하나님만이 베헤못까지도 지배하는 분이십니다. 
  • 2. 리워야단 – 하나님은 이 짐승을 “모든 교만한 자들에게 군림하는 왕”으로 묘사하십니다. 리워야단은 악어 또는 용의 한 종류로 비교되어 왔지만, 아무도 이 짐승이 실제로 존재했는지 알지 못합니다. 이 짐승들은 땅의 혼돈 속에 창조되었지만, 하나님은 두 짐승 모두의 주인이셨습니다.  
  • 3. 이 두 짐승들에 대한 하나님의 묘사는 아주 생생하고 강력해서, 두 짐승 모두 신화적인 동물인 것처럼 보입니다. 그러나 우리는 그것들이 실제로 무엇이었는지 알아낼 방법이 없습니다. 하나님께서 그 짐승들을 포함시킨 것은 모든 피조물들을 다스리시는 그분의 위엄과 능력으로 욥을 압도하기 위한 것이며, 또한 욥이 그의 창조주와 논쟁할 수도, 논쟁해서도 안 된다는 것을 알려주기 위해서라고 할 수 있습니다. 

  • 하나님께서 욥에게 나타나신 네 장에 걸친 이야기들에서 생각해 보아야 할 다른 요소들이 있습니다. 하나님은 그분의 창조의 경이로움만이 아니라 만물에 대한 그분의 제한 없으신 능력에 대해 말씀하고 계십니다. 그분은 자신의 성품과 악에 대한 그분의 승리 또한 말씀하십니다. 
  • 1. 선과 악. 하나님은 빛을 선으로, 어둠을 악으로 말씀하십니다. 나중에 사도 요한은 그의 복음서에서 이와 같은 방식으로 말합니다. 하나님은 새벽을 그분의 선하심이 임하는 것으로 비유하여, “악한 자들이 [그 날에] 떨쳐버림을 받게 될 것” (38:13) 이라고 하십니다. 그분은 악한 자들에게 그빛을 차단하십니다. (38:15) 욥은 스스로 선과 악 사이의 갈등 속에 사로잡혔습니다. 사탄은 그를멸하려고 결심했습니다. 그러나 하나님은 그를 단단히 붙잡고 계셨습니다. 
  • 2. 인자하심. 하나님은 모든 피조물에 향한 그의 사랑 어린 돌봄을 묘사하심으로써 그분의 인자하심에 대해 말씀하십니다. 만일 하나님께서 모든 짐승과 새들을 사랑으로 돌보시는 것을 보이셨다면, 고난 속에 있는 욥을 위해 얼마나 더 많이 그의 사랑과 돌보심을 보이지 않으시겠습니까?
  • 3. 지혜. 하나님은 그의 지혜로 우주를 창조하시고 계속해서 붙들고 계십니다. 욥 자신이 지혜에 대해이야기했음에도 불구하고 (욥기 28장), 그는 지혜에 대한 완전한 부족과 무지로 자신의 고난에 반응하고 있었습니다. 하나님은 이러한 지혜의 부족에 대해 말씀하시는데, 이것은 동물 (타조)과 인간 모두에게 잔인함을 초래합니다. 
  • 4. 교만과 겸손. 욥과 그의 친구들 사이의 긴 대화, 그리고 욥과 하나님 사이의 대화를 통해 욥은 당당하게 말합니다. 하나님께서는 창조주에게 도전하는 그의 무모함에 대해 그와 맞서고 계십니다. 하나님은 욥을 감히 하나님과 같은 동류로 자신을 내세우는 “트집 잡는 자” (40:2)로 부르십니다. 하나님은 욥을 “교만의 아들” 중 하나라고 간접적으로 부르심으로써 욥에 대한 그분의 이야기를 끝맺습니다. 하나님께서 리워야단에 대해 말씀하실 때, “모든 교만한 자들에게 군림하는 왕” (41:34)이라고 부르신 것은 우연이 아닙니다. 

생각해 볼 것들

1. 시간을 내어 이 부분 (38-41장)을 천천히 (가능하면 소리를 내어) 읽어 보시고, 이 장엄한 시가 우리영혼에 닿을 수 있게 하십시오. 우리가 하는 욥기 공부는 절대로 학문적인 것이어서는 안 되며, 순전히 질문하고 그에 대한 답을 구하는 것이어야 합니다. 위대한 드라마가 펼쳐지고 있습니다. 당신의 자리를 드라마안으로 들어오게 하십시오. 

2. 하나님의 성품의 어떤 측면이 우리로 하여금 하나님의 지혜와 그분이 모든 피조물을 돌보시는 것을볼 수 있도록 해 줍니까?

3. 베헤못과 리워야단이 욥을 향한 하나님의 이야기에 포함된 이유가 무엇이라고 생각하십니까? 그 짐승들이 사탄의 모든 악을 통제하시는 하나님의 다스리심을 대표합니까? 배운 것을 함께 나눠 보십시오. 

4. 폭풍우 속에서 직접 욥에게 나타나심으로써 하나님께서 욥에게 보여주시는 주된 메시지는 무엇이라고 생각하십니까?

5. 우리의 마지막 욥기 공부 (욥기 42장) 를 위한 준비로, 우리는 시편 104편을 읽고 묵상한다면 거기에서 커다란 유익을 얻게 될 것입니다. 이 시편은 이번 공부한 부분 (욥기 38-41장)을 직접적으로 말하고있으며, (욥을 포함해서) 하나님의 임재 가운데 서 있는 사람의 합당한 반응에 대해 보여줍니다. (욥기 42장을 공부하기 위해 준비할 다른 것이 없으시다면, 시편 104편을 읽고 묵상하시기 바랍니다.)

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From Our Anxiety into His Peace

Thanks to Dr. Alexander Whitaker, President of King University, who brought my attention to this wonderful poem of W. H. Auden:

And because of His visitation,

we may no longer desire God as if He were lacking:

our redemption is no longer a question of pursuit

but of surrender to Him

who is always and everywhere present.

Therefore at every moment we pray that, following Him,

we may depart from our anxiety into His peace.

W. H. Auden

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Seed of the Word of God

(I’m not sure of all the sources of this article – some of it is mine, some parts I borrowed; but it helps us understand the Christmas miracle.)

[Suggested reading: Luke 1:26-45] 

As we approach the last Sunday  of Advent, we think of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. A humble, ordinary country girl, her life was turned upside down by a visit from the angel Gabriel. She was about 13 years old, possibly as old as 15, inexperienced in the world and not able to fully understand what was happening. Yet her response to the angel’s message reveals a deep spiritual maturity and an emotional stability far beyond her young age.

Gabriel greeted her by calling her the “favored one,” greatly blessed by God. This alone shocked her, but when he informed her that she was to bear the seed of Jesus Christ, the Word of the Father (see Hebrews 1:1-2), her surprise and fear became greater. She wanted to run away as far as she could to avoid what this would mean. At the time, all young Jewish girls dream, romantically of course, of becoming the “mother of the Messiah;” but it only happened to one little girl, Mary!

The angel told her that the Holy Spirit would plant the seed of Jesus, the Messiah, in her womb  and that she would bear a son without human intervention. The shocking news was that the Kingdom of God would be inaugurated in her young, trembling, but receptive body!

Here is the greatest gift ever given to a human: to conceive and give birth to Jesus Christ, the only Son of God. The Virgin Birth stands at the heart of the fundamental miracle of Christmas. God chose to enter the world directly, through the body of one young girl. Divine Intervention, with no sin! And we begin to see already, at Christmastime, the cross and resurrection of Jesus, who came and died, and rose again, that sinful human beings can be reborn directly through the Spirit of God!

Everything depended on Mary’s response to the angel. He told her that nothing is impossible with God, and she replied, “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word!”

Here is a call to allow Mary to teach us how to celebrate Christmas! Surrender to God in everything! My abilities? They are not the important thing. I simply offer my full obedience to God and say, “Everything is Yours, Lord; everything is from You and is for You!” God alone can, and will regulate and direct all affairs of our lives. What must I do? Simply BE! Surrender all to God!

Mary’s “Amen!” to God was the beginning of a life of great suffering. But this was her glory, if only God’s will could be done in her life. This Christmas let us welcome the Kingdom of God, God’s rule over every aspect of our lives! And let us open ourselves to embrace Jesus Christ. Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! 

The Seed is the Word – each word of God is a “seed” that His Holy Spirit wants to plant in us.

Let it be to me according to Your Word. The key to a holy life that blesses the world.

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