Job 4:1-21 (NRSV)
Eliphaz speaks of sin
Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered:
"If one ventures a word with you, will you be offended?
But who can keep from speaking?
See, you have instructed many;
you have strengthened the weak hands.
Your words have supported those who were stumbling,
and you have made firm the feeble knees.
But now it has come to you, and you are impatient;
it touches you, and you are dismayed.
Is not your fear of God your confidence,
and the integrity of your ways your hope?
"Think now, who that was innocent ever perished?
Or where were the upright cut off?
As I have seen, those who plow iniquity
and sow trouble reap the same.
By the breath of God they perish,
and by the blast of his anger they are consumed.
The roar of the lion, the voice of the fierce lion,
and the teeth of the young lions are broken.
The strong lion perishes for lack of prey,
and the whelps of the lioness are scattered.
"Now a word came stealing to me,
my ear received the whisper of it.
Amid thoughts from visions of the night,
when deep sleep falls on mortals,
dread came upon me, and trembling,
which made all my bones shake.
A spirit glided past my face;
the hair of my flesh bristled.
It stood still,
but I could not discern its appearance.
A form was before my eyes;
there was silence, then I heard a voice:
'Can mortals be righteous before God?
Can human beings be pure before their Maker?
Even in his servants he puts no trust,
and his angels he charges with error;
how much more those who live in houses of clay,
whose foundation is in the dust,
who are crushed like a moth.
Between morning and evening they are destroyed;
they perish forever without any regarding it.
Their tent-cord is plucked up within them,
and they die devoid of wisdom.'
On Ash Wednesday you may have gone to your church to have ashes placed upon your head. In my place of worship, as the ashes were distributed the pastor stated, “Remember you are ash and to the ash you will return.”
This was a very profound and humbling message on that day of repentance. The GOOD NEWS is that God is very aware that we dwell in “houses of clay.” God know us intimately and loves us anyway.
God loves us so much that God gave Jesus upon the cross to be atonement for our sin and to secure our eternal relationship with God.
Whilst this Lenten Season is all about examining ourselves before God and rooting out the hidden sin-full-ness that dwells within us, let us also remember that our God is loving and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love!
God does not ask us to confess so that God can point the finger of condemnation at us; God asks us to confess so that we can experience God’s love and amazing grace!
During this Lenten Season I want to share something with you that a wise woman once shared with me. She said, “Be gentle with yourself and others and be non-judgmental of yourself and others.”
If we walk in humility in the coming days, I believe we will draw ever closer to the heart of God and in that heart we will discover boundless love for ourselves and our neighbors.
How can you be gentler with yourself today?
Loving God, I admit that I am often too hard on myself and others. Help me to be more gentle and kind. In Jesus Name, Amen.
The Good News Living Book Club will be reading Hinds Feet On High Places by Hannah Hurnard during March. You can purchase the book by clicking the link to the right. Please mark your calendars for our very first book club meeting to be held on Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 9:00am.
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from Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com