God's Geek

Reflections and random thoughts of a geeky youth worker in North London...

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Unintended Blog Fast

Oops! I have just realised that I haven't added an entry for ages - the bike theft must have been even more traumatic than I first thought. Just for the record, I have comforted myself by imagining that the bike was stolen by a parent whose son or daughter was desperate for a bike but the family could not afford it. The parent would not normally steal but under extenuating circumstances gave into the temptation offered by my bike and the pathetic lock. The bike now lives a happy life with its new owner but still dreams of me...

Enough of that - methinks I have given far too much thought to this. I must move on...

I am currently reading through the whole Bible in a year - well more like 14 months because I occasionally miss a day. Although I am pretty sure I have read all of the Bible at some point or another, I wanted to make sure that I had read through everything including the more 'challenging' parts. I have recently read through Job and Ecclesiastes and both books have made me think a lot. Previously, I have found Job quite a hard book to get to grips with; to be honest, I found Job and a lot of his friends to be rather whingey and long winded. However, when I read it again, I was blown away by the depth of what has been written.

In a hopefully unheretical paraphrase, the basis of the book challenges the assumption that good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people. Often when I read Psalms and Proverbs I am struck by the way that there is some acceptance that bad people will get their comeuppance and those who follow God will prosper. However, this doesn't seem to fit with the world around me. Job seems to disagree with this as well and has arguments with his 'mates' about why he, a Godly man, is suffering so much. Job comes out with some great stuff as he grapples with why someone who seems to do all they can to lead a righteous life still suffers. One argument given is that if God does not punish a man on this earth, he will punish his sons. And Job says ( in Job 21:19) that the man himself should be repaid - the punishment shouldn't be passed on to his sons. I just think that this is fantastic, raw and honest dialogue. Job is given the standard answers when asking difficult questions and argues against them. He wants to know real answers, not just easy ones.

The most amazing part of the book is at the end when God replies and blows Job away by stating his power and authority. The last few chapters are amazing and leave me awestruck.

This isn't meant to be an indepth theological essay, so don't pick up on any blunders please... unless they are really bad! But I just think that the Bible is incredible and varied and it is so amazing that we can read things written so long ago that have so much resonance with the questions that we are asking today. Like Job, we can ask difficutlt questions and grapple with the world around us but also know that God has authority and loves us very much. No time for thoughts on Ecclesiastes! Go read Job and let me know what you think...


Blogger Miawo said...

Cool, i think the bible in a year thing is a great idea although i can't quite manage it myself yet. I love the book of Job, i read it some time ago with some notes and found it really inspiring because Job stuck with God even though so much rubbish happened to him. Thanx for putting it on here it's inspired me to go and read it again.katxxx

5:22 PM  

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