Seventh Friday after Epiphany

Psalm 34, Job 1:1–10, 1 John 4:7–21

There is something in the Old Testament that remains unresolved. The Psalmist declares that the wicked will not be ed and the righteous will be. This is a common theme. Yet, when we look at scripture, and we look at the world around us, we rightfully question that. So, what is going on? Perhaps we ought to question who is doing the ing. Both Old and New Testaments are testaments of to humanity. In other s, humanity is the object of the story (the Bible), is. Scripture tells the story of the imperfect revealing the glory, , , justice, , ,…love of . Humanity is just the target of all of that. Since we tell the stories, we confuse being the tellers of the story with being the subject of the story.

There is another tension in both Old and New Testament: of . The psalmist talks about teaching the of to people. How does that match with this loving we tell people about? First, of course, is our language. That is the start of the problem. There is also an automatic opposition to the . Fear is bad. Except when it is not. When driving to work, one cannot be overcome by (you’ll never leave the driveway). Yet, defensive driving (a form of ) is very wise when driving with all the other people that are obviously not as good of drivers as you are.

The opening verses of Job tell us that from the perspective of Scripture may not match our own. We read that Job makes sacrifices on behalf of his children, for he s they might have ned. In support of Job, (proudly) declares that Job s him (). What? How about the insight from Satan (how’s that for weird), that of course Job s , for has protected him and blessed him with property and . Fear? Well, must not mean….

Our last insight comes from 1 John, with and love being polar opposites. And this is that final insight. Bad , the that we should not have toward , is the of punishment. Which leaves us with good , which is having the right perspective of . is almighty. is love. Right is the that we are not in fellowship with , but so loves us that he pours out his and upon us, so that we need not punishment, but are devastated by ’s disappointment.

1) What about do you ?

2) What about people do you ?

3) Why does true love cast out (bad) ?

FD) When you think of , which is a stronger emotion: or love? Why?

Pastor Ian

By Pastor Ian

Ian is an ordained Elder in The Church of the Nazarene, and is currently serving as the Online Campus Pastor at Generations Community Church in Marysville, WA, USA.