“You Destroy a Person’s Hope”
When reading the Book of Job it is necessary to keep in mind the substance of chapters 1 and 2. All the dialogues take place within the context of the circumstances that flow from the situations described there.
The words of the heading for this reading are taken from verse 19 of the preceding chapter; chapter 14. Job has complained that his friends are, by their counsel, destroying the hope he had that God would finally vindicate him. Eliphaz’s response here in chapter 15 gives evidence to what Job claims. Eliphaz’s words are not heresy; they speak truth, but truth that is poorly applied.
Perhaps this is a reminder to each of us that to be someone who “correctly handles the word of truth”(2 Timothy 2:15) we need to attend not only to God’s truth itself but also pray that we might be wise in the way we apply that truth to the varying circumstances of people’s lives.
A Great Persecution broke out
Acts 8:1b – 25
When God acts powerfully through his servants the results are often as described here: a great persecution broke out.
In Acts, singular manifestations of God’s power authenticating the gospel message, occur at significant advances of that message into new contexts. Here, in Samaria, Philip performs “signs”.
The account of Simon the Sorcerer is a reminder that in different contexts people approach the gospel message with a variety of motives: some good, some not so good. It is a salutary reminder that each of us is in need of a truly new and right heart which alone can come from the Spirit of God.