Feb 1, 2020
In yesterday's beginning to Exodus, we heard of Moses' birth and his young adulthood in Egypt. He murdered a man and had to flee for his life, going to Midian. We also read of his helping the seven daughters of Reuel, a scene that I can't read without thinking of the Cecil B. DeMill movie.
Job having finished his defense, Elihu takes the stage. HC Mears says,
Eliphaz basically said, “God never makes a mistake. What have you done to bring this on yourself?” Bildad essentially said, “God is just. Confess your sin.” Zophar suggested, “God is all-wise. He knows man.” Elihu’s name means, ‘My God is He’ or ‘He is my God.’ So Elihu is God's man, and he said the wisest thing: “God is good; look up, and trust Him.”
Note that at the end of the book, Elihu is not mentioned as having misrepresented God— unlike Job’s three friends. He does seem to speak wisely, but we can fault him for his arrogance.
Yesterday in 1Peter 5, Peter gave a very stern warning to rich people, and also important encouragement to elders within the church. And among other things, he gave an important word about spiritual battle with Satan. I summarize his commands as Stay alert, Stand firm, and Remember.
The letter of James is similar to 1 Peter in several ways. In the first verse of both letters, both mention that their audience is dispersed throughout the world. Both describe their audience using Jewish catchphrases. James’ style is also similar to Peter’s in the way he sets out several themes and keeps returning to them. Moyer says of this book, “As soon as we read through the letter of James we say to ourselves, ‘This man was a preacher before he was a writer.’”
James is probably the oldest book of the New Testament, written perhaps only 15 years after Jesus' death and before the first council of Jerusalem in AD 50. This was written, not by the disciple named James, but by James the half-brother of Jesus. While Jesus was alive, his brother James was not a believer. But he came to believe when Jesus appeared to him shortly after His resurrection. Sometime after this and before his martyrdom in AD 62, James was the leader of the church in Jerusalem.
James does not call himself ‘the brother of Jesus’ but His slave!