Feb 3, 2020
In yesterday’s reading in Exodus, we heard of Moses and Aaron's first disastrous meeting with Pharaoh, and Pharaoh's retaliation against the Israelite people. God spoke with Moses again, reaffirming his promises and his covenant with the people of Israel.
Today in chapter 34 of Job, we hear the third chapter of Elihu's six-chapter monologue.
Yesterday James warned that showing favoritism breaks the Law of Love that our King Jesus taught. And he talked about dead religion, which consists of easy believism with no acting out of what we believe. There is no contradiction between what Paul and James wrote. Here is a famous statement that sums up the complementary nature of Paul and James on this topic: “We are saved by faith alone (= fully believing), but saving faith will never be ‘alone’.” In other words, saving faith will always produce some proof.
I have mentioned before that the Greek words for ‘faith’ and ‘believe’ share the same root. Faith is simply the noun form of the verb believe. I mentioned how cohesion in the discourse is damaged for us English speakers when in close proximity the two dissimilar looking words are used for the same concept. This happens in James 2, verses 19-24. To show you what I mean, I will list the two words in the order of their occurrence in the NLT: have faith, believe, believe, faith, faith, faith, believed, faith. The reader may be tempted to look for some deep shade-of-meaning reason for this variation, but no such reason exists. Now listen to that passage when I read it using various forms of the verb ‘believe’ in a consistent manner: