6. Job 1-14, 29-31, 38-42 (462-471, 480-483, 488-492)
Summary: Job, a servant of God, possesses great wealth and success while continuing to praise God. Satan, however, challenges God and warns him that Job is only praising him because of all his wealth; therefore, God gives Satan the power to take away from Job as much as he likes to prove he will still be faithful. After losing everything that was important to him, Job begs God to relieve his pain, yet will not abandon his relationship with Him. Eventually, through his wrestling with God, God restored his possessions, doubling what he had.
Commentary: I noticed some parallelism between the Old and New Testament in this passage. In Job 8:17-18, Bildad compares a follower of God to that of a plant. He states that an insincere follower is like a plant that can grow well in the sunshine and even be tied to the roots, but when removed from its home, it is disowned. I am reminded of the passage Matthew 7:23, in which God says to his insincere disciples, Then I will tell them plainly, I never knew you. Away from me, you evil-doers. Although Bildad was false in his accusation of Job, the theme of this message is sincerity. As stated in previous entries, Jesus is looking for ones heart. That is why Job emphasizes throughout his pleading with God that he is blameless; this does not mean he has never sinned. Instead, he means that although he has sinned, he is offering his heart to God, willing to be humbled.
7. Ecclesiastes 1: 2-18; 2: 1-24; 3; 9: 2-12; 12: 1-9 (604-606; 610; 612)
Summary: The author describes essentially how worthless living life is. Only the toils of life occur, then death that concludes life. Even drinking and partying are not notable of happiness, because ultimately, life ends with no importance. Life rises from the ground and the returns to the ground when death accompanies it. Finally, the author concluded that he could have avoided those feelings of futility if only he acknowledged God in his younger life.
Commentary: The passages theme is futility. Another literary example of this can be found in Romeo and Juliet, when Romeo died for Juliet because he didnt have any other reason to live since she was no longer alive. Also, I believe the passage exemplifies a relatable lesson. Even in todays society, no matter if people look for happiness in money, sex, partying, prestige, status, or relationships, they will never find it, because although these things can be good and wholesome, they cannot fill the soul the way a Being who created them can.
8. Psalms 8, 19, 23, 104, 37 (495-496; 501-502; 504; 511-512; 549-550)
Summary: The author praises God for the opportunity to participate in maintaining the provisions of the Earth. Every passage exemplifies Gods power that the author depends on. He fears God (meaning he acknowledges and respects Him), but also rejoices in his relationship with Him, one based on love and joy. He longs to obey Him because he knows obedience leads to fulfillment and reward, whether in this life or the next.
Commentary: There is a consistent theme of justice. Through every passage, the author emphasizes several times that the ways of the wicked will be punished, but the ways of the righteous will be upheld. God is a jealous God; in other words, He wants everyone to come to Him, but he is also just and enforces his authority. There were two verses that caught my attention. The first being Psalm 19:7, which stated: The Statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. This verse implies that the simple are unwise, so I interpret the simple lacking in wisdom. Simple is not referring to a lifestyle; however, as we would think of it. In fact, 1 Thessalonians 4:11 confirms that we should do our best to lead a quiet life and mind our own buisness. The other was Psalm 19:12, which stated, But who can discern their own errors? This almost sounds condescending; however, John 3:17 explains that Gods goal is not to dwell on our shortcomings: For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world. From this, I can conclude that God is a god of love, not of hate. He wants us to understand how much He loves us not based on the magnitude of our sin, but on the willingness for his sacrifice that overcame the magnitude of our sin.
9. Jonah All (841-842)
Summary: The Lord commanded Jonah to go to Nineveh to warn the people of the destruction God would bring on them, but Jonah did not want to go, so he ran to Tarshish and got on a boat. The boat; however was subject to a storm that God sent. Because the men knew that was Judahs god, they threw him overboard. A large whale then swallowed Jonah, but then spit him back out when he repented to God.
Commentary: Although the book of Jonah is obviously about Jonah, the theme of the book, as well as the Bible as a whole, is more so about Gods redemptive nature. Even though Jonah rebels against God, God is faithful and forgives Jonah, giving him a second chance. However, when God gives the Ninevites a second chance, Jonah is indignant and angry with God. I also noticed parallelism between Jonah and Simon Peter in the New Testament. After Jonah surrenders his life to God, he states, I will say, Salvation comes from the Lord (Jonah 2:9). The irony is that he was angry when the ninevites actually received salvation. This is similar to Simon Peters vow to never deny Jesus. He made that vow three times, and although, it was out of fear, not angry, he neglected to keep his word. Yet, because of Gods redemptive nature, He still forgave Peter. The Bible doesnt state whether He forgave Jonah that second time, because we never see if Jonah repents.
10. Isaiah 52:13 53:12 (668-669)
Summary: The author describes a man who was unpopular, not handsome or beautiful, beloved by few, suffered much, and experienced much pain. However, despite his troubles, he sacrificed himself for his sheep selflessly. Through this sacrifice, he made it possible for a mediator to restore the relationship between the sheep and the Lord.
Commentary: Its safe to assume that Isaiah is talking about Jesus because Jesus had these characteristics. The sheep are the people (us). Also, Isaiah is a prophet, which means he reported something that was going to happen, which did, as stated in the Gospels. Its interesting that his prophesy of Jesus life and death is 400 years before it happened. That is unheard of in other historical and religious texts, confirming the Bibles credibility, at least in this case. Also, as stated in another entry, the description of Jesus sacrifice upholds the covenant because even though people mocked, scorned, and rejected him, he died even for those and those that might never know him.