Florin Ianovici – Potolirea Furtunii – Biserica Tabor, Oradea 28 Februarie 2013

Vezi PAGINA Florin Ianovici PREDICI aici

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Marcu 4:35-41

Multi dintre noi, iubitii Domnului, uitam pentru ce suntem la biserica. Vreau sa va spun un lucru, ca vin la biserica pentru ca sa ma pregatesc pentru examenele pe care viata m-i le scoate in cale. Sunt examene in viata pentru care m-am considerat pregatit.  si am aflat ca nu-s. Viata ne-o proiectam si ne gandim la ea, uneori intr-un mod liniar. Dar, viata este uneori su suisuri si cu coborasuri. Si cand nu te astepti, ti se intampla ceva de care nu esti pregatit. Luptele noastre nu sunt grele in aceasta perioada, sunt foarte grele. Si cine nu simte oboseala luptei, e posibil de fapt ca nu se mai lupta… M-am gandit de multe ori ca ma voi descurca in viata, dar stiti ce am invatat eu? Ca, uneori in viata, lupta este disproportionata.

  • Alergi mult si te alegi un bunic. Si lucrurile acestea obosesc si te darama. Ca daca esti mama si iti dai inima din piept pentru copiii tai si ti-au intors spatele si te strapung in fiecare zi cu faptele lor, atunci asta e o lupta disproportionata si intr-o zi vei obosi. Ca ai avut sperante pana la urma, dupa care ai obosit.
  • Uneori luptele devin urate. , pentru ca nu te-ai asteptat ca acela pe care l-ai luat si te-ai castorit, sa-ti faca ceea ce-ti face. Si din momentul cand lupta aceasta este din ce in ce mai urata, mai murdara, sufletul tau se sperie, se trage inapoi si  te intreb: Cu ce vei face fata?

Nu cunosc nici altul sub soare, care sa poata da putere vietii noastre in momente grele, in afara de Isus Hristos si nu cunosc nici un Cuvant mai puternic, mai bun si lucrator decat cuvantul acesta (al Bibliei).

Domnul Isus Hristos le spune ucenicilor „Intrati in corabie.” Ucenicii au intrat, erau obositi, dupa o zi intreaga de predica. De dimineata pana seara, Domnul Isus le-a impartasit cuvantul Lui. Si Biblia spune, la un moment dat, ca prea multa invatatura oboseste trupul.  Numai, ceea ce n-au inteles ucenicii este ca urcandu-te in corabie, nu sti peste ce dai. Furtuna nu vine sa-ti zica: Imi dai voie sa fiu furtuna in viata ta? Necazul nu zice: Imi dai voie sa vin la tine pe la ora 2, sa vin in casa ta? Necazul cand vine, vine si nu-ti cere voie sa vina. Durerea cand vine, vine si nu-ti cere voie tie sa vina. Cand s-au urcat in corabie, au ajuns in mijlocul furtunii si atunci un lucru ciudat se intampla. Dumnezeul nostru care ne poarta de grija, Dumnezeul nostru care aude si susurul vocii, Dumnezeul acesta era acolo pe carma corabiei, dormind si nu S-a trezit.

photo www.ministrydepot.com

Imi pun intrebarea: Cat de obosit trebuie sa fi, in mijlocul unei furtuni, despre care niste pescari incercati spun: Pierim! Cat de mult, cat de adanc dormi Isus Hristos? Examenele, noi avem impresia ca le dam cu prietenii. Avem impresia ca dam examene cu Dumnezeu. Uneori examenele pe care le dam, cel rau ii spune lui Dumnezeu: O zi intreaga a invatat, de 20 de ani vine la biserica, canta in cor, au Biblia, o tine in casa, si acuma cand vin examenele Tu stai la o parte. Acuma, examenul il da cu mine. Pentru ca nu intotdeauna in viata examenul il dam cu Dumnezeu. Uneori dam direct cu vrasmasul examenul si Hristos este nevoit sa stea la o parte pentru ca asta am facut. Am venit la biserica, am invatat si ar trebui sa stim. Ar fi trebuit sa cunoastem, ar fi trebuit sa fim antrenati, ar trebui sa intelegem care este rostul vietii. Ar trebui sa stim toate aceste lucruri pentru ca am stat de dimineata pana seara in cuvantul Domnului.

Patru pilde le-a spus Domnul Isus Hristos:

1. Pilda semintei si a celor patru feluri de pamant. Inima e ca un pamant. In pamantul acesta al inimii, pot sa vars samanta si sa rodeasca. Poate sa fie un alt fel de pamant, pietros. Poate sa fie un pamant batatorit, sa nu primeasca samanta. Poate sa creasca buruienile si sa innabuse. Priceputa-ti voi ca in viata asta trebuie sa incoltim? Ca nu ne-am nascut inaintea lui Dumnezeu ca sa fim un pamant neroditor? Hristos a zis, „Baga-ti de seama, oamenii se impart, inima se imparte. Pamantul inimii conteaza extraordinar de mult. Seminte sunt si primim. Dar, Dumnezeu nu are ce sa faca cu un pamant care refuza samanta. A-ti inteles? Ei au spus: Da.

Si acuma, au intrat in corabie. Vant… si frica. Si zice Domnul Dumnezeu: N-ai zis ca ai inteles? N-ai zis ca ai implinit? N-ai zis ca ai priceput ce am zis eu? Ca trebuie sa fi un pamant, care sa implineasca samanta cuvantului Lui?

2. Pilda cu lumina. Le-a zis Domnul Isus a doua pilda cu lumina. Zice: Nu primeste cineva o lumina ca sa o ascunda sub obroc. Ci trebuie sa lumineze departe si cei ce o vad sa se bucure. Acuma, era noapte si batea vantul si ei erau atat de speriati. Hristos avea sa le zica, prin tacerea lui: Nu a-ti zis voi ca sunteti lumini? In intunericul vietii voastre, trebuie sa straluceasca credinta prietene? Cand venim la biserica si invatam despre Dumnezeu, nu invatam ca sa se reuseasca in viata noastra credinta? Spune-ti voi: De ce suntem aici? Ca sa fim intuneric in intuneric? Venim aici ca sa fim lumini in intuneric. Si Dumnezeu ne invata si Dumnezeu ne spune. Dumnezeu vine si ne educa si Dumnezeu ne spune lucruri care sunt adanci, care sunt puternice, lucruri cu care ne putem impotrivi in ziua aceea cea rea.

Vine Domnul Isus Hristos si spune: Credinta e ca un graunte pe care-l pui in pamant. Nu-l vezi in momentul in care-l pui. Dar creste samanta aceea si da rod. Dupa care le spune despre credinta ca este cea mai mica seminta, ca un bob de mustar. Dar, zice, ca credinta aceasta mica poate s opreasca orice furtuna din viata ta.

Eu asta nu inteleg. Cum din ce in ce mai slabi, in conditiile din care venim din ce in ce mai des la biserica si avem tot mai multe mesaje? Cum din ce in ce mai slabi, cand avem tot mai multe biblii la dispozitia noastra si avem tot mai multe programe si atata si atata invatatura? De ce?

In momente grele a vietii mele, singura putere care mi-a dat tarie sa merg inainte a fost ceea ce am invatat de la Domnul Isus Hristos. Si ce am invatat de la Isus Hristos si ce am avut in inima mea, a fost tarie pentru ce (am intampinat?) Examenele vor veni. Necazul, incercarea si suferinta nu va ocoli pe nimeni.

Isus Hristos asa cum este

  1. Un Dumnezeu al Scripturii. Credinta este dupa cum spune Biblia. De aceea suntem slabi si nu avem putere, pentru ca in ziua incercarii, credinta noastra este aproximativa. Noi de multe ori ne odihnim undeva la mijlocul unui verset si din el luam numai ce ne convine. Bunaoara, cineva o sa spuna: Nu avem nevoie de intelectuali in biserica, nu avem nevoie sa stim carte, e suficient sa stim Biblia. Vreau sa va spun, dragii mei, e foarte bine sa sti Biblia. Multi vor socoti toate aceste lucruri ca niste gunoaie. Acesta este un verset, pe care il rosteste sub inspiratia Duhului Sfant apostolul Pavel, „Toate lucrurile acestea le-am socotit ca si gunoi, pentru pretul nespus de mare a cunoasterii Domnului Isus Hristos. Nu e un gunoi cartea. E un gunoi cartea daca e sa o compari cu Scriptura. Nu e un gunoi sa inveti pe pamantul acesta, un gunoi este sa te increzi in diplomele tale. Nu este un gunoi sa te educi pe pamantul acesta, dar este un gunoi sa crezi ca educatia face din tine ceva, cand de fapt Dumnezeu prin Duhul Lui te mareste. 
  2. Un Dumnezeu al sfinteniei. Hristos este sfant, sfant, sfant. Sa nu credeti niciodata ca Hristos si-a schimbat standardele Lui de judecata. Oamenii isi creioneaza un Dumnezeu dupa chipul si asemanarea lor. Oamenii se mint, crezand ca Dumnezeu seamana cu ei. Dumnezeu nu seamana cu ei. Dumnezeul nostru e Dumnezeul Scripturii. Acolo e masura a ce este Dumnezeu. Aici pe paginile Scripturii Dumnezeu se descopera pe Sine. Bunaoara spune Dumnezeu, ca acolo unde cineva incepe sa pacatuiasca, ochii Lui nici nu mai pot privi. In marea Lui sfintenie, Dumnezeu, in momentul in care cineva cade in nelegiuire sau face nelegiuirea, Dumnezeu nici nu mai poate privi. Ma uit si vad aceasta Evanghelie facila, aceasta Evanghelie distortionata. Venim la biserica, ne emotionam de un cantec, varsam doua lacrimi, ne intoarcem acasa si ramanem in rautatea noastra. Fratii mei si surorile mele, cine s-a intalnit cu Isus Hristos este o faptura noua. Toate cele vechi s-au dus. Nu mai minti, nu mai inseli. Esti un om care cauti ca in toate zilele vietii tale sa te lupti ca sa fi pe placul celor care te-au inscris la oaste. Hristos spune: Sunt bucuros sa intru in corabia fiecaruia, sa intru in viata fiecaruia si sa fiu prezent in casa oricui si inima oricui. Dar, nu uita, eu sunt Hristos, asa cum sunt. Nu negociez cu nimeni. Dumnezeu spune: Din vesnicie in cesnicie, Eu sunt acelasi. Din neam in neam si din generatie in generatie. Nu va jucati cu focul. Surprizele vor fi mari. In fata lui Dumnezeu nu mai mergi cu gogosi. Cand vom sta in fata lui Dumnezeu, acelui care are ochii ca para focului nu mai merge teologia noastra sucita. Vreau sa va spun un lucru: Dumnezeu ne-a dat puterea sa fim oameni curati si sa fim oameni pe placul Lui. Se poate trai intr-un veac murdar cu curatie in inima. Se poate sa te lupti in veacul acesta, cand atatia au pus armele jos.
  3. Un Dumnezeu al rugaciunii. Orice om pe pamantul acesta, care isi petrece timpul vorbind de rau si despre lucruri de nimic este un om care nu se mai roaga. Cand intalnesc oamenii, nu-mi trebuie decat 2-3 minute. Un om care tine la rugaciune in fiecare zi va cauta, in cercul in care sta de vorba, pe Dumnezeu. Atata vorbire de rau, cat exista intre oameni si barfe.. atatea cuvinte urate… ascultati ce va spun- (e) pentru ca nu ne mai rugam. Chimval zanganitor. Orice ochi care se intalneste cu Dumnezeu in fiecare zi. stiti ce raspuns va primi?  Smereste-te barbatule… Sfinteste-ti viata si vezi-ti de treaba ta. Nu te amesteca in lucruri pe care nu te priveste. Ori de cate ori ma rog, stiti ce se intampla? Imi dau seama ca sunt asa de mic si cunosc atat de putine lucruri. Ma uimesc de faptul ca Dumnezeu ma rabda. Ori de cate ori ma rog, imi dau seama ca comparandu-ma cu cei din jurul meu sunt atat de slab si ii vad pe cei de langa mine reusind mai mult. Toate acestea sunt efectele rugaciunii. Fericirea noastra atarna de viata noastra de rugaciune.

Ei au intrat in corabie si s-au dus direct in furtuna. Zice Biblia ca s-a starnit o mare furtuna. Cand Hristos intra in viata ta, contrar asteptarilor si promisiunilor si a nadejdelor inselatoare pe care tu le-ai primit si asigurarile  care le primesti in viata, e ca dai peste niste furtuni cum nu ai mai avut in viata ta. Prieteni, nu vreau sa va mint in seara aceasta. Nu vreau sa va spun ca daca va intoarceti la Hristos, deodata in viata voastra se face o liniste deplina. Cand eu m-am intors la Hristos, eu nici odata n-am crezut ca voi avea asa furtuni in viata. Si vreau sa va spun, ca pana la sfarsitul vietii mele sunt convins ca in momentul in care Hristos este in corabia mea, voi merge uneori din furtuna in furtuna si un val cheama alt val.

Putinatatea inimii noastre, teama noastra sporita, de cele mai multe ori ne clatinam in fata necazului pentru ca odata, cand ni s-a pus temelia pocaintei ni s-a furnizat un Hristos care nu seamana cu Hristosul Scripturii. Dumnezeul nostru nu-ti spune ca iti da un cozonac, sau ca iti mai pune un etaj la vila, sau ca Dumnezeu este specialist in matrimonial sa iti dea un sot. Desi, Dumnezeu se implica in lucrul asta si Dumnezeul nostru spune ca atunci cand intra Isus Hristos in viata ta, Dumnezeu iti da mantuirea. Am venit in seara aceasta sa va spun ca ceea ce face Hristos in vietile noastre, motivul din care Dumnezeu a coborat din cer la noi este ca Dumnezeu sa ne salveze din pacat, ca Dumnezeu sa ne ridice din nelegiuire. Ca Dumnezeu sa schimbe in noi firea pamanteasca. Dumnezeul nostru a murit pe cruce ca eu sa fiu salvat.

O sa spuna cineva: Cum? M-ai adus la biserica ca sa ma fac bine, m-ai adus stiind ca am niste greutati si mi-ai spus ca daca ma intorc la Dumnezeu, Dumnezeu poate sa-mi repare aceste incurcaturi financiare. Sau, am venit la Dumnezeu pentru ca sta in fata mea, in seara asta, un divort. Vreau sa va spun urmatorul lucru: Am vazut ca Dumnezeu a eliberat familii, am vazut pe Dumnezeu ca i-a scos pe oameni din groapa falimentului. Am vazut pe Dumnezeu, care a vindecat de cancer si de tumori. Dar, mai intai de toate sa stiti ca Dumnezeu se ocupa cu mantuirea sufletului nostru. (30:00) Mai sunt 46 de minute din predica.

Potolirea Furtunii

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Reclame

Fratii Ursan

O cantare minunata, cantata de 3 frati.
Te-am scos cu mâna tare din Egipt
Căci eu sunt Domnul Cel din veşnicie
Sunt Domnul Cel care te-a-ntocmit
Acel ce te-a scos din robie

R: Nu voi uita nicicând de tine, Fiul meu
Rosteşte astăzi Sfântul lui Israel
Întâiul meu născut, n-am să te uit
Te port mereu în Braţul Meu Cel Sfânt

Dau neamuri şi popoare pentru tine
Căci te iubesc cum nu am mai iubit
De veacuri te-am păstrat pentru Mine
Din mâna celor răi te-am izbăvit

Acel ce se atinge azi de tine
Atinge lumina ochilor Mei
Israel , rămăşiţa mea de pe pământ
Israele , poporul meu cel sfânt

Vezi si 1 Martie – Mireasma de florile primaverii, fratii Ursan aici

Istorie Evanghelica

Vezi articolul original

Seara stiintifica la Biserica LOGOS Ploiesti (4) Experimente cu Giorgica Lupchian

Seara stiintifica la Biserica LOGOS Ploiesti cu inventator Giorgica Lupchian.
18.06.2011

  1. Partea 1 – Ce forma are pamantul si pe ce sta el?
  2. Partea 2 – Ce rol are campul gravitational?
  3. Pe ce se sprijina temeliile pamantului?

„Omul care invarte pamantul!”

Experimente

Flash Mob la Suceava – Binecuvantat fie Domnul 24 Feb 2013 Iulius Mall

Vezi aici si alte flash moburi din Romania-

  1. Flash Mob BBSO #2 [OFFICIAL VIDEO] OSC Oradea mall
  2. Flash Mob pe Tramvaiul Mov din Cluj – 20 de tineri au organizat un Flash Mob și au COLINDAT într-un TRAMVAI!
  3. Flash Mob Românesc – Colinda superba in piata la Oradea
  4. Flash Mob – Târgoviște la Patinoar si la Prefectură
  5. Alt Flash Mob la un mall in Iasi
  6. Cor si Orchestra BBSO – ‘Ierusalim’ [OFFICIAL VIDEO] la Sala Sporturilor din Oradea
  7. BBSO Cor si Orchestra – Hai Vino Acum Sa-L Lauzi – inca o cantare minunata de la Evanghelizarea cu Voddie Baucham
  8. Cor si Orchestra BBSO – [OFFICIAL VIDEO] de la Evanghelizare cu Voddie Baucham

Biserica Maranata – http://maranatha.ro Video uploaded by Maranatha Suceava

Can Men and Women Be Just friends?

Spoiler alert: The answer is NO. Read on from Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell to find out why he believes there cannot be platonic relationships between men and women. This article is featured on Churchleaders.com (You can also read an article in the Scientific American that agrees with Dr. Hanchell’s assertion here- http://www.scientificamerican.com/article).

Dr. Tejado W. Hanchell (TWH_PhD) who currently serves as the Senior Pastor of Mount Calvary Holy Church of Winston-Salem, NC (“The Church Committed to do MORE”) – the “Mother Church” of the Mount Calvary Holy Church of America, Inc., where Dr. Hanchell also serves as General Secretary and International Director of Youth & Young Adult Ministry under the leadership of Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr.

photo via www.brucesallan.com

Dr. Hanchell: Let me state at the outset: I do not believe in the male-female platonic relationship.

Much like Santa Claus, the Abominable Snowman and the Tooth Fairy, there is very little evidence to prove its existence. In fact, there is a mountain of evidence to the contrary.

I have seen countless “friendships” ruined once one “buddy” decided to get into a serious relationship.

This is not to say that EVERY male-female relationship turns out this way. However, I believe that there are very few — if any — truly platonic male-female relationships.

Before you jump down my throat and tell me how much of an idiot I am (which I encourage you to do in the comments section), let’s get an understanding of what the word platonic really means. Platonic traces its etymology to the doctrines of Greek philosopher, Plato. In regards to relationships, it means a relationship that is “purely spiritual” and/or “free from sensual desire.”

Now, this is where the proponents of the existence of the platonic relationship say, “Well, I’m not attracted to him/her IN THAT WAY.” The need to qualify the statement, disqualifies the argument.

Also, notice that the presence of physical attraction is not the only thing that nullifies the platonic relationship. In order for a relationship to be considered truly platonic, it must be “purely spiritual.” I don’t know about you, but there are very few, if any, relationships in my entire life that have been purely spiritual.

I know some who have used the guise of spirituality to get close to someone of the opposite sex. That’s how so many late night “prayer meetings” have turned into all night “touching and agreeing”!

Or, how many times have you talked to a married couple who says, “We were friends for years before we started dating”? Did the desire to be “more than friends” develop on their first date? Or, more likely, did they begin to have feelings beyond friendship while one or both of them were still putting up the charade that we’re “just friends”?

As someone who, as a single man, always felt more comfortable having a lot of female “friends,” let me speak from my own personal experience.

I hung out with females all the time. We went to the movies, dinner, etc., and it never went beyond that with many of them. However, we often tend to define platonic relationships based upon actions, when they are really defined by feelings.

I may not have DONE anything with them, but that did not mean I did not FEEL anything for them.

On the other hand, I have no way of knowing how these women felt about me.

This, I believe, is the defining element in my argument against the existence of the male-female platonic relationship — you NEVER know how someone else truly feels. What you may consider a “friendship” may be the first step to courtship for the other person — you NEVER know.

Even if you ask, studies have shown that people will lie about their true feelings so as not to jeopardize the friendship (and any hope of it becoming more).

I’m not saying all of this to encourage you to cut all ties with all of your friends of the opposite sex. What I am saying is that we all need to carefully analyze the nature of our relationships, and be honest — especially with ourselves.

Most people who say they are PLATONIC … are really just PLAYING. Now, the male-female platonic relationship may actually exist, but just like with UFOs and the Loch Ness Monster … very few have seen it and lived to tell the tale.

Read this article in its entirety at Churchleaders.com

Read an article that also agrees aith Dr. Hanchell’s assertion here – http://www.scientificamerican.com/article

Billy Graham – TED talk from 1998 (subtitrare in Limba Romana)

Synopsis: Speaking at TED in 1998, Rev. Billy Graham marvels at technology’s power to improve lives and change the world, but says the end of evil, suffering and death will come only after the world accepts Christ. A legendary talk from TED’s archives. The Rev. Billy Graham is a religious leader with a worldwide reach. In his long career as an evangelist, he has spoken to millions and been an advisor to US presidents.

Pentru a vedea subtitrarea, clic pe View subtitles, apoi alege limba ‘Romanian’

Februarie 1998, Monterrey, California. (27 minutes). Billy Graham talks about the technology we have today, and how there are many problems associated with it, that have not been solved. Billy Graham lists these problems as:

  1. Human evil. Over and over, in the Psalms, David describes the evil in the human race. Why do we have these wars and revolutions in every generation? We can’t get along with other people, even in our own families.We find ourselves in a paralyzing grip of self destructing habits. The Bible says the problem is within us, within our hearts, within our souls. Our problem is that we are separated from our Creator. The problem is not technology, the problem is the person using it. The Bible teaches that we are more than a body and a mind, we are a soul. And, there is something inside of us that is beyond our understanding. That’s the part of us that yearns for God, and something more than we find in technology. Your soul is that part of you that yearns for meaning and life, and which seeks for something beyond this life. It’s the part of you that yearns, really, for God. 
  2. Human suffering. Writing the oldest human book is Job. And he wrote: Man is born under trouble and the saprks fly upward. Yes, to be sure, science has done much to push back certain types of human suffering. But, even here among us, in the most advanced society in the world we have poverty. We have families that self destruct., friends that betray us, unbearable psychological pressure to bear down on us. I’ve never met a person in the world that didn’t have a problem, or a worry. Why do we suffer? It’s an age old question that we haven’t answered. Yet, David said he would turn to God- the Lord is my shepherd.
  3. Death. Many commentators have said that death is the forbidden subject of our generation. Most people live as if they’re never going to die. Technology projects the myth of control over our mortality. But, death is inevitable. It is often difficult for young people to understand that they’re going to die. As the ancient writer of Ecclesiastes wrote: There’s every activity under heaven. There’s a time to be born, and there’s a time to die. I’ve stood at the death bed of several famous people whom you would know. I’ve talked to them. I’ve seen them in those agonizing moments when they were scared to death. Yet, a few years earlier, death never crossed their minds. A university student recently asked me what is my greatest surprise. I told him it was the brevity of life. It passes so fast.

D. A. Carson – Job: Mystery and Faith (1)

I am indebted to Adrian for pointing me to this treaty on Job. Any dedicated believer, who has suffered deeply, or has seen a loved one suffer is fascinated with the mechanics of Job’s dialogue with God in the midst of his own deep suffering and the wisdom, peace, and understanding that can be derived from it. You can read this article in it’s entirety, in pdf form here (18 pages) –

http://s3.amazonaws.com/tgc-documents/carson/2000_Job_mystery_and_faith.pdf

d a carsonD. A. Carson is Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of numerous commentar- ies and monographs, and is one of this country’s foremost New Testament scholars. Among his books are Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility (John Knox Press, 1981; reprint, Baker, 1994) and How Long, O Lord?: Per- spectives on Suffering and Evil (Baker, 1990).

The topic is divided into
  1. covers Job chapters 1 – 3 Job’s Sufferings and Initial Reaction
  2. covers Job chapters 4 – 31  Job’s Plaintive Outrage and His Miserable Comforters
  3. covers Job chapter 32 – 37 Job and Elihu
  4. covers Job chapter 38 – 42:6 Job and God
  5. covers Job chapter 42:7-16 Job’s Happy Ending

Here are some excerpts from the 1st section:

Introduction

Struggle as we may with various facets of the problem of evil and suffering, there are times when particularly virulent evil or horribly inequitable suffering strikes us as staggeringly irrational, unfair. Quite frequently this impression is driven home when we cannot see how to escape the lack of proportion between the massive suffering and the relative inoffensiveness of the afflicted party.

The Book of Job has been interpreted in several quite different ways. This short chapter is not the place to go into the variations. But virtually all sides agree that this book’s special contribution to the canon, and to the topic of evil and suffering, is its treatment of what most of us would call irrational evil, incoherent suffering. Such evil and suffering do not easily fit into any glib “solutions.” We may remember lessons learned elsewhere in the Bible, but when we try to apply them here there are too many loose ends. The physical suffering, as bad as it is, is compounded in Job’s mind because it does not make any sense. Consequently, it threatens to destroy his understanding of God and the world, and is therefore not only massively painful in its own right, but disorienting and confusing.

suffering of Job

I. Job chapters 1 – 3 Job’s Sufferings and Initial Reaction

(1) The Book of Job frankly insists that suffering falls within the sweep of God’s sovereignty. The reader understands, as Job does not, that Job’s afflictions owe everything to the exchange between God and Satan. Satan himself recognizes his limitations: he has to secure permission to afflict Job. He charges God with “putting a hedge” around Job to protect him. Only when God grants permission can Satan lash out at Job’s family and livelihood. Even then he must secure separate permission to strike Job’s body.

Intuitively, Job recognizes that nothing of the sort could have happened to him without God’s sanction. He feels trapped, “hedged in”; but he sees that it is God who has hedged him in (3:23). All the while he has enjoyed a hedge around him, protecting him; now that it is gone, he feels hedged in. Even so, he does not rush to the conclusion that an enemy has done this outside God’s sanction. Job asks, rhetorically, “Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” (2:10).

In short, all forms of dualism are radically rejected. Job will not resort to easy comfort about this not really being the will of God: it must be the work of Satan. Of course, it was the work of Satan. But in God’s universe, even Satan’s work cannot step outside the outermost boundaries of God sovereignty. While that is what raises the problem, it is also what promises hope.

(2) The emphasis on Job’s goodness is meant to highlight the fact that there is such a thing as innocent suffering. This means more than that not all suffering is directly related to a specific sin; it means that some suffering in this world is not directly related to any sin. Undoubtedly one can posit indirect connections by appealing to other Scriptures about the fall and the universality of sin. But they do not rob the Book of Job of the point being strongly emphasized: the link between suffering and retribution found in, say, Deuteronomy, Proverbs, and Romans, is never so mathematically rigid, so sym- metrically precise, as to rule out the kind of suffering this book considers.

The losses Job faced were, on the natu- ral plane, the result of a mixture of human malice (the Sabeans, the Chaldeans) and of natural disasters (the fire, the wind). But behind them stood Satan; and behind Satan stood God himself. In a theistic universe, it could scarcely be otherwise, if God is the God described in the Bible. Undoubtedly there were public ren- egades and socially revolting sinners who, we might have thought, deserved the reverses Job suffered. But they happened to Job, whom God himself puts forward as “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” Although the Bible insists that all sinners will (eventually) suffer, it does not insist that each instance of suffering is retribution of sin. Doubtless if this were not a fallen world, there would be no suffering; but just be- cause it is a fallen world, it does not fol- low that there is no innocent suffering.

The Book of Job will not let us off the hook: there is such a thing as innocent suffering.

(3) The degree to which we struggle with this question is likely to be related to the extent of our own sufferings. That Job can say, “What I feared has come upon me; what I dreaded has happened to me” (3:25) is not a sign that he did not really trust God, and therefore he got what he deserved: that would subvert the purpose of the entire book—in the third chapter, at that! The purpose of these words, rather, is to show that Job had already thought about these matters. He was no amateur  in the things of God. He had thought enough about them to know that, from his own observation, from his own knowledge of God, he could not consider himself exempt from the possibility of disastrous loss. Such loss was what he feared. To that extent, he was prepared for it; probably that prepared mind was also one of the reasons why his initial responses are so entirely noble.

But thinking through the theology of suffering, and resolving in advance how you will respond, however praiseworthy the exercise, cannot completely prepare you for the shock of suffering itself. It is like jumping into a bitterly cold lake: you can brace yourself for the experience all day, but when you actually jump in, the shock to your system will still snatch your breath away.

(4) God does not blame us if in our suffering we frankly vent our despair and confess our loss of hope, our sense of futility, our lamentations about life itself. One cannot read chapter 3 without recalling that God will later excoriate the miserable comforters, but insist that Job himself said right things (42:7).

Of course, it is possible in grief and misery to say the wrong things, to say blasphemous things. Job’s wife is not praised for her counsel: “Curse God and die!” (2:9). But within certain boundaries, yet to be explored, it is far better to be frank about our grief, candid in our despair, honest with our questions, than to suppress them and wear a public front of puffy piety. God knows our thoughts in any case. Whatever “resolution” the Book of Job provides turns on Job’s ques- tions and God’s responses. Without the questions, there would have been no responses.

(5) Already the theme of mystery has intruded. Neither at the beginning of the affliction nor at the end does God tell Job about Satan’s challenge and his own response. Indeed, had he done so, the pur- pose of the affliction would have been subverted. God’s intent, (the readers know) is to show that a human being can love God, fear God, and pursue righ- teousness without receiving any prompt reward. This pursuit of God is therefore independent of material comfort; it may be in defiance of material comfort. Satan’s thesis, that all religious interest is ultimately grounded in self-interest, or worse, in mercenary commitment, is thus shown to be false. But Job himself is not permitted to see this dimension to his suffering. As far as he is concerned, he faces inscru- table mystery.

(6) That is why Job’s initial lament, and his later questions, must be placed within the right framework. At no point does Job abandon faith in God; at no point does he follow his wife’s advice to curse God. It is precisely because he knows God to be there, and to be loving and just, that he has such a hard time understanding such injustice. Job wrestles with God, he is indignant with God, he challenges God to come before him and provide some answers; but all his struggles are the struggles of a believer. That is why Job can be praised, by God himself, for saying the right things: at least he spoke within the right framework. His miserable friends did not. We shall have occasion to return to this point in the next section, to learn what it tells us today.

 Coming tomorrow: II. Job chapter 4-31

II. Job chapters 4 – 31  

Job’s Plaintive Outrage and His Miserable Comforters 

III. Job chapter 32 – 37 Job and Elihu

IV. Job chapter 42:7-16 Job’s Happy Ending

Related posts

  1. D A Carson – When Jesus confronts the world (Essential message) Moody Founder’s Week Feb 2013
  2. D A Carson – What Scripture plainly says about hell
  3. D.A. Carson – on reasons Christians doubt (Essential message)
  4. D.A.Carson – Love in Hard Places 
  5. R.C. Sproul Interviews D.A. Carson on Biblical Exegesis 
  6. D.A. Carson at The Gospel Coalition 2011 Video 
  7. Don Carson preaching at the Chinese Conference in Los Angeles (2 sessions)

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