Genesis 39, Mark 9, Job 5, Romans 9

Genesis 39:1-2

I love the story of Joseph's life.  As it goes from bad to worse (from slavery to slavery in prison), scripture says the LORD was with him and he prospered, and He showed kindness to him.  Even as Joseph was faithful to Potiphar and the prison warden, people still treated him unfaithfully.   Because of his statement to the baker, it is obvious Joseph sees the unfairness of the situation,  yet nothing changed.  How patient am I when I know God has shown me favor and still the unfairness of life is evident to me?  How well do I wait on the Lord and His timing?

Mark 9:50

Why would Jesus tell His disciples to have salt in themselves?  It is always good to determine what the OT says when trying to understand the NT.  In Exodus 30:35, salt is a necessary component to produce a pure and holy incense.  Leviticus 2:13 tells us salt is used in grain offerings as a reminder of God's eternal covenant.  In 2 Kings 2:20-21, Elisha used salt to purify water.  Job 6:3 asks the question, "Don't people complain about unsalted food?"  Additionally, many passages use salt referencing judgment, destruction, devastation and death. 

So positively, salt is used to purify, remind of God's eternal covenant and add flavor.  Those would seem to be appropriate attributes for the followers of Jesus, wouldn't they?  So the questions are:  What flavor do I bring in relationships?  Am I a purifying agent?  What about me is a reminder of God's eternal covenant?  

Job 5:17-27

Eliphaz correctly refers to God as the Almighty, Shaddi, the all powerful One, who is totally sufficient, absolute ruler, the One who can and will make the final determination.  This name is used prominently throughout the rest of Job. 

However,  if Eliphaz' purpose was to care and comfort Job in his grief (Job 2:11), his comments were not successful.  Why would he tell Job there will be peace in his house, his possessions will be secure and his children and grandchildren will be numerous, since Job had just lost all of those?  This is the equivalent of telling someone who just lost a child not to worry, you can have another.  How long would you mourn the loss of a child?  For Jacob, it was until his death (Genesis 37:35).

I often struggle to know the right thing to say when someone is grieving.  When this happens I go to Romans 12:15, "Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep". 

Father, I realize my lack of both empathy and sympathy for those who mourn.  Please teach me to care as You care for those who are suffering .

Romans 9:1-4

After an in depth explanation of the assurance for those in Christ Jesus, why would Paul spend the next three chapters discussing the Jews?   Paul could easily have gone from assurance in Romans 8:38-39, to instruction on proper spiritual worship in Romans 12:1-2.  But Paul being a great teacher, knows this discussion of assurance for believers inevitably brings up the questions "What about the promises to the Jews?  Is there assurance for them?"  He has given us a taste of his answer in Romans 2:28-29, "For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical.  But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart".  Romans 9-11 is a great commentary on Romans 2:28-3:9. 

Sovereign LORD Jesus, please give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and submitted hearts and wills, to know and accept Your plans and purposes.  May we rejoice over Romans 9, 10 and 11 as we rejoiced over Romans 8.