"God is Love" collage by Josette Atme

Today: Psalms 18:25-36; Matthew 23; Job 33 & 34

Psalms 18

“With the faithful you show yourself faithful;
With the blameless you prove yourself blameless;
With the pure you show yourself pure…”
Psalms 18:25-26

Our relationship with God is reciprocal. Just as it is with our humanly relationships, we get out what we put into it. Except with God, we receive so much more. So many people spend their lives running around desperately searching for someone else to complete them. But another human will never be capable of completing someone else. Only God can truly fulfill us. He provides everything so many of us are longing for — deep intimacy, honesty, love, acceptance, forgiveness, care, protection. Only God can know us completely. Only the all-knowing God holds the most perfect plan for our lives. Only God has loved us enough to provide way of salvation for us.

Matthew 23

Wow, Jesus really lets the Pharisees have it in this passage. He does not like them very much! I grew up in a legalistic church and I recognize the spirit of legalism of the Pharisees. Legalism will kill your soul. But as tedious as all their little irrational laws were, Jesus’ beef was not with the laws themselves. The problem was the Pharisees’ prideful attitudes. It was all a big popularity contest with those Pharisees. They wanted to impress the people with their superior holiness. It was just a big phony show, and not about relationship with God at all. Jesus has no patience for such hypocrisy.

painting by Corrine Bayraktaroglu

Job 33-34

That snotty hotheaded little Elihu! He’s so full of himself. Just listen to the disdain dripping from his words, “Pay attention, Job, listen to me; keep silent, and let me speak…. Listen to me; keep silent and I will teach you wisdom.”(v.33:31-33) He’s the sullen angsty teenager screaming at his parents that they just don’t understand anything. He’s that internet troll you have to block. Is it wrong for me to look forward to God rebuking him in the next chapters?