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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God

"You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful." James 5:11
This semester I have found myself focused on the study of the providence of God. A few weeks ago, I picked up John Piper's book The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God. As I have been scheduling my book reads, I noticed this book also came with an audio CD which has Piper reading his interpretive poem, so I decided to take it with me as we traveled this weekend. My wife and listened to it several times as we were stunned by the powerful message in this little book. Each of the four chapters concludes with a consideration of Christ and his providential work on the cross for sinners which rivets the hearts of those who have benefited from such providence. Furthermore, I recently surpassed my first year in photography, and this book has some fantastic work by Ric Ergenbright who vividly illustrates the message of the poem through his photography. I recommend this book for several reasons: its superb literary style, its relevancy to those who have tasted "the bitter rod," the benefit of the audio CD to listen in your car, and of course the fantastic photography. Here are some of my favorite lines in this poem: "O man of God, today again You seek the precious lives of ten Young souls. Now tell me, with your heart, Would you be willing, Job, to part With all your children, if in my Deep counsel I should judge that by Such severing more good would be, And you would know far more of me?" (18) "I came with nothing from the womb, I go with nothing to the tomb. God gave me children freely, then He took them to himself again. At last I taste the bitter rod, My wise and ever blessed God." (25) "Come, learn the lesson of the rod: The treasure that we have in God. He is not poor nor much enticed Who loses everything but Christ." (26) "'Be good and strong, but weak when wrong.' They make good rote and clever song, But do not hold the wisdom of Our God. A whisper from above Is all I have. Yet from it I Have learned through horrid nights that my Redeemer lives, and when my skin Has been destroyed, then from within Shall I behold him on my side, And I will live though I have died." (59) "Jemimah, what I think is this: The Lord has made me drink The cup of his severity That he might kindly show to me What I would be when only he Remains in my calamity. Unkindly he has kindly shown That he was not my hope alone." (71) There are several others which have brought great encouragement to me, but these I like to mention here. I spend almost two hours a day driving, and I think I might just have to buy some more audio books to be a better steward of my time. Do you have any you particularly enjoy?

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