Elihu speaks another chapter, beginning by implicitly apologising for going on so long, and promising to get to the point. A commentary pointed out that he then goes on to speak for a few chapters more…
His character comes even more into focus: young, quite arrogant, but full of the holy spirit, so has these powerful visions of God along the way.
Just saying… if I was responsible for writing the Bible I don’t think I’d lightly include characters who claim to speak for God but are a mixture of insight and misguidedness. Talk about confusing!
But it’s telling us exactly what will happen in our life. Our experiences will prompt doubts about God. From our friends or pulpits we’ll get a mixture of wisdom and foolishness.
God is portrayed as distant and uninvolved for most of the narrative, but the irony is that if you accept this as God’s word, inspired by God, its understanding of our foibles is incredibly intimate, loving and patient. If it’s by him, our creator knows us so well!
He knows how ridiculous we are, and he loves us anyway! I feel a bit ridiculous, fretting away for months now about my work situation. There’s so much else in the world.
Our Aboriginal pastor Ray Minniecon preached his perspective on Christmas last week, one of the few sermons I’ve listened to twice. It’s rattling around in my A.D.D head.
He took the Isaiah passage ‘unto is a son is given’ and Jesus’ sermon in his home synagogue on proclaiming the ‘year of the Lord’s favour’, and talked about comparitive plans for world domination. The oppressive regimes of Isaiah and Jesus’ time, and for him the Australia he was born into.
He talked about the power of proclamation, such as when James Cook planted his land rights flag on Australian soil and with a word made all Aboriginal people subjects of the English crown.
The politics of Christmas is a different plan for world domination, a proclamation of good news for the poor, sight for the blind and freedom for prisoners and the oppressed.
The little baby in the manger is the perfect image of God, which gives him power and value like the image on currency gives it value.
Elihu ends by describing a coming storm from which the spirit of God speaks, starting to set up the climax of the book.
What am I saying? I’m thinking about perspective. On my problems and the world’s, and the power of the almighty.