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The Bible: Day 26- “Why Does God Allow Suffering” (Psalm 16, Matthew 18:10-35, & Job 1-3:26)


We can draw insights from various biblical passages to explore why God allows suffering. Psalm 16:1-11 emphasizes finding refuge in God amid trials, acknowledging that God guides us through adversity. Matthew 18:10-35 illustrates the importance of forgiveness and compassion, suggesting that our understanding of suffering may be limited, and God's justice extends beyond our comprehension. Job 1:1-3:26 provides a profound narrative of Job's suffering, showcasing that God's ways are beyond our understanding, inviting us to trust in His sovereignty even amid life's challenges.

Wisdom/ Reading Psalm 16:1-11

Psalm 16 is a heartfelt expression of trust and dependence on God. The psalmist seeks refuge in the Lord, acknowledging Him as the source of true joy and security. Throughout the verses, there is a profound sense of assurance that God guides, protects, and sustains in times of trouble. The psalm paints a picture of unwavering confidence in God's presence, emphasizing the profound connection between faith and a deep sense of peace amidst life's uncertainties.

Break Down: Psalm 16:

1. Verses 1-2: Trust in God for Refuge

- The psalm begins with a plea for protection and refuge in God. It sets the tone of reliance on the divine for safety.

2. Verses 3-4: Rejecting Other gods

- The psalmist expresses a commitment not to follow false gods or idols, emphasizing exclusive devotion to the one true God.

3. Verses 5-6: Contentment in God's Provision

- There's a recognition of God as the provider of one's allotted portion and a declaration of contentment with what God has assigned, fostering a sense of gratitude.

4. Verses 7-8: Continuous Awareness of God's Presence

- The psalmist acknowledges the constant presence of God and seeks guidance, highlighting the importance of maintaining a conscious connection with the divine in daily life.

5. Verses 9-10: Assurance of God's Protection

- Confidence is expressed in God's protection, even when facing challenges. This serves as a reminder of the believer's security in the divine care.

6. Verse 11: Fullness of Joy in God's Presence

- The psalm concludes with celebrating the joy found in God's presence. This spiritual joy is seen as surpassing earthly pleasure and becomes a source of strength.

Overall, Psalm 16 imparts spiritual teachings on trust, devotion, contentment, continuous awareness of God, assurance in His protection, and profound joy in His presence. It guides believers on their spiritual journey, emphasizing the significance of a deep and unwavering relationship with God.

The New Testament/ Reading Matthew 18:10-35

Matthew 18:10-35 provides a profound collection of teachings by Jesus, primarily focusing on forgiveness, humility, and mercy within the context of relationships and community life. It begins with Jesus emphasizing the importance of not despising or causing harm to the "little ones" who believe in Him, highlighting the significance of humility. The passage then transitions into the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, illustrating the necessity of extending forgiveness to others as a response to God's mercy toward us. This section of Matthew serves as a powerful lesson on the interconnected themes of compassion, reconciliation, and the transformative impact of forgiveness in the Christian journey.

Break Down: Matthew 18:10-35:

1. Verses 10-14: Care for the Little Ones

- Jesus emphasizes the importance of not causing harm to those who are humble and have childlike faith. The spiritual teaching here is about valuing humility and recognizing the significance of every individual in the eyes of God.

2. Verses 15-17: The Process of Reconciliation

- Jesus outlines a process for resolving conflicts within the community of believers. This teaches the importance of addressing issues directly, seeking reconciliation, and emphasizing the value of maintaining unity among followers of Christ.

3. Verses 18-20: The Power of Agreement in Prayer

- Jesus speaks about the power of agreement in prayer, emphasizing the spiritual principle that their prayers are more impactful when believers come together in unity and agreement.

4. Verses 21-35: The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

- The heart of this parable's passage teaches the critical importance of forgiveness. The servant, forgiven of a massive debt by the king, fails to extend the same mercy to a fellow servant. The spiritual lesson is clear: believers are called to extend that forgiveness to others as recipients of God's immense forgiveness.

5. Verse 35: God's Judgment for Unforgiveness

- The passage concludes with a stern warning about the consequences of an unforgiving heart. Those who do not forgive may face judgment, emphasizing the gravity of harboring resentment and the importance of embodying God's mercy.

In summary, Matthew 18:10-35 offers teachings on humility, conflict resolution, the power of unified prayer, and, most significantly, the imperative of forgiveness. It calls believers to live out mercy and forgiveness in their relationships, reflecting the grace they have received from God.

The Old Testament/ Reading Job 1:1-3:26

Break Down: Job 1:1-3:26:

1. Job's Righteousness and Prosperity (Job 1:1-5):

- Job is introduced as a great wealth, integrity, and piety man. This section emphasizes his blameless character and the blessings he enjoys.

2. Satan's Challenge (Job 1:6-12):

- Satan questions Job's loyalty, suggesting that his righteousness is motivated by God's protection and blessings. God allows Satan to test Job but prohibits harm to his person.

3. Job's Losses and Faith (Job 1:13-22):

- Job endures a series of calamities, losing his livestock, servants, and children. Despite his deep grief, Job responds with worship and acknowledges God's sovereignty

4. Job's Affliction and Wife's Counsel (Job 2:1-10):

- Satan challenges Job's faith further by afflicting him with painful sores. Job's wife urges him to curse God, but he remains steadfast in his commitment to accept both good and adversity from God.

5. Job's Friends Arrive (Job 2:11-13):

- Job's three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, come to comfort him. They sit with him in silence, sharing in his grief.

6. Job's Lament (Job 3:1-26):

- Job breaks his silence and laments the day of his birth, expressing the depth of his suffering and longing for death. This chapter reflects Job's anguish and begins a dialogue between him and his friends.

In summary, Job 1:1-3:26 sets the stage for the overarching narrative of Job's intense trials, highlighting his initial prosperity, the testing of his faith, and the onset of deep suffering. This portion introduces key characters and themes that will be further explored in the dialogue and reflections in the book of Job.

In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell

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