“And do not lead[i][ii] us into temptation[iii]….” (Matt. 6:13) is one of the things Jesus taught to us to pray to the Father. Does that mean that God might lead us into temptation (if we did not pray for Him not to)? Clearly not!
We must always be careful when reading Scripture to put a verse in context. Every verse should be read in harmony with the rest of Scripture. The Greek word translated “temptation” here can mean either temptations or tests (or trials), and the meaning of it in a particular passage must be derived from the context. It can mean sufferings that test or try or allurements that tempt us into evil. “Of these the former is the dominant meaning in the language of the New Testament, and is that of which we must think here.” Continue reading “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
“You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful.” (James 5:11))
People can relate to the story of Job. He suffered physical ailments, the loss of his family and all he owned. Many people have suffered similar losses, but what of the compassion of God?
Job is a long book. Most of it focuses on Job’s suffering and questioning – Why me?! We are told in the beginning that Job was pure and upright, but then he suffered terribly at the hands of Satan … while God looked on! His religious friends are not very sympathetic. They talked a lot, but they didn’t say much other than to question: “If you’re so good, why is God God treating you so badly?”
Job’s friends didn’t believe that Job was as good as he claimed. The truth is, he probably wasn’t, but that’s another story. The truth is also that “bad things happen to good people”. Life isn’t fair in the hard times it dishes out. “Good” people sometimes have the worst luck, and “bad” people sometimes seem to get all the good things.
That leads us to wonder, if God exists, we are things the way they are?! Maybe he doesn’t exist. Or worse, maybe He doesn’t care!
Continue reading “Suffering & God’s Compassion”