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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Large Catechism – part 74

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From the Word: 20 Then Job stood up and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell down upon the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.” 22 In all this, Job did not sin or charge God with wrongdoing. (Job 1:20–22)

From the ConfessionsThe Large Catechism, The Ten Commandments

The Second Commandment

You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

We all have naturally within us this handsome virtue, that whenever we have done wrong, we like to cover it over and gild our disgrace so that no one may know or notice. No one is so arrogant that he boasts to all the world of the wickedness he has perpetrated. Everyone wishes to act in secret, without anyone being aware of what they do. But when anyone is accused, the name of God is dragged into the affair to make wickedness look like godliness, and shame like honor. 

Pulling It Together: Wickedness exists because people want things their way. They want what belongs to another, or they want but will not work. They want their own will to be done, not, “Thy will be done.” The will of the Lord may be difficult, but it is always good. It may not be what we want, but what he wants for us is always best. There are greater things at work in our lives, that require one greater than us to direct them. This is chiefly why so many would usurp the authority of God: they do not trust him. So, they manipulate things to go their own way but then, when things go awry, they blame it on God, or on their neighbor, or on anyone but themselves.

Job did not manipulate matters, nor did he blame God when things did not go as he would have liked. He blessed the Lord in spite of tragedy. Disaster and heartbreak caused him to trust God all the more. His response to the difficulties of life was worship.

Prayer: Compose my spirit, Lord, that I may find joy and peace in you alone. Amen.

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In Harmony with the Word is an eight-session Bible Study focusing on Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, from Matthew 5-7. It is written at an introductory level, to be led by a lay leader or pastor in a small-group question and discussion format. The study would serve as an excellent resource for monthly women's group meetings, or in an informal small-group setting.

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