Devotions By Jan

Green Bean Tree?

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Scripture for Today: Job 34:3-4 “For the ear tests words as the tongue tests food. Let us discern for ourselves what is right; let us learn together what is good.”

It looked so odd.  I had to get a closer look at this strange tree growing in Epinal, France.  No, of course these are not green beans but I bet I could have convinced my young grandsons that they were!  It is called a Catalpa Tree and is sometimes referred to as an Indian Bean Tree or Cigar Tree.  The burning question is always whether these pods can be eaten.  I am glad I did not try as the answer is, no!

Today’s verse records the advice of one of Job’s three friends.  Elihu was eager to help Job discover the reason for his troubles.  He had a lot to say but it was off the mark.  Certainly, we are to test what we hear and listen with discernment.  Just as we taste food to see if it has a pleasing flavor, so we “taste” what we hear to decide if it rings true.  The problem is that we all have differing taste buds.  What seems right and good to one can seem wrong and sour to another.  Our subjectivity can get in the way of finding absolute truth.

There was absolute truth in the answer to the question, “Are these pods edible?”  And God’s absolute truth does not depend on our subjective senses or how I feel on a given day.  Jesus calls Himself, “Truth.” (John 14:6)  Absolute unchanging truth is found in the Person of Jesus Christ, and is not affected by my perception or belief.  What a comfort in a world where truth is relative and up for grabs!

Thank you Lord, for the truth I find in You.


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