Job 36,37; Matthew 15:1-20

Jesus replied, “And why do you, by your traditions, violate the direct commandments of God?” (Matthew 15:3 NLT)

My first thoughts on the Matthew passage were “Yeah, Jesus, you tell those Pharisees a thing or two!” Then my thoughts go quickly to the Christians today that would be the equivalent of the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. You know, THOSE people…  We all know them, right?

Right??

Then I reflect on our reading in Job.  We know Job is a very righteous man, yet earlier when Job gives us a list of all the reasons why he is so righteous and so does not deserve this  Elihu finally speaks up to remind Job of the greatness, power, and justice of God.  Elihu is still going on about this in our readings today. Job may have done many wonderful things, but he needs a reminder that God is infinitely greater, He is in charge, and nothing happens that is not under his sovereignty.

Then I start to think…  If righteous Job has faults, then maybe I better go back and look at that Matthew passage again…  What (if any) man-made commands do I follow and thus violate the direct commands of God?   If I am totally honest, I can think of a few possibilities. Then as I reflect more and more, I think of more. I really want to be done thinking about this, it makes me very uncomfortable! As is usually the case when my quiet time starts out with thoughts of how passages apply to other people, if I take the time to reflect I see that it applies to me as well…  I think of Psalm 19:12 “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?  Cleanse me from these hidden faults.”

Lord, please help me discern the man-made commands from the true commands of God. You say “fom the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander. These are what defile you.” But you can cleanse our hearts. “Create in me a clean heart, O God” – words from David in Psalm 51:10 – words from You.

suegraff

4 Comments

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4 responses to “Job 36,37; Matthew 15:1-20

  1. juliet2912

    It seems like many of the readings are pointing fingers at me, the accuser showing me how horrible a sinner I am; he doesn’t realize that his accusations are doing the opposite of what he is hoping for. They are bringing to my knees in repentance. But boy, 23 days into it and I’ve been doing A LOT more repenting than I thought I needed to. Yesappa, keep revealing the hidden things in me that I might be more pure before you!

  2. Do you ever feel confused about righteousness? I mean, God said that Job was a righteous man, and Job was even able to list his good works. Sometimes I want to say, “God, I’m trying to notice what concerns you, helping where I can, giving food to the hungry, visiting those who are in prison, ministering to those who are sick or despondent, avoiding skirting with people, places, and things that would drag me into the devil’s lair.” Yet, even when I think about saying these things, I still feel convicted of all that I don’t do, or about wrong motives, or how I put me first sometimes just to balance my life. So I’m confused about this righteousness, not that I’m confused about getting to heaven by my good works – that would be foolishness to think. No, I’m wondering how to not feel so worthless even when I’m trying to do good. Is it possible to know if God is pleased with me, right now on this earth while I’m living?

  3. Sue

    I think God is pleased with every good work we do (except maybe for those with false motives…). We just have to make sure we aren’t getting proud of ourselves or look down on others that aren’t doing what we think they should. I will say that I both learn stuff and get more confused every time I read Job though…. The night I posted I started wondering if God allowed Satan to do what he did because Job was too prideful. It seemed like a few chapters before, when Job was spouting off all the great works he has done, maybe God was using this to draw out his pride. Confusing is a good word!! (But please, don’t feel worthless – you are anything but!! You are a child of God! A bride, and a princess!!)

  4. Christine Fenske Esser

    Dear “jansuwilkinson”
    I understand, at times, “feeling worthless, even when I’m trying to be good.”
    Sometimes I think that God’s love for me is based on “how I perform, what I do or don’t do, and even if my motives are right (or wrong).” It is then I must remember His love for me is perfect, not based on what I do or don’t do. Now that may not be the same as pleasing Him. I do believe I can grieve the Holy Spirit by my actions, attitudes, motives. That does not change His love for me: “I have loved you with an everlasting love”. Jer. 31:3 1
    John 4:18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
    If you have faith, you are pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
    I know at times I struggle with similar feelings, thoughts, “convictions” …or maybe accusations from the enemy? …that I’m not doing enough. Some of us seem to have guilt or feelings of not doing enough, more than others. Freedom from the untruths we learned to believe and accept as truth is a learning process. There are many, many needs to be met. We cannot meet them all. If you are “trying to notice what concerns you, helping where I can, giving food to the hungry, visiting those who are in prison, ministering to those who are sick or despondent, avoiding skirting with people, places, and things that would drag me into the devil’s lair”, then it sounds to me that you are trying to please God. And I believe He is pleased! Even Jesus did not heal EVERYONE!! He took prayer breaks and needed to rest. And maybe He even put Himself first so He could keep balance in His life. We need to take care of ourselves at times. If we don’t, we won’t be much good to others. I speak from experience!
    You are not worthless! You are His! You are precious in His eyes, and honored and LOVED. Many have said to me, “Don’t be too hard on yourself!” So, with your permission, I say it to you…“Don’t be too hard on yourself!” I believe God is so much more gentle on us than we sometimes are on ourselves.
    Hope this helps.
    Christine

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