Monthly Archives: May 2022

Job 36:1-39:12

We all know of the story of Job and how God allowed Satan to attack him causing Job to lose all his family, health, possession and wealth.

In Job 36 one of Job’s friends called Elihu was trying to comfort Job and after talking about God’s splendour and majesty ends with implying in Job 37:13 that God may be punishing him for what he has done wrong “He makes these things happen either to punish people or to show his unfailing love.”

This is the mistake people make when consoling people going through hardship by implying its their sin that maybe the source of the challenges they may be facing. In this case Elihu was wrong because the Bible clearly stated Job was a righteous man and God boasted about his righteousness to the devil.

From Job 38:1 – 39:16 God Himself responds to Job and talks about things He does as the Sovereign Almighty God which radiate His splendour and absolute power. I believe what God is implying here is that we must respect Him as absolute Sovereign who can do whatever He choses and what happened to Job was allowed by God in that capacity.

The lesson to learn from this scripture is no matter what we go through wether good or bad we must remember that our Sovereign Lord is always in control even when things don’t make sense which is why he says in Romans 8:38(KJV) “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose” So we must learn to trust Him through the pain and disappointments as our Sovereign Lord whose creative capabilities means He can create something beautiful out of difficult and ugly situations that we may be going through. Hallelujah!! Glory to God!!

In Him

BM

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Job 32:11-35:16 

Pride exposed.

After the failed attempts from Job’s three, so-called friends, to cause Job to repent, another rises to the task. Elihu, younger than the others, but filled with wrath toward Job and his companions goes straight to the heart of Job’s complaints. About himself, Elihu says, “My words come from my upright heart; My lips utter pure knowledge. The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” Next, Elihu prepares Job to meet his God.

Elihu’s arguments: 1) God speaks to man in dreams, visions, in deep sleep, to turn him away from sin and pride; 2) God chastens with pain when ma n is sickly and bedridden; 3) Job is scornful and befriends the wicked who believe that delighting in God does not profit a man; 4) Job should confess that he has sinned and perverted what was right if he wants God to redeem his soul from the Pit; 5) God sees man’s iniquity, even if others do not or even if the sinner disavows wrong doing; 6) God repays man according to his work; 7) Job’s complaint is tantamount to calling the king worthless and nobles wicked; 8) Job does not have a legal right to question God’s righteousness and to imply that his ethical standards are highter than God’s.

Does God have to reward a person who is obedient? (That is, what we consider to be our good works?) Does God owe Job something for being righteous? (Salvation is by grace apart from our good works.) And how are these assumptions related to pride? C. S. Lewis in Mere Christianity, devoted a chapter about pride, titled “The Great Sin.” Lewis stated that Pride is essentially competitive – one is not content to have something, only satisfied from having more of it than the next man. Also, that a proud man is always looking down on things and other people, and therefore cannot be looking up to his God. Job’s religious life made him feel good, even better than others (his friends?); yet he could not see this. The real test of humility, as Lewis put it, is that in the presence of God, “… you forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object.” Job thought he was good and so could not see the vanity in his estimation of himself. He could not recognize pride motivated him in performing religious duties. Job’s complaint to God was even to throw up his own dignity and good works, as if God would delight in these. Job had yet to meet his God and to, as Lewis said, “get rid of the false self, with all its ‘Look at me’ and ‘Aren’t I a good boy?’ and all its posing and posturing.”

I find that Job’s distress is too close to my own striving to do well and to receive praise for my good works. Honestly, I cannot count the number of times that God has used humbling situations to get my attention. There is relief in letting go of what I assume is important to hold onto; that is, when walking toward humility. Lewis writes, “To get even near it, even for a moment, is like a drink of cold water to a man in a desert.”

Dear Lord Jesus Christ, even in our worst moments of arrogance and pride, you are nearer than is comfortable – ready to give correction, guidance, forgiveness. Once we drop the pretense, stop holding onto what we have accomplished or gained in this life, and reach for You with empty hands; then we will rest in Your peace and rejoice in Your presence. Nothing else can compare with knowing and being known by You!

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Job 29:14-32:10

Job searches for cause and effect. He examines his life and his actions. He remembers the good that he has done. So why?

“I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,
    my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19 My roots will reach to the water,
    and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
20 My glory will not fade;
    the bow will be ever new in my hand.’ (Job 29:18-20, NIV)

His pain, suffering, and exclusion would have made sense to him if he were a terrible man, even a secret sinner. But he was a good man. So why?

“If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune
    or gloated over the trouble that came to him—
30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin
    by invoking a curse against their life—
31 if those of my household have never said,
    ‘Who has not been filled with Job’s meat?’—
32 but no stranger had to spend the night in the street,
    for my door was always open to the traveler—
33 if I have concealed my sin as people do,
    by hiding my guilt in my heart (Job 31:29-33, NIV)

It’s a formula I’ve come to count on, perhaps erroneously. If you work hard, you’ll be rewarded. Good job performance should equal a raise or promotion. Kind acts should beget kindness returned. But life is much more complicated than that.

I have grasped grief and hope with the same hands. And Job’s grappling with his situation feels like hope being pried from his grip.

“Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man
    when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?
    Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
    when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27 The churning inside me never stops;
    days of suffering confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;
    I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals,
    a companion of owls.
30 My skin grows black and peels;
    my body burns with fever.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,
    and my pipe to the sound of wailing. (Job 30:24-31, NIV)

In the bigger picture, the one of holding this book in my hands and knowing the start of Job’s story to the end, I want to whisper to him in these chapters, “It isn’t over yet.”

I know that God considered Job faithful. I know that Satan wanted to test Job’s faith–and likely more than that, wanted to completely destroy it (after all, the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy). The battlefield moves inward as Job expresses those thoughts aloud. Outwardly losing his wealth and family, suffering in health, to inwardly the thoughts that circle in his mind–the grounds for anger, resentment, confusion, doubt, despair. Which is harder: the outer battle or the inner battle?

When my thoughts try to pry hope from my grip, I want to remember this–the bigger picture. The bigger picture Job didn’t see. The bigger picture that tells me in the hardship, “It isn’t over yet.” The bigger picture where Jesus declares it is finished and that he is coming back.

Lord, I’ve lost years in the grapple to make sense of what is with what should be. In the heavy days of what is, let me remember the hope of what will be.

Courtney (66books365)

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Job 24:13-29:13

But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? No mortal comprehends its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living. The deep says, ‘It is not in me.’ The sea says, ‘It is not with me.’ It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver. It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli. Neither gold nor cystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies. The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it; it cannot be bought with pure gold.” (Job 28:12-19 ESV)

Wisdom is a priceless commodity. It takes maturity and experience to gain it.

Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds in the sky. Destruction and Death say, ‘Only a rumor of it has reached our ears. God understands the way to it and He alone knows where it dwells, for He views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens. When He established the force of the wind and measured out the waters, when He made a decree for the rain and a path for the thunderstorm, then He looked at wisdom and appraised it; He confirmed it and tested it. And He said to the human race, ‘THE FEAR OF THE LORD – THAT IS WISDOM, and to shun evil is understanding.” (Job 28:20-28 ESV)

You are on your way to having wisdom when you put your faith in the One who created you. Then and only then, can you have the wisdom to truly understand good versus evil in the world. Our firstborn graduated this week. My prayer for her and for all of the graduates beginning the next step in their lives as young adults, is to fear the Lord, so that they have the wisdom they need to shun the evil that surrounds us in this fallen world.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

~Kellie

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Job 20:12-24:12 

There were some interesting comments made between Eliphaz and Job.

Here is the first portion that I read. With a hand towards revenge, towards being ungodly, God still wants to spare the sinner and yet they treat His grace in an unworthy and ungrateful manner and they do not turn from their ways.

In the second portion I read, the world gets an opportunity to see God’s power and goodness, and we rather look at the short term value of the end of our life and our own happiness. This kind of thinking is so tight minded that there is no room for the Holy Spirit to even breathe. They cannot see that if they took their Will and placed it in the purposes of God, at their end, they would be free.

In this third portion, I put more attention. I see it most days I am sharing my faith. When I go from the route of the Law, or if I chose to go the route of Grace, the person I am talking to runs from God’s presence. What is worse is when God pursues them, they turn and tell Him to leave them alone. Just in case there is any presence of light in their soul, they completely drown themselves in the prison of unrighteous living. I have met these men – there is no desire to be crucified to worldly delights and are rather intoxicated by them. I look for a breath of goodness knowing there must be something there, but there is not. Creature comforts is all that matters. It is like they are trying to thrust themselves out of God’s presence. Their choice and delight is their damnation.

If you can believe it, this is where Eliphaz goes with Job and accuses Job of being such a person who has driven God out of his life. He accuses Job of thinking that God owed him something because he thought he had integrity and was complaining that God was afflicting him when He should have been beholden to him for his holiness and righteousness. Honours and happiness should have been his. The conversation is now getting messy.

I love this dialogue – on God alone is the only place to place the foundation of my life. It is with Him and only Him that I can say that God is my treasure.

My purpose is all of the sudden as clear as can be – when I set God as my foundation. Even in the middle of trouble and danger, I can have an abundance of joy and hope. So much so that I can give it away! God will save the humble and the humble will be exalted, not only in honour, but in comfort.

Father, may my pride not get in the way of our relationship and may I be found to walk before You with a humble heart.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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