Category Archives: 66 Books

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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Job 12:13-16:10

I recently caught up with a friend who has been going through severe and mysterious health ailments. Tentatively she shared a detail, then another. I don’t have the full picture of what she’s been through these past months, but I recognized a holy privilege to be invited into any space of her journey. (Oh, the awe of holy ground. I do not want to mar it with an impulsive or incomplete response!) As I listened to her, I heard the natural bubble of her voice. She has always been joyful. And even in this, she waits with joy and patience and confidence.

“I have heard many things like these;
    you are miserable comforters, all of you!
Will your long-winded speeches never end?
    What ails you that you keep on arguing?
I also could speak like you,
    if you were in my place;
I could make fine speeches against you
    and shake my head at you.
But my mouth would encourage you;
    comfort from my lips would bring you relief
.” (Job 16:2-5, NIV, emphasis added)

I wonder if it is the deep lows in life that allow one to speak comfort to another. Empathy. Compassion. Sincerity.

I don’t know all that she’s experienced in this trial, but I know she still walks by faith on this dark path. She looks at me and shines her light. She is in the deep lows, and yet when our conversation was over, I felt hope, comfort, and relief because of her joy and confidence.

As I read through Job’s story, I think on his friends and their responses. They speak in judgment. They speak judgment of God. But God wasn’t penalizing or punishing Job–God called Job faithful. Maybe someone carries a heavy burden because of mistakes they’ve made, or from actions made by others. And maybe someone was appointed by God to carry a heavy burden, because God knew he could.

Lord, I hope I always remember the person’s heart who walks through heartache and trial. I pray that you would give me guidance how to comfort, encourage, or even to be still as I bear witness the journey. I pray that in my own walk, that you would send me support to encourage me for burdens I might carry. I give thanks for my friend, Lord, and your presence with us.

Courtney (66books365)

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Job 5:17-8:22

My days fly faster than a weaver’s shuttle. They end without hope. O God, remember that my life is but a breath, and I will never again feel happiness. You see me now, but not for long. You will look for me, but I will be gone.” Job 7:6-8 NLT

I can learn a lot from Job’s vulnerability with his emotions towards the Lord. But, his hopelessness made him question God’s goodness. When has my view of God been so limited that I feel like His intentions towards me are not good? I know how easy it is to slip down into that despair.

What are people, that you should make so much of us, that you should think of us so often? For you examine us every morning and test us every moment. Why won’t you leave me alone, at least long enough for me to swallow! If I have sinned, what have I done to you, O watched of humanity? Why make me your target? Am I a burden to you? Why not just forgive my sin and take away my guilt? For soon I will lie down in the dust and die. When you look for me, I will be gone.” Job 7:17-21 NLT

Job was sure that sin must have been the cause for his suffering. He was trying to figure out what didn’t make sense. Don’t I do the same thing when I say things like, “How could a good God let bad things happen?” I’ve come to realize that some things I will never understand this side of Heaven.

Does God twist justice? Does the Almighty twist what is right? Your children must have sinned against him, so their punishment was well deserved.” Job 9:3 NLT

It seems like Job knew deep down that he hadn’t sinned against God. He was going through such intense suffering that he was trying to figure out why God would ”pick on him.” His friends didn’t help, by making Job question himself. Which caused Job to question God’s heart. I am thankful for a God that can handle my doubts.

Dear Father, thank you that I can cry out to you when I don’t understand. Thank you that you are a God of justice, but your mercy triumphs over judgement. I pray that I would give Godly advice and wisdom that reflects your heart. You are a big God and Your ways are higher than mine. I pray that I would rest in your sovereignty. I trust You Lord, Amen.


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Esther 5-10

This is a story demonstrating what not to do in more ways than one. We should never let circumstances dictate our behavior. Our behavior should be the same no matter what happens, if we trust in God. Our foundation should be so inground in us that we don’t react to circumstances, like those without God. People without God act like Haman. Haman was an angry man filled with bitterness towards one man.

Have you ever been in a room with someone like Haman? You can cut the negative tension with knife. They are not the only ones who feel it, everyone in the room is can feel it! As well as not wanting to be in the same room with the other person, you talk about it to whoever will listen, and hope that they will side with you. This is what happened in our story of Esther today. It was Mordecai the Jew vs. Haman. Just the presence of Mordecai made Haman’s blood boil. The world is big enough for everyone, but Haman didn’t know that. He and his followers had one motive in mind—get rid of Mordecai. He didn’t want it to look like a personal vendetta against Mordecai, so he conspired with the king to have all Jews killed. What he didn’t know, because she kept it to herself, was that Queen Esther was Jewish, and King Xerxes liked Queen Esther very much, enough to give her up to half of his kingdom.

Sometimes it is frightening to ask someone for a favor, for fear that they will reject our request. But if we never ask them, they will never know what you want, and you will never get what you need. The worst they could do is say “no”, but what if they complied? In Esther’s case, she could get a no, and she could have been killed. Esther was a brave, brave woman. She was willing to risk her life for others. She could have been selfish, after all, she has never told anyone that she was a Jew. But she loved her uncle, her fellow people and most of all her God. So, off to the king she went to see if she could save her people. Queen Esther and King Xerxes and Haman had a little dinner. And guess what? Haman was invited back again tomorrow.

Haman left the palace that day happy, beaming. And then he saw Mordecai sitting at the King’s Gate ignoring him, oblivious to him. Haman was furious with Mordecai. But he held himself in and went on home. He got his friends together with his wife Zeresh and started bragging about how much money he had, his many sons, all the times the king had honored him, and his promotion to the highest position in government. “On top of that”, Haman continue, “Queen Esther invited me to a private dinner she gave for the king, just the three of us. And she’s invited me to another one tomorrow. But I can’t enjoy any of it when I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the Kings Gate.”
His wife Zeresh and all his friends said “Build a gallows seventy-five feet high. First thing in the morning speak with the king; get him to order Mordecai hanged on it. Then happily go with the king to dinner.” Haman liked that. He had the gallows built. (Esther 5: 9-14 The Message)

Haman’s first mistake is listening to his friends and wife. His second mistake was having the gallows build. He must have had a lot of hatred in his heart to build the gallows in the middle of the night. Wisdom is very necessary in discerning wise counsel vs. foolish counsel. And, most things done in anger don’t turn out the way you plan. But he acted out with his emotions flaring wildly, another mistake he has made over and over. You will be judged the way you judge others. Haman was heading for judgement day.

That night the king couldn’t sleep. He ordered the record book, the day-by-day journal of events, to be brought and read to him. They came across the story there about the time that Mordecai had exposed the plot of Bigthana and Teresh—the two royal eunuchs who guarded the entrance and who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes.
The king asked, “What great honor was given to Mordecai for this?”
“Nothing” replied the king’s servants who were in attendance. “Nothing has been done for him.”
The king said,” is there anybody out in the court?’
Now Haman had just come into the outer court of the king’s palace to talk to the king about hanging Mordecai on the gallows he had built for him.
The king’s servants said,” Haman is out there, waiting in the court.”
“Bring him in,” said the king.
When Haman entered, the king said, “What would be appropriate for the man the king especially wants to honor?” (Esther 6: 1-6
The Message)

God has a sense of humor, sometimes at our expense. But Haman wasn’t laughing as he was escorting Mordecai around the town square. But that was just the beginning.

Tides turn quickly! One moment you are on top of the world, and the next, the wind has been knocked out of your sails. The way events have been perfectly aligned, is so God! Perfect timing is in God’s hands.

All through time, God has been faithful to those who take a stand for Him! There was Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and now there is Mordecai. Individuals who made a choice to stand for God no matter what. To refuse to bow their knee to any other god. When someone honors God in this way, the blessings keep coming to give them the courage to keep standing. When, God is for someone, nothing can be done to harm that person. God’s angel armies come to fight for them! They may not know it, and, they may not know how it will look, but for those with a strong constitution for God, even if they are killed for their beliefs, will be blessed. I know that death doesn’t sound like a blessing, but death is only temporary, and your soul, if it belongs to God, will be in His presence, with a beautiful crown designed especially for those who die for their faith.

King Xerses killed Haman and gave his estate to Esther. Mordecai became Haman’s replacement. Non-Jews were converting, because it was dangerous not to be a Jew. A decree was issued to allow the Jews to defend themselves. Many were killed by the Jews, but no plunder was taken. Afterwards they took it easy and celebrated with much food and laughter. Laughter is so important and cleansing. It changes your outlook. It lifts your spirits. It is good for the soul. This became an annual celebration.

Queen Esther was a woman to be imitated. She loved God, her family, and did the right thing even when it was hard. She was brave even though she was scared to death. She was created for such a time as this, to free her people from oppression. She was an orphan who was used by God to change the world. Hallelujah, what a legacy.

Likewise, Mordecai left a legacy for men to imitate:

Mordecai the Jew ranked second in command to King Xerses. He was popular among the Jews and greatly respected by them. He worked hard for the good of his people; he cared for the peace and prosperity of his race. (Esther 10:3 The Message)

Am I leaving a legacy?

Father God, Your handprints are all over Esther and Mordecai. Even if Your name is never mentioned, You are there with them. They may have had meek and hard beginnings, but You raised them up to be faithful to You, when the time was right. You like to use the weak, so they are aware it is not them, but You! Father God, I need to build my faith so that no matter what happens I will stand for you and not falter, even if it means dying for you. Please give me the strength to stand in all circumstances. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!

Carol (carolvorwe)

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Nehemiah 13:23-31; Esther 1-4

I enter the story that introduces Esther to me with a king, King Ahasuerus, who was parading his magnificence for 180 days before everyone. His glory and honour were on full display and there must have been a lot of oohing and awing.

 For six months he put on exhibit the huge wealth of his empire and its stunningly beautiful royal splendors. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the king threw a weeklong party for everyone living in Susa, the capital—important and unimportant alike. – Esther 1:4 MSG

There was no end to his extravagant generosity towards those in attendance as he must have felt proud being the top person in the kingdom, a place of absolute honour.

The king did something next that he would not have done if he was not drunk. He dishonoured himself as a husband (called to protect the modesty of his wife). He diminished himself as a king when he asked her to do something that she would refuse because of her own virtuous honour. What he would ask her to do was against the custom of the Persians for women to appear in public.

 On the seventh day of the party, the king, high on the wine, ordered the seven eunuchs who were his personal servants (Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas) to bring him Queen Vashti resplendent in her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the guests and officials. She was extremely good-looking. – Esther 1:10-11 MSG

Bad news for the queen for there was a law, as opposed to a custom, for not honouring the king. I am amazed at the brazen advice the king received on how to deal with her.

Lot’s of words describing what honour and dishonour looks like. They did not get the idea of what real honour looked like. In fact, it was the wrong way to gain honour – laws do not promote honour, relationships do.

The king and the princes liked this. The king did what Memucan proposed. He sent bulletins to every part of the kingdom, to each province in its own script, to each people in their own language: “Every man is master of his own house; whatever he says, goes.” – Esther 1:21-22

While I learned a lot about how not to treat my wife and a lot of what it would look like to honour her – the story sets up the most dramatic events of honour that put this book in the Bible even though God’s name was not mentioned once. Honouring God was deemed the same as mentioning His name.

I love the reminder that when I honour God, am bold in the tasks that I have been called to do, in the positions I have been placed, then God is honoured and His deeds remembered for eternity.

Father, thank You for the kind reminders of what honour does not look like. Thank You for the kind reminders that You control the destiny of the world. Thank You for the kind reminders that Your plan is constantly unfolding. Thank You for the kind reminders that I need to seek to do Your will and follow Your plan.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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