Category Archives: Job

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 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.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Job 1:1-5:16

~Grief~

Grief overwhelms and exposes. It cuts deep within and shows what we truly think and believe. In times of grief and trial, I have found God intimately close, and Job would eventually find the same, after a bit of a roller coaster to get there.

The story of Job’s life as told in the book of Job does not sugar coat anything. We see Satan’s plan to take Job down as presented to God himself. God placed limits, but let the plan continue.

 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand; only spare his life.”

Job 2:6 ESV

Job at times responded wisely, and yet the full story demonstrates the internal struggle. When he first met with unfathomable tragedy, he responded without sin or blaming God. He lost everything. Everything! And he continued to trust God’s sovereignty.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. 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 wrong.

Job 1:20-22 ESV

He actually worshiped. He surrendered his heart, his circumstances, his all to the will of the God of the universe. I imagine in those moments he felt a rush of God’s presence. God is near to the broken hearted, and the words he spoke show us that he felt that proximity. But more was to come. He responds similarly as his health breaks down.

“Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

Job 2:10b ESV

He did not sin with his lips. Is this to distinguish from the first time when it says he did not sin, period? Or is it just a repetition of his heart condition? We cannot know for sure, but we know out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, so again Job surrenders his life to the Almighty.

When Job’s friends show up, we see the result of Job’s emotional battle. He curses the day he was born and mourns. They mourn with him for a whole week. What committed friends to just sit with Job in his pain! Of course, when they open their mouths what comes out is a mixed bag of judgment, discouraging comments, sound wisdom, and twisted logic. Isn’t that the way people still behave today when trying to comfort a friend in deep grief? I wish I could roll back some of the comments I have made when I was searching for the right words, or those I have heard others make. Perhaps Job’s friends came with the best of intentions. Perhaps they really did have a decent theological understanding, on a better day. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt, although their muddled attempts are recorded for all of history to replay and cringe.

I am thankful that God can accept our raw life-tainted responses and love us anyway. He might challenge us to rethink some of our conclusions, but He stays close by as we wrestle through to the outcome.

I am thankful for friends that are willing to sit with me through the awkward times of verbally processing the craziness and pain of life. And, those that put up with me and my misspeaks when they find themselves on the receiving end of grief.

I am thankful for a faith that God has slowly grown in me over the years that keeps calling me back to Him even when life does not make sense, even when the pain runs deep. I might not respond with the fortitude that Job exhibited, but I pray I continue to move that direction.

Precious Shepherd, my perspective is so warped by my everyday experience, and yet, you continue to teach and shape and mold me and my thinking. Thank you for holding my hand even when it closes into a fist of frustration. Thank you for reteaching my wayward thoughts. Thank you for being present in the darkest of seasons. Thank you for friends that try their best to walk with me. Help me to be that friend as well. Help me trust your plan and wisdom completely. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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Job 18-20; Psalm 141; Revelation 15

Growing up in a dysfunctional home does not make me an expert as to what love looks like. Through trial and error, and many more errors, I began my journey to being relatively healthy except when it comes to conflict with those I would call my superiors in the workplace. They have not modelled love very well and to this day I still struggle with what that looks like. For those I lead, I try to be the one who loves through conflict. From the testimonies I have collected, I would say I am doing a fairly good job. In marriage I have not had that much success when it comes to speaking the truth in love. In my relationship with God, I have excelled. We have loved each other with a major intensity. He has called me out on many issues and has demanded a more closer walk with Him.

Let the righteous one strike me—
it is an act of faithful love;
let him rebuke me—
it is oil for my head;
let me[a] not refuse it.
Even now my prayer is against
the evil acts of the wicked. – Psalm 141:5 HCSB

King David learned to love rebuke too. Somehow, when God rebukes, He does not shame, He causes me to sing.

They sang the song of God’s servant Moses and the song of the Lamb:

Great and awe-inspiring are Your works,
Lord God, the Almighty;
righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the Nations. – Revelation 15:2-3 HCSB

The principle I learn is this – there is a perfect harmony in the retributive acts of God in dealing with this world and the highest conception of His love and mercy which the gospel brings. God’s dealings with me are meant to manifest His character that I may know and love Him. The motive is His own love, the end is the glory of His Name, in the love and knowledge of those like me whose life and blessedness depend on my knowing and loving Him.

God’s demand for my supreme love – is it just? That would depend on two things:

  • Whether I have the power of loving any one supremely
  • Whether God has attributes adapted to awaken this love within me

I think it is found in everyone to love some object supremely. My choice is quite easily understood then – I make a choice to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.

Father, thank you for calling my name in the darkest moments of my life. I am so thankful that You allowed me to hear Your voice. Every time You spoke You imparted Your love in an incredibly meaningful way. Your love mattered more than life itself. Thank You.

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Job 12-14; Psalm 100; Revelation 13

“But the falling mountain crumbles away,
And the rock moves from its place;
19 Water wears away stones,
Its torrents wash away the dust of the earth;
So You destroy a man’s hope.
20 You forever overpower him and he departs;
You change his appearance and send him away.
21 His sons achieve honor, but he does not know it;
Or they become insignificant, and he does not perceive it.
22 However, his body pains him,
And his soul mourns for himself.”

Job 14:18-22 NASB

Grief. Consuming, overpowering, wearying, mournful grief. Job knew it well. He had lost literally everything. And, his friends eventually opened their mouths and pretty much said all the wrong things.

Over the course of this past year, three of my friends have lost their husbands. Suddenly. I have seen their grief and have seen them worship in the midst of it. I have seen the beautiful work that God is doing with the tool of these hard, incomprehensible losses. I have also seen them worn down and heard their cries to God for comfort and strength. They continue to learn the need to rely on God for every day.

Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him.
Nevertheless I will argue my ways before Him.

Job 13:15 NASB

While we cannot always see a reason for the events in this world or in our personal lives, we can constantly bring our worry, our fears, and even our doubts to His throne. He adores His children and wants to comfort us through these seasons. I can bring my arguments to Him, bring my questions, bring my heartbreaks. Trying to use human logic to mesh His goodness, sovereignty, and love with the trauma and grief I visibly see never has a satisfactory outcome. I am definitely still learning to reply as Job, “Though He slay me, I will hope in Him.”

Times of questions and wrestling have their place, and prayerfully they will culminate in more complete surrender as I take the time to honestly meditate on God’s character, asking Him to give me a more vivid glimpse of who He is.

“Wisdom and might are with Him;
Advice and understanding belong to Him.

Job 12:13 NASB

After all he had been through, Job had a clearer picture of God as a result (especially after what took place in the chapters yet to come). He had confidence in God’s might and wisdom regardless of his current status. The psalmist also shares appropriate ways to approach and speak of God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with jubilation;
Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courtyards with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.

Psalm 100:1-4 (NASB, excerpts)

These exhortations are not based on how we feel or how rosy our life seems.

Shout for joy

Serve the Lord

Give thanks

Praise Him

Bless His name

All these things we can do every day, by choice. I have seen my friends fall on God’s strength to get them through another day and at the end of each day, they know God more intimately and have found another piece of themselves to lay at His feet. They know even better than I the truth of the final verse of this psalm of praise:

For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting
And His faithfulness is to all generations.

Psalm 100:5 NASB

Lord God, You are Good. You are merciful. Give me the strength and boldness to shout it loud and live it for all to plainly see. Your faithfulness is unmistakable, and so I praise, bless, and serve you. Thank you for walking with me on the beautiful days that life brings and for sheltering my heart and mind on the hard, confusing days. In Jesus name, amen.

Erin (6intow)

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