Tag Archives: Job

Is it true that there is no hope???

Job and his three “comforters” have been dialoguing back and forth on the points of wickedness and righteousness. The three, Bildad, Eliphaz and Zophar are sure Job is in the camp of the wicked. As their words show they believe the contrast to Romans 8:1!

Listen in to the dialog between Job and Eliphaz In Job 21 to 24  to get the whole story and then go and read Psalm 73 to see another person who faces this same conundrum.

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Job responds to the next challenge by asking the same thought Asaph pondered. Why do the wicked seem to prosper and the righteous seem to falter and many times fade away. Asaph wondered if he, like Job, had remained faithful for no reason. We often say the same thing as we watch all of our life’s savings eaten by moths and our bodies suffer from disease and harm by others. God is not in a box, closed and secure from all of life; He is omniscient!  So Job’s three friends and Asaph himself have to look at life from another viewpoint.

Asaph returns to the Temple where he says: I entered the precincts of God’s temple and then I understood the destiny of the wicked. But, Job has no temple yet to attend so he is left with his thoughts and trying to piece them together. He says the “counsel of the wicked is far from me!” I just don’t understand and if only God would come and we could talk about this it would all be made right. Eliphaz remains steadfast in his critical argument against Job but Job tells him: He knows the path I take and if he tested me I would come forth as gold. As we read those words we must decide if that is true for us. If God would come and stand in our presence would He say that? Job and Asaph looked at life without that confirmation but if you are a born-again believer you can attest to this truth because of Roman 8:1:

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.


Eternal Destiny

Do you find it hard to talk about death? Why is it that we avoid that topic–especially if we are believers? Is it fear? Is the lack of trust? It wasn’t that way for Job or Peter or Paul or Jesus.

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Job is a man who continues to remain strong in the midst of his three friends’ conclusions of why he is in this ‘mess.’ He is aware of his destiny but isn’t sure of what happens after death. Sadly, there are many today around in our world that also lacks the peace of knowing. They have not heard the words of our Savior nor have they seen the marvelous work that the Holy Spirit does when He comes to indwell the believer. James reminds us that we best not take life for granted. It could be snuffed out at any moment.

Eliphaz will have none of this! He is correct in saying that God judges all corrupt sinners. However, in his analysis he cannot see into the future nor can he see what Job’s destiny book shows. Although Job has reminded all three so-called comforters of this fact, Eliphaz pursues this train of thought without missing a beat. Again he calls Job a windbag of sorts and it is because of him that meditation before a holy God is certain to die.

So how do we face such harsh criticism?  Job gives us a clue when he says; I would try to comfort you. My advocate is in heaven, My intercessor is my friend. My eyes will continue to pour forth my tears to God. I will not give up.

How about you? Are you certain that if death came knocking you would be ready?



Don’t Play God!

Job 11-13  We all would do well to not presume to know the Heart of God.

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How often do you presume, and I do as well, about what you think is true. We lather our condemnation on like shaving cream. Our theology, is the right answer and so the other person stands condemned; no trial, only conjecture. Our impatience comes across in spades as we play God; what fools we are! Job’s so-called friend, Zophar, like us, fails to consider not only the cause but the heart of the person who is suffering. Like him, we just want the main character to accept our conclusion so this can be over and done with.

So between the three friends we see that all decide to share their conclusions about Job’s suffering. Eliphaz concluded that all people suffer but good people always win and bad people always lose; therefore Job must be “bad.” Job doesn’t buy that conclusion. Bildad believed God’s mercy would be revealed if and only if Job spent time confessing his sin. Again Job denies that conclusion because inwardly he knew he was innocent. Now Zophar, who in reality is harsher than the other two, derides Job and concludes that his talk is idle and mocking.

Job’s conclusion is that all are presumptuous! They are all self-described experts but fail to consider the pain he is in. Their words don’t square with the God he knows and their harsh spirit is driving him to despair.

In the midst of this Job teaches us what to do when the Zophar’s come to visit. Follow his example and take time to extol the attributes of God. Remind your harsh critics that even if God decides to slay us, He is sovereign and even though we don’t understand the circumstances, we have determined that we will remain faithful to Him. Deut 29:29 fits in here: “the secret things belong to God;” He alone knows the end from the beginning.

When a friend is in deep despair the last thing they need to hear is God is against them. We are reminded by James that God is gracious even in testing and we should stop and look in the mirror before we point fingers.


What I am learning from Job

I/we have had quite a week. It started off fine but then we hit Job in our morning devotions. If you have read Job you know how hard it is to understand. Then God decided a lesson was in store for me, the less than empathic me. So He used a situation, a not so fun situation to teach me about sympathy and empathy. I am still in the re-learn stage. I should have learned long ago but like the Israelites of long ago, I had to do another lap around the wilderness, may this be my last. Hopefully, I will learn the tricks of the trade through the characters in Job. For example, if you want to learn how to handle stress take the example of Bildad and Job’s conversations

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In chapter 8, the impertinence of Bildad is a quick reminder of our own impatience when we are frustrated. We take our cues from another’s words. Bildad seems to think that Job is his own worst enemy and he needs to come to terms that all of this is because of the sin he and his families have experienced. Nowhere do we see Bildad crying out to God for answers and a sympathetic heart. There is a lesson there for you and I. When another is in deep distress we need to be patient, listen more than speak and quietly sit and talk to God. We need to ask God for eyes to see, ears to hear but mostly a heart to understand.

Now as to Job, he is so frustrated! He cannot fathom why this is all happening. Like us when disaster happens we ask “why.” So we can relate to Job in this instance. We too want answers. Sometimes heaven is quiet and we wish God would just open the windows of heaven and explain to us the answer but He is sternly quiet. The reality is this: we may never know until eternity the why.

So I posed a question to myself;  What if I was just quiet and waited on the Holy Spirit to speak? Might I learn something of value as to how I am to respond and act towards another who is in distress?

What about you? 


When Heaven is Like Brass

Psalm 77 footprint sea2William Cowper, poet and hymn writer, faced a mind battle. Even as a believer he felt as if heaven had slammed its doors upon his thoughts. He considered suicide one night but providentially the cabbie’s horse taking him to the London Bridge simply rerouted him back to his home. Like Asaph in Psalm 77 he was spiraling down, falling for the “deadly d’s” our enemy resurrects. Both of these men found a solution to God’s silence; Asaph in years prior wrote a psalm, William Cowper wrote a poem:

God moves in mysterious ways, His wonders to perform, He plants his footsteps in the sea and rises upon the storm.

We may not understand as Cowper, Asaph or even Job why God is silent but we can learn how to face those silent times and come forth rejoicing. It begins when we recognize that whatever our foe it can be banished when we focus on God and His holiness. The winds and waves obeyed God at the Red Sea, the Jordan and on the Sea of Galilee and when God steps into our sea of despond, we can be certain that His power will be revealed. When He acts the sea closes, He leaves no footprint behind for He moves in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.

Where do you need to not only believe God when He answers but believe and trust Him when He is silent?

Photo Credit: Josh Jones/Unsplash.com +Author’s Caption

Authentication and Proving Required

ImageSo far in the book of Matthew, we have walked through the first three chapters and seen that as a superior researcher and writer, Matthew has given us three areas to prove that Jesus was the Messiah. First was the genealogical record, second his birth, thirdly, the world’s reception, and now in chapter 4 we will see his power over temptation.

 Job may have been God’s “s”ervant  who proved to be blameless but Jesus is the “S”ervant who not only proved blameless but left us with the truth of how to face the arch enemy of our souls.

The Holy Spirit anointed Jesus and led him into the wilderness. The Israelites were proven to be faithless but Jesus will prove His faithfulness. Sometimes we too are led into the wilderness to be proven. It is in these times of barrenness that we either rely upon God and His trustworthiness or succumb to the enemy’s bait.

We say Satan doesn’t get it, but in reality he does get it. He is persistent and his one aim is to destroy and change the plans of God. Allen Ross wrote: The temptation episode was God’s way of showing that Jesus was the perfect man, that He could resist sin, that he could defeat Satan.  He has conquered and therefore can intercede for us. [Heb 4:14-16].

And so the temptations begin with Satan dangling his bait just as he did in the garden, in the wilderness, did with Peter and does with us today. Jesus was discerning and so we should be as well. Hebrews reminds us to be feeding upon the meat of the Word, memorizing it so when he comes calling, disguised as an angel of light or otherwise, we can discern him for what he is: a liar and a thief. We are told by Paul to put on our armor for we will be wrestling not against flesh and blood but against the spiritual forces of darkness.

 A truth we can count on: Satan sees only one side of God’s coin, he is not omniscient! Satan saw a garden destroyed but Jesus saw a wilderness–that is you and I, ready to be redeemed. Satan saw an earthly pinnacle but Jesus saw heaven’s portal – I am the Way, the Truth, the Life [ John 14:6]. Satan sought temporary worship of warring conflicting kingdoms but Jesus sought to bring men into God’s eternal kingdom exhibiting peace.  Through it all, Jesus proved He was Conqueror and Victor, because He knew the right choice of scripture better than his tempter and He would not be deterred to be removed from God’s eternal plan for mankind. He was steadfast and immoveable [1Cor 15:58].

ImageUpon the completion of the temptation angels came and ministered to Jesus. So when we have found our way of escape from the tempter’s grasp [ICor 10:13], we will be fed the manna of heaven or angel’s food as Irving Jensen called it.

While I or you face these temptations how will we be sustained? By the Word or by the flesh? Do we face the path of least resistance or are we ready with our sword and shield of faith etc. When the storm is passed how do we revel, in God’s glory or our own? Thoughts to consider.

But while we face these proving trials we must ask: What is it that sustains us in these times? When tempted and tried are we joyful and seek wisdom? [James 1]. Can we resist with scripture so the enemy must flee? [James 4:7]. Do we give God the glory when the storm has passed and we see His rainbow calling us to His work?