Tuesday, January 16, 2018

How?

O. T. #1134  "How?"
Jan, 16, 2018
Job 12
True wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are His. 
Job 12:13 NLT

LET IT GLOW

Now, take a look at the birds in the air, animals in the fields, the fish in the sea. Take a good look at each one, how unique they are. Where did they come from? Who made them?  We can't explain how birds can fly, how fish can inhale water and live, how animals know to hibernate in the winter. Why do the planets not collide out in space and the sun doesn't burn us up?  Oh, scientists think they have it all figured out. Believers know the answers, as well as Job-God did it and continues to maintain it all in His control. He gives them all instincts to do what they do, uniquely. He knows the how to the intricate details.

In verses 13-25, Job lists the mighty acts of God:
  • He has wisdom and might;
  • counsel and understanding.
  • He tears down and it cannot be rebuilt.
  • He imprisons a man without release.
  • He restrains the water, as well as drying them up, sending them out.
  • He has strength and sound wisdom.
  • He has control over counselors, judges, kings, priests, elders, nobles.
  • He reveals mysteries and gives light.
  • He makes great nations and then destroys them, even enlarging them.
Swindoll explains, "It's all about our God! It is the inscrutable, Almighty God, who is in charge of all things. don't you think I know that? The God I serve takes delight in undoing human activities and in dismantling human enterprises, and in the process, executing His miraculous undertaking. He alone is in full control. "

Have Job's friends actually met God? Even though Job cannot explain the reason for his suffering, He knows God is still in control. Job's faith and wisdom is not that of an airheaded idiot, is it?
I don't need to have all the answers to all the questions about things. I believe that the Creator does. He knows the how and why of it all since He put it all together and makes it work or do its thing.

LET IT GROW

Job's point is that he is living proof that God does not always reward goodness and punish evil, as his three visitors have been insisting. They have praised God as the Creator. Job can do that too. He has never doubted God's power; he can list the thing God can do, as he did here. Also, Job lists God's destructive power.  (Falwell)

I think Job insinuates what he told his wife earlier after she advised he curse God and die in 2:10,
Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?

Job did not completely understand the reason for his suffering, but neither did his friends. Job was convinced that their reasons were narrow-minded and incorrect. God's wisdom is superior to any the world has to offer.

Are we trusting in God's wisdom in our life, problem, situation? Will we continue on living with faith in Him, focusing on carrying out His will? Others can discourage us, but God loves us.

LET IT GO

God holds my life and breath in His hand, and everything that comes my way.
Focus on Him and not the painful things.
Trust the One who is all wise and all powerful.



Monday, January 15, 2018

Condemners and Bullies

O. T. #1133  "Condemners and Bullies"
Jan. 15, 2018
Job 11-Part 2

LET IT GLOW

Condemners and bullies are in a category of their own. Accusing me of acting like a child isn't going to get me to do what you want. When I am in the right, I'm not yielding. When I am convicted of being wrong, then I yield and confess it. Otherwise, stop bulling me. It took me a while to get to that place. Those hurtful words kept stabbing me in the heart. Finally, I forgave the person and refused to allow Satan to torment me with those words. Job's third friend was a bully and condemned him.

Falwell gives us insight into Zophar, in Liberty Bible Commentary:

Zophar is a man of worldly wisdom and common sense. In some respects, he is the most offensive of the three friends of Job. He accuses Job of lying and hypocrisy. He can hardly wait for God to defend Himself and finally give the whining, self-righteous old  man what he really deserves.(verses 1-6)

He accuses Job of arguing with God as though he knew the deep things of God, then defends God's sovereignty and greatness, or infinity, in this case. (verses 7-12)

Zophar expresses his deep conviction that Job is a sinner. He advises Job to repent, and turn from  wickedness. If he does, God will surely forgive him, restore him, and banish all fear and suffering. (verses 13-20)

Falwell continues to explain:
  • Job has been insisting that God has been too harsh with him.
  • The height, depth, length, and breath of God are beyond human comprehension.
  • God has absolute power, and in the affairs of men He acts as judge and jury.
  • God's exercise of supreme authority is justified, because He knows men through and through and can recognize a worthless man on sight.
Zophar was determined to expose Job's secret sins, yet none could be found.
Do we realize that God knows everything about us, even our thoughts?
Are there things we need to change, now that we understand that?

LET IT GROW

Zophar should have gotten his facts straight before he took on a man as faithful as Job. (Swindoll)
Will Job put a stop to those legalists? We will soon see.

Do you recall the time when a woman was caught in adultery and her accusers brought her to Jesus? They were calling for her to be stoned to death according to the Mosaic Law. (John 8) Jesus bent down and wrote in the dirt. Then He said, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
They were guilty of some sort of sin, whether the same one or not. The accusers left, thus no one was left to condemn her.  Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more.
The women's accusers were Scribe and Pharisees, learned of the Word.

Where does that leave us? Sin is not always the reason suffering comes to folks. Sometimes it is a testing of our faith.

Do we assume we know why others are having hard times?
Do we compare others, implicating them by the sins of others?
Do we jump to false conclusions?
Are we condemners?
Are we guarding against judgmental generalizations?


LET IT GO

Stop judging others and love them to Jesus.
Leave the judging to God, for He is just.
Pray for mercy for our condemners.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Watching our Words

O. T. #1132  "Watching our Words"
Jan. 12, 2018
Job 11

LET IT GLOW

If you can't say anything nice, then don't say anything at all. How many times have we said that to our children? Changing that, Job's three friends should have been told if they couldn't bring sympathy and comfort, then don't bring anything. Let your presence do the talking. (Swindoll)
Are we watching our words?

The first two friends to speak to Job were Eliphaz, a poet and spiritual man who saw visions and dreamed dreams, based his advice upon his experience. The second friend, Bildad, was a man who rest on authority, and appealed to tradition. Now the third friend, Zophar, is a man o worldly wisdom and common sense. In some respects, he is the most offensive of the three. (Falwell)

Job has insisted that God had been too hard on him. Zophar considers God's dealings with Job to have been too easy on him. Zophar was a classic legalist, condemning Job that:
  • He was guilty. (verses 1-4)
  • He was ignorant. (verse 5-12)
  • He was sinful. (verses 13-20)
Those put-downs are a bit much, don't you think? Job wasn't a bag of hot air, self-serving. Zophar goes as far as to insinuate that Job is an idiot in verse 12, An idiot will become intelligent when the foal of a wild donkey is born a man.

Idiot is from a Hebrew word meaning to be hollow, empty.
When it is used to refer to an idiot person, in modern terms, it is one who is empty-headed, an airhead. Zophar suggested that Job, being an idiot, could never be wise, any more than a donkey could give birth to a human. (Swindoll)  Ouch! Can Zophar's put downs get any lower?

Actually, Zophar had an answer for everything. He spoke angrily to Job, who was hurting. Such insensitivity!

Beware of legalists. They judge you because you are not doing what they believe you should be doing. Or else, you are doing what they think you should not be doing.

Are we careful to not become a legalist? Let us not compare our self to others, for we would come out on top. but when we compare our self to Jesus, we come out on the bottom every time, begging for mercy.


LET IT GROW

Zophar doesn't need to teach Job about God, for he is not ignorant. Job was identified as the greatest man of the East feared God, and turned away from evil. In chapter 6, verses 24 and 28, Job says, Teach me, and I will be silent; And show me how I have erred. Now please look at me, and see if I lie to your face.

Job knew he wasn't guilty of sin that brought all those tragedies upon him. We know he was right, and it was Satan's doings. Also, we know it was God that allowed them to happen. But Job did not know all of that.

Are we who have been attending Sunday School so prideful in that we think we know all those Bible stories we here over and over again. What can they teach us hat we don't already know?

Zopar tells Job, in verses 13-15, how to be free from fault, firmly established, and unafraid, holding his head up high:
  • Redirect your heart, lift up your hands to God in prayer.
  • If there is iniquity in your heart, remove it.
  • Don't allow injustice to dwell in your tent.
He tells Job to repent of his sins, turning away from wickedness. Then God would forgive him, restore him, and remove all fear and suffering.
Certainly, we should repent and remove sinful ways and things in our life. We need God's forgiveness.

LET IT GO

Repent, agreeing with God that I have sinned against Him.
Forgive others in the way I want God's forgiveness.
Clean house, spiritually.
Watch out for legalists.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Seaching for Rest While Weary

O. T. #1131  "Searching for Rest While Weary"
Jan. 11, 2018
Job 10
Then Jesus said, "Come unto me, all you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."  Matthew 11:28-30 NLT


LET IT GLOW

Have you ever been weary? Well, who hasn't been weary? When it is a physical exhaustion, we get relief by resting and sleeping, but when it is a mental or emotional weariness, we do not easily rest from it. Scenes and words of pain keep going around and around in our mind. Pain gets deep and finds crevices to lodge in. After a while, when no one helps us find relief, we feel like we are in a barrel that drifted over Niagara Falls, bobby up and down, going no where, just existing. Job was searching for hope. Listen to him.

Having replied to Bildad, with a sign Job addresses God:
  • Job is weary of life by now, disgusted with his life as it is.
  • He is going to express his bitterness of soul and complain about it all.
  • Job appeals to God for his innocence.
  • Don't condemn me guilty, but let me know why You persecute me.

Weary has several meanings: having the patience exhausted, or the mind yielding to discouragement; to reduce or exhaust the physical strength of the body to tire to fatigue as; exhaust by fatigue; to subdue.

I would say that Job is exhausted in all ways by now. He is discouraged and subdued. Eliphaz left him cold, giving Job no answers for his situation. Bildad gave him neither comfort nor insight. He was left with no mediator. Job asks God questions and proclaims his own gloom, deep shadow and darkness.

Friends, please don't forsake this study now. I know it can be a downer for us, day after day reading of Job's awful situation and struggles. He will get some answers  and relief, so hang in there with us. If this lesson is not for us right now, the time may be ahead of us when we can apply what we learn from Job and to our own struggles.  If  not us, then  look around, we can find someone going through struggles and questions similar to Job. What encouragement can we provide for them, unlike Job's friends?

God binds up the brokenhearted. When your prayers haven't been answered yet; when you are down and out; when your heart is broken; keep walking by faith and praying. God hears, loves, sees all that is happening in your life.

LET IT GROW

Bildad frowns at Job and walks away. God remains silent. Job has no answers to his sufferings.

Swindoll gives us some lessons from this chapter:
  • When misery breaks our spirit, philosophical words don't help us cope.
  • When a mediator can't be found, futile searches won't give us hope.
People are in search of hope to go on, a way to make it through their maze of misery. You and I maybe that person to help them find the answers they are searching for. Are we available? Will we pray for and with them, cry with them, sit quietly and listen to them?

Dear ones, we have a Mediator who has the answers, who is available and will listen to everyone's story of pain. He is no philosopher, but He is our Redeemer! Jesus is His name. His mercy outweighs all misery. He is only a breath away. His love never fails, it never gives up, never runs out on me-Jesus' love.

LET IT GO

Let Jesus hold me in my misery, trial, troubles, desertion.
Come to Jesus to find rest for my weary soul.
Lay those heavy burdens down at His feet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Who Will Mediate?

O. T. #1130  "Who Will Mediate?"
Jan. 10, 2018
Job 9-Part 2

LET IT GLOW

I recall a time when teachers in a big city refused to work at school without their demands being met. They picketed too. They had a list of changes for the administration to meet before the would step foot into the classrooms. The problem was that heir needs were not being considered. So it took an arbitrator to be the go-between t find a happy ground for both parties. I don't remember the specifics, but the teachers got some of their demands, for they returned to teaching. Job desired to have such a go-between person so he and God could get his why's cleared up.

Job said earlier in this chapter that he would love to stand in the divine courtroom and stand before God, the ultimate Judge of all. If only he could talk things rough with His Creator.
According to Swindoll, Job would have four questions:
  1. If I could stand before God, what would I say?(v. 14-19) He would have to implore the mercy of the Judge.
  2. If I could declare my own innocence, what good would it do?(v. 20-24 God would declare Job guilty; his own mouth would condemn Job.
  3. If I tried to be positive and cheerful, how would that help me? (v. 25-31) Job tells his friends if he forgot his complaints, put away his sad face, and was cheerful, he would still dread the pain. go would still find him guilty.
  4. Is it possible to have a mediator who could represent my needs before God? (v. 32-35)
If only there were a mediator between us, someone who could bring us together. (verse 33)

Job desires a go-between to help him communicate with holy and mighty God. He wishes for one who could argue his case. Job cannot stand before the holy Judge. Job knows that he is no Deity and unqualified to stand before God. Also, God is not  a man to stand before Job. He was stuck. Job's friend Bildad did not supply any answers for him, either.

LET IT GROW

Paul, in his first letter to his young friend Timothy, wrote that we have One who represents us to God the Father-Jesus Christ.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.  1 Timothy 2:5 NAS

When it comes to eternal life, Jesus is the One who provided it for us. It was Jesus' blood that makes us pure before a holy God. Jesus spoke of Himself as  the Way, the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. (John 14:6)
This is as fundamental belief in Christianity.

Job had not met our Mediator yet, but later on the world would hear about Him. His questions were from a man who knew God and was overwhelmed by the sense of His greatness. Job's smallness cried out for a mediator to help him understand why all the tragedies came into his life.

Death will eventually come to all of us. Are we ready to stand before God? If not, then please ask Him to forgive your sin and be your Savior, your mediator before that day.

LET IT GO

                                 ... of pride and humble myself before God.
                                 ... and trust Jesus as the only way to God.
                                 .. and thank Jesus for all He has done for me a sinner.

Jesus is the Lamb of God that takes way the sins of the world.


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Jumping for Joy

O. T. #1129  "Jumping for Joy"
Jan.9, 2018
Job 9
These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.  John 15:11

LET IT GLOW

I enjoy living out in the country. I see God's hand over animals as He brings them my way to be astonished at His creation. The other evening we were going out to eat with our son and his family. As he drove us along our country road, he stopped the vehicle. We saw a half dozen does in the woods. We were all in awe as we watched this young deer prancing around, practicing jumping. It was quite a show. And I think, why are we Christians not jumping for joy at what God does in our life? (Speaking to me.) He saved my soul, set me free from the power of sin, provides for me to over come the evil around here. He is fighting my battles if I will let Him. Yeah, I should be jumping for joy, like the deer.

Well, Bildad was a legalist, a traditionalist, indicating that Job needed sermons and illustrations from the past and philosophical analogies from examples in the world of nature-plants, spiders, roots around rocks.  How would that help Job solve the problem of sores all over his body? Was Bildad there with Job because he cared for the poor man? Did he even pray for Job to survive it all? Some encouraging friend he was.

In chapter 9, Job speaks to Bildad asking questions:
  • So what's new? Job knew all that Bildad said.
  • How can mere mortals get just with God? Just means to be vindicated in the sense of a court declaring in one's favor.
  • What chance would we have if we wanted to bring our case before Him? Job wants to contend, or challenge God. Job answered his own question, "Not 1 in a 1,000."
  • Who could take Him on and come out in 1 piece? God's wisdom is so deep, and His power so immense. Even the earth, mountains and seas, stars and sun are under His control. We will never comprehend all the great things God does.
  • If He steals you blind who can stop Him?
  • Who is going to question what God is doing?
Job recognizes how great God is. He is magnificent in might and Job feared God. He stood before Him in awe and wonder. Job wants to be able to approach God and talk this out. Bildad did not help him do that.

If we could approach God in a divine courtroom setting, and stand before the Judge, what would we do? God is holy and we are sinners.  tend to think we would humbly bow before Him.

LET IT GROW

Job longs to walk into God's courtroom just as he is-covered with sores, bankrupt and broken, to argue his case. He would be a rebel, but desires talking it through face to face  with God.

Swindoll tells us four questions that Job would a God:
  1. If I could stand before God, what would I say? Job couldn't answer God, but implore the mercy of the Judge. He couldn't believe God would even listen to him. Job states that God is the strong one. If it is a matter of power, He wins. If Job could stand before God, what would he say? If he could declare his own innocence, what good would it do?
Are we willing to kneel before the Lord our God and Creator? Either we submit to Him now or when we die. Then it will be too late to confess our sins. We are all sinners; none is righteous, no not one.
Will we admit it?

Do we want to fly above our problems like the eagle, soaring in the sky?
Do we want to prance with joy like the young deer?
Then we need to submit to God. Whatever He wants to bring into our life to change us and be a witness of His strength, let us surrender.

LET IT GO

I am a sinner in need of a Savior, Jesus Christ, constantly.
Give my problems to God and soar like an eagle above them.
Jump for joy as I live pardoned.
Share with others how they too can be like the eagle and deer.



Monday, January 8, 2018

Where Are You Looking?

O. T. # 1128  "Where Are You Looking?
Jan. 8, 2018
Job 8
Don't look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.  Philippians 2:4

LET IT GLOW

I have noticed that when life is going good, then I am more concerned about others. It is when I am in a trial, working through a problem, that I am looking at myself more, focusing on the bad situation. But the way out of the pit is to look to the needs of others and help them. That helps me in the long run, getting me out of my pit of despair. Maybe Job's friends could have used our key verse in their lives.

You are nothing more than other than a windbag, Job. Can you imagine Job hearing that after the first of his friends, Eliphaz preached repentance, basing his words on experience.

His reasonings came from experience-I have learned, I have observed, I have seen. (Swindoll)

 hat are you guys doing to poor Job in his condition? With his 10 children buried up on the hill? Since he was as poor as a nail? Had a wife nagging him to curse God and die?

Job's second friend, named Bildad, is different. He bases his words on tradition. He urged Job to go back into history and check what happened there.

Swindoll gives us an outline of Bildad's sermon:
  1. The Character of God (verses 3-7) Look Up, Job!
  2. The Wisdom of the Past (verses 8-10) Look Back, Job!
  3. The Evidence of Nature (verses 11-19) Look Around, Job!
  4. Concluding Comments (verses 20-22)
Because Job's children sinned, God judged them, thus killing them.  If Job would repent, then God would restore his health and wealth. He is a withering, dying hypocrite. He has sinned and God had uprooted him. His hope is in perishing. Couldn't Bildad have shown  little more tact and compassion in his words to Job? After all, Job had not forgotten God, nor was he godless, but remained a godly man during his friends' visits. He did not deserve all that had happened to him. Satan was behind it all. (Easy for me to say, I didn't live through it.)

The tradition of our faith as Christians is based upon God's Word and the life of Jesus. Aren't we thankful that God's compassions fail not, and His mercies are new every morning?

LET IT GROW

Bildad instructed Job to:
  • pray to God,
  • seek the favor of the Almighty,
  • be pure,
  • live with integrity,
then God will raise you up and restore your happy home. And though you started with little, you will end with much.

Sometimes changes in our life are needed so we can be more like those characteristics.  Sometimes they achieve good results and other times our circumstances do not change. Our life is in God's hands. Will we accept good and bad? Will we live for God's glory or for our self?

LET IT GO

Pray more, seek to please God more, have pure thoughts, live with integrity.
Stop looking at my circumstances, rely on God, then take a look at others.
Look up, look back, and look around.
Learn what God is like, looking up.
Learn life lessons from my past and the past of others, looking back.
See the needs of those in suffering times and what could help encourage them, looking around.