Friday, December 29, 2017

Marvelous Miracles

O. T. #1122  "Marvelous Miracles"
Dec. 29, 2017
Job 5


Eliphaz continues to speak to Job in another chapter, only this time he is pointing fingers at his friend in misery. He had argued that Job had sinned so that was why he was suffering.  If Job did not recognize his mortality and sin, he would not be healed.
Eliphaz bases his words upon his experience, and continues to tell Job:
  • Not even the angels could help him.
  • Sin is inevitable in man; so is trouble. (verse 7)
  • Job should commit his cause to God.
Falwell tells us that Eliphaz turns his gaze from the human condition to God in verses 8-16:
  • He is Lord of all nature (rain);
  • knowledge (wise);
  • and justice (poor have hope).
Verse 9 of NLT says, He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles.

There are o many miracles we read about-parting of the Red Sea, plagues in Egypt, walls of Jericho, birth of Jesus, Paul's life spared after all his struggles, our salvation through Jesus.

In Isaiah 55:8, God tells us, For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways.

These verses show us that we do not now what God is thinking or planning. His knowledge and wisdom is greater than any human's. His plans and purposes conform us, fitting us into God's plans, not vice versa.

What are God's plans for each individual? We must ask Him, seeking His overall will first from His Words. Are we seeking first the kingdom of God in our life?
Has God performed any miracles in your life lately?


Look at verses 12 and 13 (NLT): He frustrates the plans of schemers so the work of their hands will not succeed. He traps the wise in their own cleverness so their cunning schemes are thwarted.

We need to be sure we are not one of those schemers, crafty ones.

KJV uses the word crafty, which means cunning (usually in a bad sense), prudent, subtle, in the Hebrew language.
Thwart in Webster's Dictionary, means to oppose, defeat.

So even the cunning and crafty schemes of the foolish will be stopped by God. After all, nothing is impossible with God. Now that is good news!


Seek God's path for my ways.
Ask for His ways and thoughts for my life.
Trust Him in another situation by faith.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Confidence and Hope

O. T. #1121  "Confidence and Hope"
Dec. 27, 2017
Job 4
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.  (Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)


Brrrrrr....  Hope you northern folks are able to stay inside and keep warm amidst the deep freeze. I got my hot tea to sip and electric heater at my feet, so I'm ready to slide into chapter 4. Pray that all had a wonder time with family and friends during the celebration of the birth of our Savior. We certainly did.

Get ready, for we have three rounds of dialogue between Job and his friends in chapters 4-14.
First to speak is Eliphaz, in which he begins by reminding Job of the good influence his life has been:
  • Job instructed many and
  • strengthened week hands. (verse 3)
  • His words steadied those stumbling and
  • braced their buckling knees; (verse 4)
Isn't your piety your confidence, and the integrity of your life your hope? (verse 6)

Proverbs 3:26 says, For the Lord will be your confidence, and will keep your foot from being caught.

Job's integrity must have been evident to others. It was mentioned by his wife and now Eliphaz. Previously, God described Job as being a perfect and upright man in chapter 1. Deep down, Job is still the same person he was before his sufferings began.

Is our confidence in our fear and respect for God? Is our hope shown by our upright ways, through our integrity? Are we following the moral teaching of the Bible? Can others see our integrity? Or are we compromising our integrity? Who couldn't use more confidence and hope? Let us find it in Jesus Christ.


Didn't Job's three friends come to bring him comfort during his suffering? Well, that didn't happen. Although they began by sitting in silence with him for 7 days, it didn't last I wonder if Job wished they had continued the silence after they finished raking him over the coals. They ended up criticizing him instead of comforting Job. In one way or another, they all used the same argument:
  1. God blesses the righteous and afflicts the wicked.
  2. God had afflicted Job
  3. therefore, Job must be wicked.  (Wiersbe)
I suppose their argument seemed logical, but it wasn't spiritual. We can't understand all that God does. Do we try to fit Him into  our little "theological box?" If we do, then we are limiting God and make Him less than God.

Keep in mind now, these fellows did not have the New Testament. Suffering is not always caused by sin. It is through faith in Christ that we can turn from suffering and give glory to God through it.
Jesus went through suffering in order to make the ultimate sacrifice of Himself for us. He did not sin.
Are we willing to make radical adjustments, sacrifice privileges and comforts in order for God's will to be done. Perhaps it is so others will have encouragement or others will find God's grace. May our source of strength and victory be in Christ alone.

Eliphaz argues that Job is a sinner. (verses 7-11)
He shares a personal testimony, experience, although his vision may not have come from God.  (verses 12-16)
He offered Job no comforting words, instead, they conveyed God as a judge unfamiliar with mercy. We know that is false.
Psalm 89:14 tells us Justice and judgment are the habitation of Thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before Thy face.


Place my confidence and hope in Jesus.
Do not sacrifice my integrity because of others.
Thank Jesus for His mercy.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Speaking Bluntly

O. T. #1120  "Speaking Bluntly"
Dec. 26, 2017
Job 3-Part 3


Why is my life going on? What good is it? Job continued to ask the "why's" five times in verses 20-26.  We know about those why's if we have lived long enough. We can have apathy for him. Job was a godly man bombarded with the loss of children, wealth, and health. (Satan was behind them all, striving to get Job to curse God, but Job remained faithful.) Don't you know he was overwhelmed by the calamities, trials, tests? He complained about the trial that came despite his right living. This man lost his perspective on life. He wished he had never been born, or died at birth. But it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all, wouldn't you agree? (I recall some literary person said that.)

Why is life given to a man whose path is hidden, whom God has hedged in? (verse 23)

Satan spoke of a hedge of protection and blessing in 1:10 in contrast to Job speaking of a hedge as a prison of living death. (MacArthur)

That guy has hit the rock bottom, the bottom of the barrel, at the end of his rope. And Job is known for his patience? Hmm. Maybe endurance is a better word to describe Job.

Job did not know the purpose of his sufferings. Let's not be too hard on him until we have sat where he sat. It is easy to trust God in the midst of prosperity, but when we loose everything, have pain so intense that we want to die, exercising faith is another matter. Actually, Moses, Jonah, and Elijah prayed to die. If he understood why God allowed his pain, Job could have endured it.
God is in control, events are part of His loving plan, so one day He will make His purposes known. (Wiersbe)

In Job 23:10, Job expressed his faith: But He knows the way I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.

He sees us through the deep waters of doubt, over the mountains, and though the dry deserts, so to speak. However, through Christ, we can do all things because He strengthens us.
God assigns the impossible to His people. Look at Mary, Jesus' mother.


Before we get into the discussions Job's friends initiated, let's take an overview. Swindoll gives us 3 cycles:
  1. After each of the 3 friends speak, Job answers them.
  2. Apparently, Eliphaz is the oldest, based his words on experience, with Job answering each of them.
  3. Zophar stepped out of the dialogue, with the youngest, Elihu, stepping in to his place.
Bildad is different, basing his words on tradition;  Zophar's angry words are based upon assumptions. All three were legalistic, judgmental, condemning. How could they speak like that to a friend?
Do e ever speak bluntly? Do we  ever get into a verbal fistfight? Debates can get heated up with tongue lashings before we realize it. That is when self control of the Spirit needs to be within us.

Throughout the years, my words have developed speaking bluntly. I get right to the point, not beating around the bush. People seem to not take to that so good. I need to work on the skill of eloquently speaking. Honey attracts more flies.


Consider by words before speaking.
Watch out for words of tradition, assumptions, and experience.
Trust God's purpose in my trials.

Friday, December 22, 2017

The Unexpected

December 21, 2017
Dear Friends,
Thanks so much for your faithfulness as we studied the Word of God together this year. Especially staying in there as we learned about all those kings, whew. So, I just wanted to take step aside and recall the Christmas story. It is mainly found in Luke chapter 2. I remember memorizing the first 20 verses when I was in elementary school for our Christmas program. Over 55 years later, I can still recite most of it. Is that evidence as to the importance of getting Scriptures into the minds of our children and grandchildren?  Sadly, we have drifted away from it in our schools.

Now, take a deep breath. It is okay to breathe and relax for a few minutes amidst the speedy world that has us spinning around in the last minute. I'm listening to Silent Night as I write this. Sleep in heavenly peace.

Did the quiet couple, Mary and Joseph, have their goals, dreams, and plans for their new life together interrupted by God? The Romans required them to travel to register for the census and pay taxes. Jews were not required to serve in the Roman army. Now was this perfect timing or what? God wanted Jesus born in Bethlehem so He used this to accomplish it. (Can you imagine riding on a donkey, being 9 months pregnant? I certainly can't.) Yet, it was an inconvenience for them. did they get upset at this? Do we get upset when an inconvenience comes along in our life. A bumpy road was the way they traveled. Ouch! But they survived the hardships. God was with them all the way. And He is with us, Emmanuel.

So the young couple was obedient. Why didn't things go smoothly for them? There was no room in the inn for them to sleep comfortably that arrival night. Because of the census and taxes, Bethlehem was crowed. Where did Mary and Joseph spend the night? It wasn't in a 5 star room, but a stinky stable or barn or cave. Talk about discomfort again. (Mary was probably looking forward to a comfy bed, don't you think?) Such humble surroundings for them. Jesus was born while they were there. It was time for the Savior to come to earth. It was the appointed time for God's love to come down to mankind. When we do God's will, we are not guaranteed convenience and comfort. How do we react to it? Be assured, it all has a purpose in our life. Where is God leading you? He will provide what you need in order to accomplish His will.

Here this young couple was alone, staying in a barn or cave, dealing with the unexpected timing of the birth of Mary's baby. How do they cope? Hang in there Mary. God sent His angles ahead of time to appear to some shepherds watching their sheep in the fields. They are coming to encourage you and Joseph. They will be with you, worshiping and praising God for the awaited Savior, your sweet, precious baby boy.

Why did Jesus leave heaven to live as a human, live in a hateful world of people, be tempted in the ways we are, and endure beatings, yet did not sin? Such love that I cannot comprehend. He voluntarily came to provide a way for us to be able to join Him in heaven. He is our Redeemer, taking our place, paying for our sins. Hallelujah!

It is not by being born in a prominent family, or a Jew, or the child of Christian parents that gets us to heaven. It is by our individual faith and repentance.

Paul told us in Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Romans 6:23 says For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus said in John 14:6, I am the Way, the Truth and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me.

For by grace are ye save through faith: and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:8-10

I must ask you, sweet one, have you asked God to forgive you of your sins, to be your Savior? His loving hand is reaching out to you, offering you His free gift.
Are we sharing with our family the reason for the season?

Later, the wise men came to visit Mary and Joseph and Jesus. They gave the three gifts, though they may have ben more in number. That gold and silver would provide for the family in Egypt. Isn't God's plan the best?

I pray that you enjoy your time off work, with family around you, and obtain rest for the weary.

In His Love,

Merry Christmas Everyone!!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Think Before We Speak

O. T. #1120  "Think Before We Speak"
Dec. 21, 2017
Job 3-Part 3


This godly man was at his lowest. He wished to have never been born, then wished he had died at birth. Since that did not happen, Job desired for his light to be extinguished-death to come so he could have relief from pain. Think what he would have missed out on had that happened. He had a wife that stuck with him for years,10 children, wealth, position in the community, and friends.

Remember, Job did not know it was Satan's schemes to attempt to get him to curse God. Grief placed Job at the crossroads of faith. He could choose to give up and curse God, or he could trust God and get his strength to carry on for Him. Trials came in spite of Job's living right. Job had been faithful to worship God instead of his material possessions. There are no guarantees for a happy, perfect life without problems or pain for a Christian. We live in a world of sinners, including us. There will be days when things do not go well. That is just life, huh?

What could improve Job's situation of pain and grief? After all, he had asked 5 times why all this happened to him. God is not obligated to give us answers to our situation.
Friends would be good. Yes, friends could listen to Job in his pain, could offer comfort, would not forsake him like his wife did. Well, we think friends would be just what Job needed to get him through this season of his life, help him endure those tests, give encouragement. (But we will find out soon, with friends like his, who needs them?)


When our friend  is struggling, will we bring the light of love to them?
Will we help the hurting to have hope?
Will we aid those in a deep valley to rise with relief?

Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.  Proverbs 27:17
Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.  Proverbs 27:6

For 7 nights Job's friends sat in silence, watching, listening, and forming their opinions. It must have been difficult for them to look at Job covered with sores oozing pus and scabs. Silence can be better than saying the wrong thing and leave regretting it. Before we blow it, our friendship, let us  think before we speak.

Dear ones, God loves us and cares for us. That will never change. No matter how people treat us, we can be sure of that. It never changes, either.


Work at listening to others.
Think before I speak.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Got the Why's?

O. T. #1119  "Got the Why's?"
Dec. 20, 2017
Job 3-Part 2


Why did this happen to me, for I'm trying to walk by faith? Why was that said to me, words stabbing in the heart? Why can't I get out of this pit?
It may have been evident that I have been in my pity pit lately. Yep, it was deep. I kept wanting to get out, but would sink back when I got close. It was a battle going on in my mind. Satan was beating me up with discouraging words. Then I made myself get into the kitchen and bake some goodies, giving love to those I appreciate. My heart went out to a family of four children in need this Christmas, so I went shopping and gave to them. That is how I received hope, giving hope; received love, giving love. Anyone got the holiday blues or the why's? Why is this happening to me? Try my remedy-give.

Time has brought Job to the city dump, penniless, no children, everything is gone, except for the pain and itching and physical misery. He sat 7 days, silent with his 3 friends. He experienced the what's, and now the why's set in.

Job wonders why:
  • he was ever born;
  • his birthday is on the calendar;
  • he didn't die at birth;
  • did all those things happen;
  • was he ever blessed;
  • does he not have rest, relief, hope?
Haven't we all been there? Our suffering turns to depression and we start asking "why?"
We dig a hole and try to bury our self in our job, under our covers, sitting alone in the dark.
If we let Him, God will rescue us, shine His light, extend His loving hand to us pulling us out of the pit of pity if we just look up. Others need us; our family and friends need us; our coworkers need us; our church needs us.


Swindoll identifies 3 practical statements for us who can identify with Job's sufferings:
  1. There are days too dark for the sufferer to see light.
  2. There are experiences too extreme for the hurting to have hope.
  3. There are valleys too deep for the anguished to find relief.
There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. (Corrie ten Boom)

I know we forget that God is there with us and continues to care for us. Will we be the encourager someone needs while in their pit of pity? Will we be the loving arm of God that wraps around the discouraged? Perhaps instead of an eloquent speech, we only need to sit quietly and listen to them. Reassure the hurting that they are loved in some way.

Jesus came to earth to show us how much He loves us. Dear ones, He loves us so much that He died for us so we can have our sins forgiven and have peace while in this world. So we can have the hope of heaven for our eternity.
Shall we look around us and see someone in need today? Let us to as Job's 3 friends did, and bring comfort, solutions or suggestions, help.


Bring a bag of hope, love, peace, kindness, gentleness, patience, goodness to those in need after Jesus fills us.
Trust God for the answers to my why's.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Letting Go

O. T. #1118 "Letting Go"
Dec. 19, 2017
Job 3


Is there something you need to let go of today so peace and joy can be in your heart today? There is for me, friends. I'm tired of carrying round all those hurts. Like a backpack full of rocks, they weigh me down, robbing me of joy. It's time for me to let them go. Stop questioning why the situation happened. Just forgive, and carry on. Job's situation was a bit more serious than mine, though. Let's see how he handled it in this chapter.

Job and his three friends have been sitting together in silence at the city dump for seven days now. There was no party going on, no feast, no long discussions or debates, no catching up on the latest. We aren't even told how much time had passed since Job spoke to his wife.

During this silent time, God is silent, too. He seems to be absent to Job. They had enjoyed fellowship during  the years of prosperity Job experienced. Job didn't have the reassurance that God was right there beside him, in there with him. There was no explanation as to why he lost everything. Job didn't know it was Satan's doings, tempting Job to curse God. He didn't know for quite some time later.

If we only know why this thing happened in our life, it would help us through, help us find healing. For reasons known only to God, we may not find answers until we reach heaven.

Well, here we are, at one of the most depressing chapters in the Bible. Though Job lost his wealth and health, he didn't loose his faith in the Lord. Job's faith was not in his possessions. He did not sin with his lips. He accepted good and bad from God. No where in this book does Job deny the Lord or question His holiness or His power. He did question how such a holy God could permit such awful calamity.

Let's not be so hard on Job until we have experienced such things as he did. Some of you may have already-lost a child, a job, a marriage, a house, relationships. If only we know the purpose of our suffering, we could pick up the pieces and carry on. It's when it doesn't make sense that the pain is hard to accept. Isn't that where trust comes in? We trust that God has a purpose.

Does suffering/misery accomplish anything? When we yield to God, yes it does. Suffering works for us, not against us. Read 2 Corinthians 3:7-5:9.  Even when there is no relief for pain, we must hold onto our faith in God.


After all that had happened to Job, then he speaks. His former buoyance has turned to bitterness, his patience to self-pity, and his integrity to ingratitude. At this point, Job seems to be talking to himself, not his friends or God. He is verbalizing his most innermost thoughts and feelings in a spontaneous outburst of anguish, misery, and despair. In a way, it as a cry for help. (Falwell)

Swindoll gives us a simple outline of the third chapter:
  • Job regrets his birth. (verses 1-10)
  • Job wishes he'd died at birth. (verses 11-19)
  • Job now longs to die. (verses 20-26)
Take a minute and count how many times Job uses the word let in verses3-9. Did you count 15?
What is he thinking? Let is a wish verb. It represent what Job is wishing. Let those things occur.
It's not uncommon for a person with a terminal illness to wish he had never been born, forgetting all the good years.

With less than a week until we celebrate Christmas, the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ, can we let all those hurts be put at the foot of the cross and find peace, love, joy from the Lord? Can we let His purpose be for our good and His glory? Shall we take time to focus on Jesus and not our problems?

                              ... and let God...
                               ... and thank Him for all the blessings this year.
                               ... and let God take my case, bring justice, and restore my reputation.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Friends Show Up

O. T. #1117  "Friends Show Up"
Dec. 18, 2017
Job 2-Part 5
A friend loveth at all times.   Proverbs 17:17


Job had three friends came to mourn with him and comfort him. They were known for their wisdom, yet showed their wisdom to be narrow-minded and incomplete. At least they made the effort to visit Job. His local friends did not, at least Scriptures does not record any.

What happened when they arrived at the city dump, finding Job?
  • His physical appearance resulted in their being scarcely able to recognize him. Job was covered with boils from head to toe.
  • Wailing loudly, they tore robes and threw dust into the air over their heads to show their grief.
  • They spoke not a word unto Job for they saw his grief was very great. Hebrew tradition of one in mourning said that person spoke to the visitor first.
  • The friends sat 7 days and nights in silence with Job.
Those friends were unprepared for what they saw. This once healthy, robust, cheerful, respected, and prosperous man who lived in a fine house, had servants, wore expensive clothing, had many friends, and a wonderful family changed. They saw a man that was thin, pale, dirty, diseased, lonely, friendless, broken, sitting like an animal in the town dung heap. They gasped in horror and disbelief.
At this point, Job's friends were sincere in their grief and desire to comfort him. (Falwell)
Job's pain was too deep to be comforted with mere words.

When a friend is suffering and in need, which group of Job's friends will we be like-local ones who stayed their distance or the three who left their homes and traveled a distance?
When we hear, do we show up?


Charles Swindoll gave a few characteristics of true friends:
  1. Friends care enough without being asked to come. No official invitation is required when a friend is in anguish and pain.
  2. Friends respond with sympathy and comfort. Sympathy includes identifying with the sufferer. They went to console, which means to shake the head or to rock the body back and forth as a sign of shared grief. To comfort is to attempt to ease the deepest pain caused by a tragedy or death.
  3. Friends openly express the depth of their feelings. Job's friends sit down on the ground, not concerned with getting dirty or messy.
  4. Friends understand, so they say very little. No explanations or spiritual advice is need at this point. Our presence and our tears say much more than our words.
If Job's friends had listened to him, accepted his feelings, and not argued with him, they would have helped him greatly; but they chose to be prosecuting attorneys instead of witnesses.(Wiersbe)

Often times we don't know how a person feels, so we shouldn't say so. Listen, give a few words of comfort, pray, and leave. Lingering too long can do more harmful than good.


Go listen and love with the heart those hurting.
Cry with those who cry.
Pray for them.
Keep checking on them.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Comforting Friends

O. T. #1116  "Comforting Friends"
Dec. 15, 2017
Job 2-Part 4


What? Shall we receive good from God and not evil? (Job 2:10b)
The LORD gave, and the LORD taketh away; blessed be the name of the LORD. (Job 1:21b)

Those words came from a man who had once been healthy, wealthy, and wise. (Although, Job did not throw away his wisdom  as he endured the loss of finances, family, and health.) He moved himself from the big house to the city dump where the lepers would go. Job's foolish wife encouraged him all right-she encouraged him to curse God and be done with the suffering. (They believed blaspheming was a sin that led to death.)

Whew! This poor man who had it all, ended up with nothing, in the eyes of the world that is. He didn't know what was happening to him amidst all those trials. Satan had accused Job before God of only serving God because of His blessings. In proving Job's loyalty and love, God permitted Satan to do whatever he desired, to try to prove his point. The only restriction was that Satan could not take Job's life. Through it all, Job never sinned with his lips. Through all the sleepless nights of grief, the scraping of the horrible sores covering his body, the bankruptcy. the loss of servants, Job didn't blame God and kept loving Him.

If the story of Job's patience and endurance ended there, we would have quite an example for the way a believer is to live, right?
How are you doing today, friend?
Twice in chapter 5, James tells us to be patient:

For examples of patience in suffering, dear brothers and sisters, look at the prophets who spoke in the name of the LORD. We give great honor to those who endure under suffering. For instance, you know about Job, a man of great endurance. You can see how the Lord was kind to him at the end, for the Lord is full of tenderness and mercy. (verses 10-11)


I don't know about you, but there are times that my friends and I need a ladies lunch together. We may be small in number or take up two tables. Yes, we need times to laugh and cry and hug. Our support lets us know everything is going to be all right. There's nothing like the comfort of friends.

However, Job's life story doesn't end there. More discouragement was to come. It came in the form of three so called friends. They will be the main character until the last few chapters.They were named:
  1. Eliphaz, the Temanite-the oldest, most prominent, took the lead using his philosophical  bent;
  2. Bildad, the Shuhite-a scholar who used the traditions of people as his authority;
  3. Zophar, the Naamathite-the most dogmatic and legalistic of the three. (Falwell)
It must have taken a few months for the word of Job's lowly condition to reach his friends in the East. They communicated among themselves and set a date to meet and go together for a visit to Job. Aw, how nice. Their purpose was to mourn with Job and to comfort him. Their intention was to show sincere sympathy to a friend going through an extremely difficult time. At least they got up and went to a hurting friend, and didn't just talk about doing it. They had no idea that their discussion to come would end by calling their dear friend a secret sinner and a hypocrite.

When someone is in need, do we go to them having the intention of comforting them and mourning with them? Are we sensitive to their needs? Can we lay aside our experiences and suffering?


Mourn with  those who mourn, laugh with those who laugh.
Be all things to all people as Paul was.
Listen and love, remaining alert to the needs of others.
Endure suffering, knowing God is full of tenderness and mercy.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Advise for Wives

O. T. #1115  "Advise for Wives"
Dec. 14, 2017
Job 2-Part 3


Just say it Job! Curse God and be done with it. Why are you holding onto your integrity? Job needed a devoted and loving wife, but she had come to the end of her rope of hope, hanging on no more, letting go. She was done. Job had lost his 10 children, all his livestock, all his servants except 4. Now he was covered with boils and sat at the city dump, scratching with a piece of pottery. Although, through it all, Job never sinned.
What would be our response if we only had one of those situations to go through?

Why do you think Mrs. Job responded in this way? Swindoll suggests four reasons:
  1. She. too, had lost ten children. In her weakening struggle with deep grief, she may have blurted this out.
  2. She, too, had suffered the loss of their wealth and possessions. Since her husband had reached a high level of financial security, there were benefits, perks, and pleasures that bring great satisfaction with that lifestyle. Those many possessions that were destroyed were her possessions, too. Job's wife was reduced to the same economical level has her husband.
  3. For years she had enjoyed being the wife of "the greatest of all the men of the east." There were great moments of public, acknowledgement and inner joy in that. She was no longer the leading lady of the community. She's now the pathetic wife of a broken man whose world has collapsed, who now sits alone in abject poverty, covered with sores.
  4. She lost her companion. Their quiet give-and-take conversation and romantic times are over. The woman has no hope that this will ever change.
I don't recall ever hearing a message or a study that considered the situation from Job's wife perspective. I can't imagine having to endure such things.

Swindoll makes some suggestions for wives to consider:
  • Always guard your words when your husband is going through terribly hard times. Going through sustained hard times weakens most men. We tend to loos our objectivity, stability, discernment, determination, becoming vulnerable, afraid. Men need their woman's clear perspective, wisdom, and spiritual strength. Hardship seems to strengthen women. They need prayers, emotional support, encouraging words.
  • Never suggest that we compromise our integrity, even if it would provide temporary relief. Job need his wife to tell him to stand fast. She was with him as they walked with God together.
Sounds like some good advice for us wives.


In all this Job did not sin with his lips. (verse 10)

Can we hear Job's trust and faith in God?
We can't explain what happens to us, often times. However, we can watch and wait on our God to work in and through it. God has a plan unfolding although we cannot understand it now. Our faithfulness can be a witness of God's grace and love.

Here are three timeless principles Swindoll  gleaned from Job's experience:
  1. Since our lives are full of trials, we need to remember there are always more to come. Trials are inevitable, so don't be surprised. Be aware that the Adversary is on the loose. 
  2. Since our world is fallen, we need to understand that those who love us may give us wrong advice. Square whatever you hear with the principles of God's Word. They may be speaking as a foolish person.
  3. Since our God is sovereign, we must prepare ourselves for blessing and adversity.
Dr. Frances I. Anderson, a medical doctor and archeologist, biblical scholar and author from Australia comments on this segment of Job's story:
When the bad as well as the good is received at the hand of God, every experience of life becomes an occasion of blessing. But the cost is high. It is easier to lower your view of God than to raise your faith to such a height.

But our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.  (Ps. 115:3)

God is not obligated to explain Himself. Someday it will all be made clear to us. May we continue to praise His name! Submit to Him today, dear one.
(Keep in mind that our hard times may be the result of others sins, our bad choices made, or the devil working to bring us down.)


                                ... of those hurtful words and deeds, forgiving.
                                ... of those mean schemes and gossips of the ones trying to hurt us.
                                ... and cling to Jesus and give Him the glory for our story.
                                ... maintaining our integrity as a Christian.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Sitting in the City Dump

O. T. #1114 "Sitting in the City Dump"
Dec. 13, 2017
Job 2-Part 2


Do we ever feel like we are sitting in the city dump? Our world is a mess, things couldn't get any worse. Our life stinks. Dogs are growing round us. We need to sit down and have a good cry. Maybe that will make things better. Well, pouring out our heart to God does. He loves us with an unfailing love. His mercies are new every morning. Beyond his control, Job's life stinks.

Through it all, Job trusted in God. He was ruined financially. His family fell apart. His position in the community was wiped out. Yet during all the devastation, Job's integrity remained in tact.
But the Adversary was not finished with Job yet. He had another scheme. With God's permission, Satan brought on the second wave of suffering upon Job. His only restriction was Job's life must be spared. Then Satan smit Job with boils.

There are many opinions as to what kind of disease Job was struck with:
smallpox, elephantiasis, eczema, keratosis, melanoma. Whatever the skin ulcers were, Job was covered from head to toe. What misery for this godly man to experience. What physical pain and emotional pain he went through. It was for sure that Satan wasted no time hitting Job while he was down.

Swindoll gave symptoms of Jobs ailment using Scriptures:
  • Inflamed ulcerous sores (2:7)
  • Persistent itching (2:8)
  • Facial disfiguration (2:12)

The list goes on in other chapters. What misery for one person to endure. Whatever the disease was, we know that Satan caused it. We learn that he has the power to inflict people with disease, even believers. (Sometimes diseases are self inflicted, though.)


Job's poverty and rejection would have resulted in a relocation to what we call the city dump, where the lepers went. Can we picture a man who once was the wealthiest in the East and highly respected in the area, sitting in the city dump? Job is sitting in an ash heap, surrounded by rejects that lived there, a place where dogs fought over a scrap to eat, and where the city's dung was brought and burned. Job scraped his sores with a broken piece of pottery, too. How horrible for him. Doesn't our heart go out to this man suffering beyond our comprehension?

Death under these conditions would have been preferred. During one of Mrs. Job's visits to her husband, she encouraged him to just curse God and die. Say it and get this over. Why was he still trying to maintain his integrity?

Matthew 22:37 says, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Job called his wife foolish. His answer is found in verse 10: Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?
In all of this, Job did nothing wrong.

Was Job's wife presenting another trial for him?  She advised the very thing Satan had been trying to get Job to do. Perhaps in her deep love for her husband, Mrs. Job could not stand to see him suffer any longer. At that time, it was presumed that cursing God would bring death. Through it all, Job remained faithful to his God. He did not sin with his lips.

Satan was rebuffed, defeated, and overcome, and does not appear again in the book. (Falwell)

A man must continue to fear God even when his world flies apart and life strands him, like Job, in stunned bewilderment on the refuse heap. (Kline says in Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

Amidst the suffering, no matter what it is, will we stand firm in our love for our God?
Remember, God loves us so much that he left heaven, took on the form of man, and died for us so we could have heaven for all of eternity. Thank You Jesus!


Love God with all my heart, soul, and mind.
Love others.
Trust God with the reasons for suffering.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Compared to What Job Went Through

O. T. #1113 "Compared to What Job Went Through"
Dec. 12, 2017
Job 2


When I consider all that has happened to me this year, even the worse suffering and hardest trials do not compare one iota to what Job endured. His makes mine seem so small. After all, I haven't lost my children, nor our lively hood. Compared to what Job went through, well...

Seems like we've been here before. A second time Satan appeared before God. Again, God describes Job as perfect, upright, God-fearing, and evil shunning man. However, this time, God added to the description of Job-he holds fast to his integrity.

Integrity, in the Hebrew language, means innocence.

Even through all his losses, under the most adverse circumstances, Job did not curse his God. In spite of  Satan talking God into ruining Job without cause. We see why Job claims his innocence later in chapter 27. It was true. God even said so.

Certainly, much suffering in the world is due to sin, but not the case of Job. Oh, he wasn't sinless, but there was no direct cause and effect relationship between his life and the suffering he experienced.

And Satan answered the LORD, and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. but put forth thine hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will curse thee to thy face. (verses 4-5)

Satan was implying that when you come right down to it, man is so selfish and self-centered he will always sacrifice someone else's skin to save his own, even his own family. Isn't he saying that anyone would give up all his possession to save his life? Could the Adversary imply that Job's response to his losses was a fake to stop the attacks while he still had his life and health? Job only said what God wanted to hear. What accusations! Not everyone is like Satan.

Satan contended that what he had done to Job so far was just touching the skin, scratching the surface. (MacArthur)

Satan thought his second request would produce what the first one did not-destroying Job's confidence and faith in God and result in his cursing God. His first scheme failed, but would his second scheme?

Do we hold fast our integrity or do we compromise?


He is in your power, only spare Job's life. God set limitations on Satan's authority. Had Satan been allowed to take Job's life, the effect of Job's testing would not have been evident.

Satan in his own right does not have the authority to take the life of a faithful believer. (Falwell)

There was not better man living in his day than Job. This godly man was a faithful husband, a loving father, a good employer. he had an abundance of everything until the day the bottom dropped out. Job lost his servants except four, his means for making a living, and his 10 grown children. Having buried all of his children and lying next to as grieving wife, did Job have a sleepless night? How could it  get any worse?
More was to come. Job had no idea that unfair and undeserved suffering which lay ahead for him.

Do we have unwavering character and unconditional trust in God like Job had?
What do we need to make us happy?
Are we thankful for what God has blessed us with?


                               ... and let God be my joy.
                               ...of stuff that drags me down.
                               ... and rejoice in the Lord always.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Good Giver, The Giver of Good

O. T. #1112  "The Good Giver, The Giver of Good"
Dec. 11, 2017
Job 1-Part 5


Last time we discussed the four rapid-fire disasters that Satan used to destroy Job's livestock servants, and children. Only the four messengers of such survived. Satan's purpose for all of that tragedy was for Job to curse God, having nothing left.
In verse 20, we read of four verbs which describe what Job did before it tells what he said: he arose, tore his robe, shaved his head, fell down on the ground, and worshiped. Job did all of this tin expression of his grief.

He didn't wallow and wail...he worships. The Hebrew verb means to fall prostrate in utter submission and worship. (Swindoll)

The one cursing was Satan. Of all things, the man lost it all, and the One who allowed it to happen, his God, the man still worships Him. No blame, bitterness, cursing, clinched fists, no "why," no "how dare You."

What was it this man of faith had grown to realize and recognize in his life? We find the answer in verse 21:
Naked I came out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I turn thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.

Job came in this world naked and would go out the same way, as his body was prepared for burial. All that we have in between those two events is given to us by the Giver of Life. It is all on loan to us. Blessed be the name of the LORD for loaning it to me. Blessed be His name for choosing to remove it. Now that is a man who has his priorities in the right place. It's all on loan, every bit of it, as Swindoll said..

So the next time we walk through out house, sit on the couch, sleep in our bed, drive our car, go to our job, will we give thanks to the Good Giver, the Giver of good?


Stuff never owned Job, did it? When our possessions own us, then we are in trouble. Job did not set his affections on things on the earth, but on God. Even concerning Job's kids, he believed that the One who gave them has the right to take them when He wants. Job was not the soul owner and he knew it. We are only stewards of what we have been given. After all, we will let go of it when we die, so why not acknowledge God's right to take it early?

I'm not saying this is easy. Haven't we Americans gotten comfortable here in this world? (Perhaps greedy for more things, the latest of things.) What are we teaching our children? Do they see we love God above all thins?

In all this, Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly. (verse 22)

Satan failed at his tasks. In spite of his tremendous losses and legitimate grief, Job did not impute anything wrong to God, much less curse Him to His face. This does not mean Job understand why all these things happened to him, but he did recognize God's sovereign rights over His creation. (Falwell)

Job still continued to worship, even while he grieved. His circumstances did not make a sinner out of hm. He didn't turn to evil when evil came to him.

Isn't it wonderful that God has given us a heroic and enduring  example in Job to show us that we can make it through whatever life throws our way?

No matter what happens, will we continue to love and serve God?
Will we trust Him to word all things out for our good and His glory?
When our world falls in on us, will our faith in Jesus see us through?
Is there anything we need to release our ownership to God?


Give God my everything so He can be my Everything.
Hold all things loosely.
Accept the unrevealed answers as to God's reasons for taking something back.
Let nothing separate me from God's love.

Friday, December 8, 2017

A Door of Devastation

O. T. #1111  "A Door of Devastation"
Dec. 8, 2017
Job 1-Part 4
I am the door; by Me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. (words of Jesus in John 10:9)


It may be that one phone call, a loud knock on the door, a cold text, facing words of hate, or hearing the results of a medical report, that come to inform us of the devastation that has happened to one of our loved ones or to us. Some of us have already opened the door of devastation. Instead of stiffening our heart and knees, we bend and fall down, pouring out the pain we feel to our compassionate God. Nothing takes Him by surprise.

Verse 13 begins: And there was a day... The scene shifts back to earth. Satan got what he wanted-the chance to cause Job to curse God. Did Satan have a plan? Boy, did he ever. The Adversary hit Job where it hurts. Yet, to Job that day, all appeared to be well. His grown children had gone over the Job Junior's house for a relaxing time together. Job, being the good father that he was, prayed for his children. Faithful Job worshiped the Lord and sacrificed unto Him on behalf of his children. He must have felt confident of the Lord's protection and favor. God's hedge of protection surrounded him and his house, family, and business. Job hadn't the foggiest idea what he was about to face.

Now it happened-the hedge was removed. Then comes the banging on the door of the big house. Once he opened the door, Job's life would never be the same. Four trembling messengers poured out their tragic reports, which they witnessed, one after another.
They regretfully reported;
  1. The oxen that were plowing and the donkeys that were feeding beside them were attacked  by the Sabeans and took them all away. (Sebeans were terrorizing robbers from Arabia.)They killed Job's servants there, except for the one who escaped to tell Job.
  2. Lightning fell from heaven and burnt up the sheep and Job's servants caring for them. The reporter was the only survivor.
  3. A band of Chaldeans captured the camels and killed all of Job's servants but the reporter. (The Chaldeans were semi-nomadic people experienced in war.)
  4. Job's children were all killed by a tornado clasping the oldest brother's house in which they eating. They are all dead.
All these events happened on the same day, almost simultaneously. Satan has some power over nature and the weather, but it does not supersede the power of God.
In all four catastrophes there was a loss of human life. Don't you think the news of the four devastations that Job heard kept playing over and over in his mind?


It seems that Job handled the first three events calmly. However, Satan had Job right where he wanted him. Surely Job would curse God after the fourth tragedy, so he thought.

How did Job respond? Verses 20-22 tell us:
  • Job stood up and tore his robe in grief.
  • He shaved his head as a sign of grief.
  • Job fell to the ground in submission and humility and worshiped God. 
I just can't imagine the pain Job must have felt that day. Not only was he wiped out financially, loosing his high position in the community, but on the same day he lost his beloved children and his heritage. This most wealthy and powerful man in the East became a nobody overnight. The Adversary had done his work well, hadn't he? Yet it was to no avail. Instead of cursing his God like Satan said Job would do, Job worshiped.
Would we react the same way? Or would we curse God instead of worshiping Him? We like to think we would remain a faith a faithful servant of our God. Yet do we really know how we would react until faced with suck tragedy? (I pray none of us ever find our self at that crossroad.)

Let's not duke ourselves into thinking: God is going to replace Job's wealth and give him more children. Suck up Buttercup. Take it like a man. No, love and compassion does not do that.

My heart goes out those many families in the Sutherland Springs, Texas community that are missing their loved ones this Christmas season. May they hold onto the hope of Jesus in their hearts.

In our key verse above, Jesus is speaking of himself as the Good Shepherd who has come to give us life, abundant life, as He gives life to us His sheep.


Be a true believer in Jesus as Savior with faith that can't be broken.
Yield a broken and bent heart to Jesus for mending.
Stay a faithful servant of God as I love others.
Meet devastation head on with the sword of the Spirit.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Looking and Learning

O. T. #1110. "Looking and Learning"
Dec. 7, 2017
Job 1-Part 3


The Accuser is claiming divine favoritism. He said that God built a hedge of protection around Job, his house, and all he has.
What protections/blessings did Job receive from God?
-his body from illness,
-his family from harm,
-his possessions from destruction,
-work of his hands was blessed,
-his possessions and fame were increased in the land.

Who wouldn't worship the God who gave all that? That was Satan's point.
But God stated that his servant Job was the greatest of all the men of the east. (verse3)
For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from sin. (verse 8)

You bring him down to the dirt like the rest of those humans have to live their lives, and You'll see what he's made of. He'll turn on You in a heartbeat! (Swindoll's wording)

The Lord said to Satan,"Behold, all that he has is in your power.  Don't take his life." (verse 12)
Satan purposes to destroy Job in hopes of disgracing God. We know that ain't going to happen.

Is there anything that could be taken from us that would cause us to turn from serving and worshiping God? Our health, family, job, possessions? Ask Him to show you what's in your heart, if anything, that is more important than He is to you.


In Swindoll's book, "A Man of Heroic Endurance," gives us 4 principles:
1. There is an enemy we encounter we cannot see...but he is real. He wants to deceive you, play tricks on your mind, weakening you, bring you down, and ruin your testimony as he destroys your life.
2. There are trials we endure we don't deserve, but they are permitted.
3. There is a plan we explore we will not understand, but it is best.
4. There are consequences we experience, we could not anticipate, but they are necessary.

Keep in mind: Nothing touches our life that has not first passed through the hands of God. He is in full control and because He is, He has the sovereign right to permit trials that we do not deserve. What is happening is a necessary part of our spiritual growth. Swindoll's

Will we accept it as necessary?
Will I look for the good this problem brings and develops in me through spiritual growth?


Be on the lookout for Satan's tricks and temptations.
Even if I don't deserve what is happening to me, trust God through it all.
What am I to learn in
Thank God for all His blessings and provisions and protection.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

When We Are Wrongly Accused

O. T. #1109  "When We Are Wrongly Accused"
Dec. 6, 2017
Job1-Part 2


What do we do whenever we are accused of doing wrong, but in reality we did what was right? It may be that the accuser is blaming us for what they actually did wrong. Hmm. I hadn't thought of it that way. Lord, thank You for showing me the truth of the matter as You see it. All this time, I thought that I was to blame. Instead, it was me that revealed her sin. Now I am free to forgive her of those heart-cutting words. I am free to love her again.
Be alert, friends, for the accuser of wrongs and sin is trying to devour us, break us, crush our faith in God.

Our scenery changes from the godly man Job and his family; from good news, wonderful blessings, business integrity, purity of heart, and professional respect. A totally different scene opens about which Job knows nothing. Something is happening in the heavenlies. Shall we pull back the curtain and see what is occurring:

On a particular day, the sons of God, which literally means sons of Elohim, or divine beings, which were angels and messengers of God, were appearing before their Master in God's court. Now, these divine beings were not worshiped. They have no authority of their own and can only do what God commands or permits them to do.  (Falwell)

The angels came to present themselves before God, to whom they are accountable. Satan was among them. In the Hebrew text, Satan is referred to The Satan, which means adversary, opponent, the arch-enemy of good. In noun form, Satan is called the Adversary or the Accuser.

Keep in mind that Satan does not have a red body carrying a pitchfork, whispering ugly little things in your ear from your shoulder. Instead, He is the most brilliant, powerful, archangel that God ever created. He is insidious and invisible.

We may not be aware of God's carrying out a plan that would amaze or shock us. He permits things that we would never expect. He works behind the scenes. Before God asked Satan what he was doing, God knew the answer. He also knew how Job would react to all the hardships and trials coming. God knew when the things important to Job were taken away from him, Job would remain faithful. (The thing is, Satan did not know this. He accused Job of only serving God because of the blessings God bestowed upon him.)

How deeply do we love our God? Throughout the years, God has been my Rock, my Strong Arm, my Encourager, my friend. He is Emanuel, God with us. He has never forsaken me nor left me to deal with pain all alone. His love is Everlasting. His mercies are new every morning.
Are His hands holding us, stable and strong of faith through our trial? Through the accusations of the evil one? How about you, dear friend?


What is the conversation between God and Satan (NLT)?
  • Where have you come from, Satan?
  • I've been patrolling the earth, watching everything that's going on.
  • Have you noticed, considered, my servant Job?
  • Yes, but Job has good reason to fear God. You have always put a wall of protection (hedge) around him and his home and his property.
  • You have made him prosper in everything he does. Look how rich he is! But reach out and take away everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face!
  • All right, you may test him. Do whatever you want with everything he possesses, but don't harm him physically. (Satan was not allowed to take Job's life.)
  • So Satan left the LORD's presence.
1 Peter 5:8 describes Satan as our adversary the devil, a roaring lion who walks about, seeking whom he may devour. We are told to be sober (self-controlled) and steadfast in the faith.
Verse 10 says: but the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that we have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.

Remember, God is sovereignly controlling all. Even our Adversary is under His control. Are we allowing God to control us?
Is He restoring and supporting us? Are we leaning upon Jesus Christ, the LORD? Come, let us adore Him.


Humble myself under the mighty hand of God.
Trust that He will exalt me in due time.
Cast all my care upon Him, for He cares for me. (1 Peter 5:6-7)
Pray for a hedge of protection around my family, church, and president from Satan's power.
Stand firm against evil and strong in my faith.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A Close Knit Family

O.T. 1108. "A Close Knit Family"
Dec. 5,2017
Job 1
His sons used to go and hold a feast of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. Job 1:4


This time of year is so wonderful in that we set aside time for family time. We decorate, cook, shop, and plan for our loved ones. We may check with them as to what is on their wish list. We make plans as to the details for our Christmas celebration. Today's lesson is about a close knit family-Job's family.

Job was quite a man. Immediately we find out what he was like in the first chapter. He was a pure, priestly, praying, and faithful man of God. Although Job was wealthy, he did not compromise with moral evil. He handled his business dealings with integrity. He held God in respect.

By the time his story is told, Job's 7 sons and 3 daughters are grown. Apparently they were a tight family. It is obvious since they would have dinner daily with each other. Each son had their day of having the guys over(and sisters too). Everyone his day during the feast time. Can you sense love and harmony here?

Shall we take time to look into our own family? What is our relationship with our children like? What about our children's relationship with each other? Are we as close as we used to be, should be, could be? This is a good time of the year to mend any fences that are down. Maybe we can eat some humble pie.


Apparently Dad did not attend these parties. Then Job assumed his sons sinned and cursed God in their hearts at their dinner party. Drinking was also involved. Maybe they had a hint of disobedience or told an off-colored story. Whatever happened, this upright man was so concerned for his family's spiritual state that he would offer burnt offerings for them, each of the boys at the end of every week. His children's sins would be covered with the blood of the animals sacrificed. What a father.

Are we concerned or burdened about the state of our children's relationship with God? A godly family worships together and serves together with God-honoring parents leading the way by example.
Although there are no guarantees that they will be God-fearing children, we can do our part. Are we interceding for our loved ones?


Give my children to God.
Pray for Him to use them in Kingdom work.
Pray for my family's protection daily.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Dec. 4, 2017
Sorry everyone but I'm down with the flu. Caught it early so my doctor was able to put me on medications. Thanking the Lord things aren't as challenging as it was for Job. So keep checking back for some words of encouragement.
Meanwhile, have a holly jolly day sharing the love of Jesus.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Integrity with Wealth

O. T. #1107  "Integrity with Wealth"
Dec. 1, 2017
Introduction to Job

What do you think of when you hear the name of Job? The patience of Job would probably be the way most of us would answer. That is true about his life, but there are many other things we can learn from him. I think the big question that comes to most of our minds involves the reason why Job suffered. We will be finding answers for that, too.

First, let's consider the book as a whole:

The primary character in this book is Job.
In the Hebrew language, Job is spelled Iyow (pronounced ee-yobe') means hated, persecuted; Ijob, the patriarch famous for his patience.

We will discover the character of Job during his testing, and the character of God. Then their examples for our life.

Author and Date
Since the author is not stated in this book, it is mostly thought to have been Solomon, King David's son who built temple. Solomon wrote the books of wisdom in the Bible, except for some of Psalms.
Probably, this book was written during the patriarchal period, since the Chaldeans murdered Job's servants, were Nomads. Job's wealth was measured in livestock and not gold and silver. He performed priestly functions within his family. Not mentioned are the covenant of Abraham, Israel, the Exodus, and the Law of Moses. However, Job seemed to know about Adam (31:33) and he Noahic flood (12:15). So the events appear to have taken place after Babel (Gen. 11:1-9) and before or contemporaneous with Abraham (Gen. 11:27).  ( MacArthur)

Background and Setting
It begins with a scene in heaven, which explains everything to us the reader (1:6-2:10). Job was suffering because God was contesting with Satan. Job never knew that, nor did any of his friends, so they all struggled to explain suffering from the perspective of their ignorance, until Job rested in nothing but faith in God's goodness and the hope of His resurrection. That God vindicated his trust is the cummulating message of the book. (MacArthur)

Job lived in the land of Uz. northern Arabia. It was adjacent to Midian, where Moses lived 40 years tending sheep. Job is a wealthy man of many possessions. He has:
  • 7,000 sheep, which provided wool for clothing and food for the family and others;
  • 3,000 camels, which could have been a so called trucking business for caravans going east and west, and could have been hired for such;
  • 1,000 oxen used to plow the fields for crops and food;
  • 500 female donkeys that gave a delicacy of donkey milk. (Swindoll)
He had it made, didn't he? Everything was going smoothly with no problems. God was blessing this faithful man.

Job was a man of perfect integrity, who feared God, and turned away from evil. (verse 1)
He was blameless, but not perfect, nor was he sinless. Job never proclaimed to have been. He was upright, doing what was right in God's eyes. He feared God and shunned evil.
Falwell described Job as having a high and holy concept of God.

Do we have those traits of integrity-upright, perfect, fear of God, avoiding evil?
Do we see that we can be wealthy and still have integrity? Still have faith in God?

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Grace and Favor

O. T. #1106  "Grace and Favor"
Nov. 30, 2017
Summary of Esther
And the king loved Esther above all the women, and she obtained grace and favor in his sight...
Esther 2:1a

In this book, one of only two which are named after women, features Esther, a lovely, young Jewish girl who becomes queen of the most powerful empire of the world at that time, Persia. We see her bravery and faith as she risked her life whenever she approached the king without an invitation. Also, she named the enemy of her people, the Jews, who initiated the law to wipe out the chosen people of God. Thus, Haman was killed. Ether and her cousin Mordecai, who becomes the new prime minister, make  new edict which allowed the Jews to defend themselves.

The Jeremiah Study Bible, by David Jeremiah, writs of three themes in this book, which can be a backdrop for the life of the believer:
  1. Divine Providence: It refers to God orchestrating the affairs of humanity by direct and indirect intervention and arrangement. The unlikely event of a modest, young Jewess being appointed queen of the most powerful nation on earth "for such a time" and purpose as Esther was, is a grand example. 
  2. The Hiddenness of God: God purposely guides His people's steps even when they are unaware of it and when things don't make sense. But God has  a purpose in what He does in the life of those He loves.
  3. Human Involvement: We are responsible  for walking though the doors the Lord opens. Mordecai and Esther stepped forward in faith without regard to their safety or reputation when they had opportunities. We see a balance between the will of God and the responsibilities of individuals.
During our walk of faith, are we looking for the divine providence of God, His hidden agenda and purpose for our life?
Are we thanking Him for our life and breath today?
Whatever our place in this world, God can use us to share His salvation message and to stand against the wrong.
Are we open, available, and ready to be used to do what others are afraid even to consider?


Haman had gallows built on which he planned for Mordecai to hang and die. Haman's wife warned him to not get his hopes up, for he was on his way outta there.
Do we think the are gallows prepared for you? Does it take on the form of a job termination, a fractured relationship, illness or surgery, emotional stress, or sudden loss?

Swindoll gives us some good advice: I have good news. Be still... deliberately pause and discover that God is God. Stoop reaching back into your own treasure of security. Stop trying to pull the strings yourself. Stop manipulating people and situations. Stoop making excuses for your irresponsibilities. Stop ignoring reality. Stop rationalizing your way through life.
Be quiet. The immortal, invisible, all-wise God, hid from your eyes, is at work. Listen. Be convinced that He is at work amid the gallows of your life.

Dear ones, let us be a woman (or man) of strength and dignity and faith, as Esther was.  One day, an ordinary day, will become a extraordinary day. Be ready for such  time as this for us to move, obeying by faith. Our gallows can become grace on which  we deny our self, take up our cross, and follow Jesus.
As Esther found grace and favor in the sight of he king, Xerses, so let us be humble before our King Jesus to receive His grace and favor.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

When Good Wins

O. T. #1105  "When Good Wins"
Nov. 28, 2017
Esther 10
He was y great among the Jews, who held him in high esteem, because he continued to work for the good of his people and to speak up for the welfare of all their descendants. Esther 10:b NLT


Don't you love it when a story has a good ending, when good wins? And so this one does. The people of Judah, the Hebrew, were  taken captive by the Babylonians, then the Medes, and Persians. Haman, an enemy of the Jews, persuaded the king to make a decree that on a certain day, all the Jews would be killed.

Since God was not going to allow this to happen, He raised up Esther, who became queen of Persia, for such a time as this. She risked her life to inform the king that the decree was going to include her and her people in the death sentence. Esther and her cousin, Mordecai were allowed to write another decree, allowing the Jews to defend themselves against the attack. As it turned out, about 76,000 of the enemies of the Jews were killed. Since then, annually, the Jews celebrate the Feast of Purim. They praise God for delivering them from extermination.

Looking at Mordecai's influence and greatness:
  • He was prime minister of an empire, second to the king in authority.
  • He was held in high esteem by many of his fellow Jews.
  • He served the king and the people by working for the good of all the people and by speaking up for the welfare of the Jews. (verse3)
  • He sought peace for the future generation of the Jews.
This great man built up, helped, and nurtured other people. Hasn't God put us here to serve Him and others? Loving, encouraging, and caring are ways we can achieve it. Will we be ready to act and stand for God when such a time comes?


I am reminded of others who became second in command of a great empire-Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon.

If all's well that ends well, we'd have to agree, this is "well." Who would have guessed that a Jew would become the prime minister n a Gentile land?

Swindoll points out three principles for our lives from this ancient book:
  1. When God wins, the people He uses are often unexpected. He lifted up a nobody at the king's gate and makes him prime minister.
  2. When God wins, the qualities He upholds are usually unpretentious. Mordecai didn't have that look of royalty. God used him and  cousin humble people from humble means.
  3. When God wins, the message He honors is a universal message. Mordecai's influence spread over 127 provinces.

Will we allow God to use us simple and humble people to carry His message to our particular circumstance? Christ gives us hope for a future out of this world. Amidst suffering, brokenness, losses, tears, and tragedies, the Light of the World is Jesus trying to shine through.


Trust God that He will eventually win.
Allow love to pour itself out right where I am.
Let the Light shine in a dark world.

Monday, November 27, 2017

A Good Day to Celebrate

O. T. #1104 "A Good Day to Celebrate"
Nov. 27, 2017
Esther 9-Part 2
As the days wherein the Jews rested from their enemies, and the month which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourning into a good day: that they should make them days of feasting and joy, and sending portions one to another, and gifts to the poor.


Hey folks, as you read this, I am with my hubby celebrating our 45th anniversary with joy and gladness. Like most couples, we have had our ups and downs, but are enjoying more good days than not. God has blessed us with all these years of faithfulness to each other, with two great children and spouses, as well as 7 wonderful grandchildren. With 37 years of ministry, we have seen so many experience otherwise in their marriage. We have set aside a few days for just him and me. So hang in there, ya'll, it is possible to remain married, even during the toughest of times.
We have been reading about the tough times the Jews had while Xerxes was king. But God was in control and taking care of His children, as He does for us.

The Jews killed 75,000 their enemies. In Susa, they killed 800 plus the 10 sons of Haman. That was quite a victory, I'd say. It is not mentioned in Scriptures if any Jew lost their life during the 2 day
holocaust (dated March 7 and 8). God had delivered His beloved Israel once again. Now that was a reason to celebrate! And they certainly did just that.

The Jews rested on March 9, celebrating their victory with a day of feasting and gladness. So they made it their annual day of feasting and gladness as they celebrated it as a Jewish holiday called Purim. Indeed, it was a day of deliverance from death. They would send gifts of food to each other and presents to the poor. Mordecai recorded those events and sent letters to Jews near and far throughout the provinces. It was a day remembering that their sorrow was turned into gladness and their mourning into joy.
It is the first and last biblically revealed, non-Mosiac festival with perpetual significance. (MacArthur)


Why was it called "The Feast of Purim?"

Purim means a lot (as by means of a broken piece) in the Hebrew language.
Evil Haman had planned to crush and destroy the Jews on a particular date, which was determined by casting lots. Future generations would remember what happened.

Warren W. Wiersbe gives a description ;of the Jewish celebration of Purim:
Today, the Jews begin their celebration with a fast on the 13th day of the month (verse 31), commemorating the date on which Haman's evil decree was issued (3:12). They go to the synagogue and hear the Book of Esther publicly read; and whenever the name of Haman is mentioned, thy cry out, "May he be accursed!" or "May his name perish!" Children bring a special Purim rattle called a "gregar" and use it to make a noise every time they hear Haman's name read. r                                                                                                                                  
On the morning of the 14th day of the month, the Jews again go to the synagogue where the Esther story is red again and the congregation engages in prayer. The story about Moses and the Amalekites (Ex. 17:8-16) is also read. Then the celebrants go home to a festive holiday meal with gifts and special foods, and the celebrating continues on the next day. They also send gifts to the poor and needy so that everybody can rejoice together.

This reminds me of our Christmas celebration by Christians. We are joyful in that a Savior, Jesus Christ, was born, lived a perfect life, died for our sins to be paid for, and rose from the death, to be a Living Savior.
As Christians, we not fear spiritual death and judgment to come. God has delivered us from those. No longer do we need to be held in bondage to the sins of the world because of Jesus' blood.
Are we living in bondage or freedom?


Be thankful and praise God for salvation by faith through Jesus.
Share His love with others.
Help meet the needs of others.

Friday, November 24, 2017

One More Day

O. T. #1103  "One More Day"
Nov. 24, 2017
Esther 9


If only I had one more day. What a difference it would make. Who couldn't use one more day? Perhaps it would be used in preparation for the Christmas dinner or shop and prepare gifts, as well as decorating. (Maybe rest) When the 24th comes, I think we all might request that. Well, Queen Esther did request one more day for her Jewish family to defend themselves. Did it make a difference?

The dreaded day finally came. It was the day designated as the Jews' execution (our March 7). The enemies of the Jews hoped to overpower them, but it did not happen. The Jews were prepared to defend themselves against any attack, as well as assembling together to support each other. Mordecai's new decree allowed this.

The Jews fought back all right. What occurred on that day?
  • The Jews only killed those who wanted to kill them.
  • All of the rulers helped the Jews, including lieutenants, deputies, and officers of the king throughout the provinces.
  • In Susa the capital, 500 of the enemies were killed.
  • They killed the 10 sons of Haman.
  • However, the Jews did not take the property of those they killed, even though they were allowed to do so.
The Jews survived the Holocaust launched against them. On the dreaded day, things worked out for God's beloved people. Shouldn't we think the same for us? God will work it all out for us. He's our rescuer and deliverer.


When the king was informed of the victory in Susa, Xerxes called for Queen Esther. He was so pleased that he asked her what more she wanted, if she had another request. Of course, it would be done. Esther asked for permission for the Jews to have one more day to do as they had done that day and let the bodies of Haman's 10 sons be impaled upon the gallows.

The king agreed, so the decree was announced in Susa. On the next day, the Jews killed 300 more men, but took no possessions. Throughout the provinces the Jews killed 75,000 enemies that hated them.

Even this pagan king served the cause of utterly blotting out the Amalekites in accord with God's original decree (Ex.17:14) by allowing a second day of killing in Shushan to eliminate all Jewish enemies.(MacArthur)

So God has granted us one more day in which to live. What will we do with it? Will we share His love with others or do for our self?


Thank God for one more day to live and love Him.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Serve the Lord with gladness.
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord He is God.
It is He that has made us and not we ourselves.
We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving , and into His courts with praise:
be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good.
His mercy is everlasting.
His truth endureth to all generations.
(Psalm 100 tweeked)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Joy and Gladness

O. T. #1102 "Joy and Gladness"
Nov. 22, 2017
Esther 8-Part 3


Mordecai wrote the new proclamation in full authority of King Xerxes. It was signed, sealed, and delivered to all 127 provinces in many languages.  It allowed the Jews to protect themselves, take their enemies' plunder, and the attack would only last for one day.

Mordecai left the presence of the king wearing royal apparel of blue and white, and with a great crown of gold, and with a garment of fine linen and fine purple. The Jews in the city of Susa rejoiced and was glad.

How did the Jews react through the Persian  empire as Mordecai became the new Prime Minister and he wrote a new decree?
Verse 16 tells us: The Jews had light, and gladness, and joy, and honor.

So I looked up the meaning of these words in the Hebrew language as used here:
Light  means luminousness; prosperity; also, a plant (as being bright). 
Gladness refers to glee, joy, pleasure, rejoicing.
Joy as the same word with the same meaning as gladness.

Do you think the faces of the Jews lit up and their smile was a yard long? Were they dancing a jig of joy? Were songs of praise to their God heard everywhere? Did Esther hear her people celebrating after the day of confrontations was finally over. Can you just see her smile as she, too, had a grateful heart as she fell asleep?

Light is what God offers us, for Jesus is the Light of the world. He is gladness, joy, and honor of the world, also.

Romans 5:8-9 says, But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

Now if that doesn't get the clapper in our bell ringing, then our clapper is broken. If you are not filled with joy today, dear one, come to Jesus and He will give you something to be glad about.


And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them. (verse 17b)
The word fear, as used in this verse, refers to a sudden alarm, dread, terror.

The people of Persia, who worshiped idols, recognized Almighty God working for His beloved Israel. Do you think they did not want His judgment upon them as it fell upon Haman? Nor did they want the wrath of their king upon them?

It is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to Him. (Ray Stedman's The Queen and I)

Are we obeying what God has purposed for us to do, for such a time as this? This too shall  pass, so take heart and hope. The Lord steps in to make things right, just when He is needed the most. He did for the Jews and He will for us. He can heal hearts and hurts.

                     ... and let God handle things in my life.
                                ... and watch God handle things.
                                ... accepting His will as mine.
                                ... showing joy and gladness in Him.