Month: June 2017

Job 17-19

Job 17:6
“But He has made me a byword of the people, And I have become one in whose face men spit.

How much lower can a man possibly get? Job had become a byword among the people, one in whose face men would spit. I can think of few things more degrading than having someone spit in your face. Sometimes the Lord will allows us to be forsaken by men in order that we might be drawn to Him. He loves us so much that He will do most anything to cause us to draw near to Him.

Job 18:1-2
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: 2 “How long till you put an end to words? Gain understanding, and afterward we will speak.

Bildad is still holding on to the fact that there must be something that Job did wrong in order to go through all he is going through. This is a false concept of God. God is interested in developing our characters in order that we might know Him more intimately and thereby be used more effectively for Him. He allows sufferring for this end. We must trust the spiritual truth that, “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

Job 19:17-19
My breath is offensive to my wife, And I am repulsive to the children of my own body. 18 Even young children despise me; I arise, and they speak against me. 19 All my close friends abhor me, And those whom I love have turned against me.

There is no doubt that this kind of rejection would be unbearable. There are few things more grievous than being rejected by those whom you love. We must always remember that we are never alone in our rejection, for Jesus was rejected in the same manner. Isaiah 53:3 tells us, “He (Jesus) is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.”

Job 19:25-26
For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; 26 And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God,

This is one of the most amazing verses in the Book of Job. In the midst of tremendous suffering, where it would seem like there was no hope for Job, he finds hope in a Redeemer…he finds hope in Jesus. I believe that every man’s search for spiritual truth, every man’s search for answers in the spiritual realm will always lead to Jesus. Why? Because He alone is the one who can deliver us from the misery of our sin and the consequences of living in a fallen world. It is not so much about what we are receiving here on earth, but more importantly that which we will receive after this flesh is destroyed. The longer I live, the more I look forward to that day.

Job 14-16

Job 14:1-2
1 “Man who is born of woman Is of few days and full of trouble. 2 He comes forth like a flower and fades away; He flees like a shadow and does not continue.

Throughout the Bible we read of the brevity of a man’s life. Compared to the eternity of our God, man’s life is so very short. The Psalmist tells us that man at his best state is but a vapor (Psalm 39:5). In light of this truth, it is important that we redeem our time efficiently. Time is the most precious commodity we have and we must seek to never squander it.

Job 14:5
Since his days are determined, The number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass.

This is such an important truth about our God. He knows the exact number of our days. Because of this, we need not fear for our lives, no matter what is going on. Not only does the Lord know how long we will live, but there is nothing we can do to change it. This enables us to live our lives to the fullest without concern for what is going to happen tomorrow.

Job 15:1-2
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: 2 “Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge,
And fill himself with the east wind?

Here we go again! It discourages me to read the words of Eliphaz. Not that some of the things he says aren’t true, but in the context in which he says them. It seems that Job is doing a pretty good job trying to process what is going on between him and the Lord and all Eliphaz does is make it more difficult for Job. I see this happening a lot when people just can’t seem to keep their opinion to themselves.

Job 15:25-26
For he stretches out his hand against God, And acts defiantly against the Almighty, 26 Running stubbornly against Him With his strong, embossed shield.

If we are not careful, this is the kind of attitude we can have towards God. When we are going through a trial, we must simply trust what we know about Him from the Scriptures and from our personal experiences. I know that He has never let me down, and I have been through some tough things. He alone is faithful to successfully bring us through any difficulty we may go through.

Job 15:31
Let him not trust in futile things, deceiving himself, For futility will be his reward.

Here is an example of truth that Eliphaz speaks. Praise God that the truths of God stand on their own and are not affected by the vessel, the lips such truths pass through.

Job 16:1-3
1 Then Job answered and said: 2 “I have heard many such things; Miserable comforters are you all!
3 Shall words of wind have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer?

I can’t help but be please that Job let’s his friends have it here. His reference to ‘word of wind with no end’ is like saying to them, “You are full of hot air.” Such words to Job were clearly without any comfort.

Job 16:5
But I would strengthen you with my mouth, And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.

The book of James speaks to us as to how powerful the tongue, our words can be; James 3:5, “Even so the tongue is a little member and boasts great things. See how great a forest a little fire kindles!” We can either speak words for good, or for evil. James 3:10 says, “Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so.”

Job 11-13, Acts 9

Job 11:1-3
1 Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said: 2 “Should not the multitude of words be answered? And should a man full of talk be vindicated?Should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one rebuke you?

Job’s third friend decides to chime in with his opinion of things. Think of how much better off Job would have been had his friends just stood with him in silence like they did in the beginning.

Job 12:2-3
“No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you! 3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such things as these?

Job stands his ground with Zophar. He presses through his trial and challenges Zophar right back.

Job 12:9-10
Who among all these does not know That the hand of the Lord has done this, 10 In whose hand is the life of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind?

Job acknowledges and accepts that the Lord has allowed this. He trusts and understands that all things rest in the hand of the Lord, including man’s very next breath. We must live with this understanding as well. No matter what we are going through.

Job 12:13-15
“With Him are wisdom and strength, He has counsel and understanding. 14 If He breaks a thing down, it cannot be rebuilt; If He imprisons a man, there can be no release. 15 If He withholds the waters, they dry up; If He sends them out, they overwhelm the earth.

Much of Job’s writing is expounding on the vastness of our God and the many things He knows and does. I especially like these parts. They remind me of how amazing the Lord is.

Job 13:3-5
But I would speak to the Almighty, And I desire to reason with God. 4 But you forgers of lies, You are all worthless physicians. 5 Oh, that you would be silent, And it would be your wisdom!

Job let’s his friends have it. He tells is like it is. He knows, in the midst of his suffering, that he is as aware of what is going on as anyone. In fact, even more so because of his love and trust for the Lord.

Job 13:15-16
Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him. Even so, I will defend my own ways before Him. 16 He also shall be my salvation, For a hypocrite could not come before Him.

We see the faith of Job here. What an example to us. Could we say, “Though He slay me, yet I will trust Him”?

Job 13:28
“ Man decays like a rotten thing, Like a garment that is moth- eaten.

When you think about the frailty of man, this is a very true statement. The reality is that our bodies are biodegradable. However, we know that the sould is completely different. it lives forever. The question is, where will it dwell?

Acts 9:5-6
And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” Then the Lord said, “ I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” 6 So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “ Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The apostle Paul’s conversion is undoubtedly the most powerful and significant conversion in the Bible. Think about it. There was no more perfect person to take the gospel to the Gentiles than Paul (Saul was his Greek name). As a Pharisee, a Jewish religious leader he was blameless. If a person could be saved by the law, Paul would have been the ‘poster child’. The fact that he would go from trying to destroy the church to establishing the church was a remarkable testimony of the life transforming power of faith in Jesus Christ.

I love Paul’s response to Jesus, “Lord, what do you want me to do?” This should be our response every day when we wake up. If you think abut it, when we were first saved, we gave Jesus all of our lives and and trusted Him to do with us as He pleased. We must guard ourselves and be careful of ever taking it back.

Acts 9:20
20 Immediately he preached the Christ in the synagogues, that He is the Son of God.

One of the evidences of our conversion is a desire to immediately tell others about Jesus. This is a natural part of our conversion.

Acts 9:31
31 Then the churches throughout all Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had peace and were edified. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, they were multiplied.

You would think that during persecution, the church would be less effective, that people would be afraid to join. However, that is not the case. People willing to be persecuted, or even put to death for what they believe is a very attractive thing. Oh that people would see that in the lives of Christians today!

Job 8-10

Job 8:1-4
1 Then Bildad the Shuhite answered and said: 2 “How long will you speak these things, And the words of your mouth be like a strong wind? 3 Does God subvert judgment? Or does the Almighty pervert justice? 4 If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression.

Bildad is the second of Job’s friends that we see trying to make sense of all that is going on in Job’s life. The trouble is that we can’t always make sense out of the things that the Lord is doing. The important thing is not that we have to make sense of it, but that we trust the one who is in control of it all. There are a lot of things in this life that don’t make sense to us, but make perfect sense to the Lord. Once we surrender our lives to Jesus, we surrender our need to understand. This is not always easy, but necessary if we expect to grow in our maturity as a Christian.

Job 8:13
So are the paths of all who forget God; And the hope of the hypocrite shall perish,

There is always a little bit of truth to much of what people say. But a little truth doesn’t constitute total truth. This is why we must measure all the council we give, by the word of God. And even then, we must leave it to the Holy Spirit to take it from that point and bring the proper conviction to a person’s heart. It is so easy to get in the way of the Lord when we give council. We must be careful in this.

Job 9:1-3
1 Then Job answered and said: 2 “Truly I know it is so, But how can a man be righteous before God? 3 If one wished to contend with Him, He could not answer Him one time out of a thousand.

Even in Job’s misery he is trusting God. He says things that are so wise and no doubt help him process what he is going through. The absolute best thing we could ever do when going through trials is rely on the truths of what God’s word says. We should read them over and over and over again. We should memorize them and constantly remind oursleves of how true they are.

Job 9:10
He does great things past finding out, Yes, wonders without number.

This verse alone should bring great comfort. It speaks of how big our God is. Our trouble in understanding God is when we try to bring His ways and His thinking to our level.

Job 9:33
Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.

Job speaks of a mediator here and indicates that he has none. Jesus will be that mediator and though Job may not understand it at this point, he will prophetically speak of Jesus our redeemer when we get to chapter nineteen.

Job 10:1-2
1 “My soul loathes my life; I will give free course to my complaint, I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. 2 I will say to God, “Do not condemn me; Show me why You contend with me.

The Lord understands our questioning of what he is doing when we are going through trials. However, we must simply guard ourselves from our questioning leading to mistrust. This is where I believe that sin take place.

Job 10:21
Before I go to the place from which I shall not return, To the land of darkness and the shadow of death,

Solomon tells us that we are born with ‘eternity in our hearts’ (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Every person born knows that they will eventually die and not return to this earth as we know it. God did this so that we would seek to know how to live eternally with Him. Jesus is that answer that every man seeks after. Their decision to choose or reject Him is their’s and their’s alone.

Job 5-7, Acts 8

Job 5:8-9
“But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause— 9 Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number.

The things that God does are great and unsearchable. Truly they are marvelous things without number. Traveling though Austria is a reminder of the majesty of God. I have never seen more spectacular country in all my life. It is hard to comprehend such beauty and yet in my heart of hearts I know that it is our God. Praise His mighty name!

Job 5:17-18
“Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; Therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. 18 For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.

None of us like to be corrected. However, the Bible is clear that if we are wise, we will learn to receive the correction of the Lord. Proverbs 9:8 tells us, “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” In the end, we are happy, we are blessed. Yes, the correction of the Lord can bruise, but He then binds up those bruises. Yes, the correction of the Lord wounds. But those bruises and wounds are only temporary, for ‘His hands make whole’.

Job 6:3
For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea— Therefore my words have been rash.

We see a battle going on in Job’s mind and heart. In all of his anguish, he knows that God is sovereign and confesses that his thinking might be askew. I believe that the Lord understands our complaints and our concerns in the midst of our trials, but He wants to strengthen us through those times, and so when we are going through such times, we must turn to Him with an open heart…open to correction in our attitudes.

Job 6:11
“What strength do I have, that I should hope? And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?

Any strength we could ever hope to have, is found in the Lord. Jesus said, “without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). I know this to be true. Lord may we seek you in everything that we do in this life.

Job 7:5-7
My flesh is caked with worms and dust, My skin is cracked and breaks out afresh. 6 “My days are swifter than a weaver’s shuttle, And are spent without hope. 7 Oh, remember that my life is a breath! My eye will never again see good.

No matter where we may find ourselves, or what we may be going through. No matter how difficult it may seem to be, there are always others who are going through much worse. Does that mean we are not affected by our trials. No, not at all. It simply helps us to put things into the right perspective. The end result of all trials should be looking unto and crying out unto the Lord.

Job 7:9-10
As the cloud disappears and vanishes away, So he who goes down to the grave does not come up. He shall never return to his house, Nor shall his place know him anymore.

We put way to much stock in this life and thereby rob ourselves of the blessing of discovering the reality of the eternal life that is to come. Once a person dies, there is nothing more that can be accomplished. In fact, people will barely even know that you existed. Trials and difficulties help us to not take this life so seriously. The key to it all, is if we draw near to the Lord when we are going through those trials.

Acts 8:1
1 Now Saul was consenting to his death. At that time a great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Because all things work to the good for those who are called according to God’s purpose, often times He will use such things to accomplish His perfect plan. Here we see that the Lord used Stephen’s death and the scattering of the saints to other areas to spread the gospel to other parts of the world.

Acts 8:20
But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!

The gift of God, the gift of salvation was purchased by the precious blood of Jesus. People think there are other ways to receive salvation. Nothing could be further from the truth. Simon had an intellectual conversion rather than a heart felt one.

Acts 8:36-37
Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” 37 Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.” And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Baptism does not save. It is only a profession of faith in Jesus Christ as the Messiah and Son of God that saves. However, once we are saved, we are called to be baptized. To be baptized without a profession of faith, means nothing.

Job 3-4

Job 3:3-4
“May the day perish on which I was born, And the night in which it was said, ‘A male child is conceived. ’ 4 May that day be darkness; May God above not seek it, Nor the light shine upon it.

This is obviously a very dark and difficult time for Job. It is the beginning of seeking to understand why all this is happening to him. It is in our darkest times that we meet the Lord is a way in which we could not meet Him otherwise.

Job 3:8
May those curse it who curse the day, Those who are ready to arouse Leviathan.

The Leviathan is probably a reference to a crocodile. In Psalm 104:26, it denotes any large animal that moves by writhing or wriggling the body, the whale, the monsters of the deep.

Job 3:11
“Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?

In other words, “It would have been better had I not even been born!”

Job 3:25-26
For the thing I greatly feared has come upon me, And what I dreaded has happened to me. 26 I am not at ease, nor am I quiet; I have no rest, for trouble comes.”

Sometimes our worst fear comes to be true. When that happens we must cling to the one who understands all of our sorrows (Isaiah 53:3-4). In such times as this we must cling to the words of Jesus, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Job 4:1-2
1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite answered and said: 2 “If one attempts a word with you, will you become weary? But who can withhold himself from speaking?

Job’s friends can no longer keep quiet and begin to try and figure out why these things are happening to him. Eliphaz begins to suggest that it is because of sin in Job’s life. The reality is that to some degree all tragedy is a result of sin in that man fell and we have lived in a fallen world ever since. However, to try and pinpoint a particular tragedy on a man because of his sin is not biblically sound. Job is an example of this. God Himself had declared of Job (1:8, 2:3), “There is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”

Job 1-2

Job 1:5
So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly.

Job was a righteous man whom the Lord was blessing. He had a good life, a good family and all was well. And then hard times, from the Lord, came upon him. It is a wonderful and yet difficult story to read. A story which speaks of the Lord allowing suffering to come into the life of a devoted follower of God.

Job 1:7
And the Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

We see that Satan has a regular audience with God. We also see a confirmation of what we read in 1 Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.”

Job 1:12
And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

There is nothing the enemy can do to us but that the Lord allows it.

Job 1:20-21
Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. 21 And he said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked shall I return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

This is why Job was a righteous and blameless man. He trusted God with everything he had. It is one thing to say that we trust Him, but quite another to actually apply that trust in Him when difficult things come our way. Job recognizes that the Lord is in control of all things and that He and only He has the right to give…and also take away. May our attitude be the very same. Only by God’s strength is this possible.

Job 2:4-6
So Satan answered the Lord and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life. 5 But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” 6 And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”

The ultimate test of our faith is when our very own lives are in jeopardy. The enemy will stop at nothing and God will sometimes allow great pain to come our way. Our only hope in enduring such times is to look unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of our faith. When we do so, He alone gives us the strength we need to withstand the difficulty and the trials. To the apostle Paul Jesus said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”(2 Corinthians 12:9). Paul’s response was, “Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Job 2:9
Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

Even Job’s wife turns on him…how grieved he must have been.

Job 2:13
So they sat down with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his grief was very great.

Many times the best thing to say, when our friends are going through trials is…’nothng’. Unfortunately we will see that his friends could not remain silent and it ends up discouraging Job rather than encouraging him.