I’d Better Keep My Mouth Shut

remain-silent

Today’s Reading – Job 39 – 42 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Titus 1 – 3; Psalms 76 – 80; Proverbs 16)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 121

Read the “0616 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” (Job 40:4)

“Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” (Job 42:3)

Have you ever made the statement, “I’d better keep my mouth shut”? Have you ever told your child the same thing? We can really get ourselves in trouble with our mouths, can’t we? Sometimes it’s better not to say anything. I remember when I was a brand new Christian. I was having a discussion with Pastor Thompson about reaching the people around me for the Lord. He said something that I never forgot: he said that if you don’t have an answer to their questions, or even their arguments, tell them that you don’t know the answer. His exact words were, “Don’t snow them”. What he meant was that we shouldn’t try to offer something on behalf of God that isn’t what God said. We shouldn’t offer what we feel or think about God; but only tell people what we know to be true. These friends of Job (and Job himself) were doing a lot of talking about God: each offering their own opinion about the situation; but how much of what they said was actually true.

The Bible says that we are God’s ambassadors. We represent God to this world around us. We speak on his behalf. Shouldn’t we be very careful about what we say? I wonder what God will have to say about me someday, especially the things that I have taught others about Him. Preachers and teachers have an awesome responsibility. Therefore we need to make sure that we are daily spending time with God in His word so that we can know how He thinks; and know what He teaches about any given subject. And then when we are given the opportunity to speak on His behalf, whenever possible, we should tell people what God actually said, instead of what our opinion is. As God’s ambassadors we have no right to represent ourselves, or present ourselves, or try to make ourselves look good in the eyes of the people. We need to make God look good; and we need to give people the actual Words of God.

In God’s rebuke of Job, He said, “will thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous”? What God was saying was that Job said things to justify himself; to make himself look good. How often do I do that. I am so afraid of the opinion of men that I have often condemned others in order to elevate myself. Shame on me! and shame on all of us. The Bible is very plain in its teaching that we don’t have to say too much, and that it is wise to hold our peace at times; and then when we do speak, we should be very careful about what we say.

 


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

Gird Up Thy Loins Like A Man

escuchar-oir-oido-mano-audicion

Today’s Reading – Job 36 – 38 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Timothy 1 – 4; Psalms 71 – 75; Proverbs 15)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105

Read the “0615 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” – (Job 38:3)

It is now God’s turn to speak. God hasn’t said anything in this book since His earlier conversation with Satan; and the humans in the story were not privy to that conversation. All of this talk that has been going on since chapter 2 has been by people who really had no idea of the true circumstances regarding the calamity that Job was facing. They were clueless. Job’s friends were accusing Job, and Job was defending himself. They were all speaking on behalf of God; yet much of what they said was not true. However, now we will hear from the Source. God is speaking, and we know that everything that God says is true. By the way, you get the idea from the tone of this passage that God is not very happy about all that has been said. It kind of reminds me of a time when I was much younger and I was rebuked by an authority figure in my life. He had some things to say to me, and I was going to listen. God will take 4 chapters to basically remind Job and his friends that He is God, and they are merely humans.

As we read chapters 39 – 42 together tomorrow, pay close attention to God describing Himself, and His magnificent, omnipotent power. Between now and then, however, think a little bit of how much we are like Job and His friends. We are just little humans, trying to understand an infinite God. Let’s start thinking of ourselves as we really are. We are not much. We are pretty small and insignificant in the big scheme of things. And while we are at it, let us also start trusting God’s wisdom in allowing the things that have happened to us in our lives.

 


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

Multiplying Words

talking_too_much2

Today’s Reading – Job 33 – 35 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 1 Timothy 4 – 6; Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the  “0614 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from this passage – “That Which I See Not

“Therefore doth Job open his mouth in vain; he multiplieth words without knowledge.” – (Job 35:16)

“Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.” – (Proverbs 26:4)

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:” – (James 1:19)

“Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.” – (Proverbs 17:28 )

There is entirely too much talking going on in this entire Book of Job. Job’s so-called friends should be listening to Job rather than rebuking him. He certainly has suffered enough. Even Job is talking too much by arguing with these idiots. They are all “experts” on God; yet there is much that they do not, and cannot understand.

We do the same thing, don’t we? We talk about things, and try to sound like we have complete knowledge on a subject; but half the time we really do not know what we are talking about, especially when it comes to talking about God. The best thing that we can do is quote Scripture if we have to talk at all. The older I get, the more I realize that I really do not know much. I should keep my mouth open proportionately to the amount of knowledge that I have, which means it should not be open much.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

What Are You Looking At?

2

Today’s Reading – Job 30 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 1 Timothy 1 – 3; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1 – 4

Read the “0613 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1)

In our reading we have been following the conversation between Job and his friends. Job has been declaring his innocence: not that he claims sinlessness; but he does contend that his sins were open and confessed to God, and that he was not living a double life. His friends, however, are sure that Job must have some heinous secret sin in his life. In this chapter Job seems to be answering a charge regarding his fidelity. Perhaps the underlying accusation was that Job was an adulterer. Job’s answer in chapter 31 is that he had been faithful, not only in not touching that which is forbidden, but in not looking on another woman besides his wife.

In our culture the accepted instruction is, “you can look, but you just can’t touch”. The fact of the matter is that looking might just lead to touching. Job said that he made a covenant, a commitment to himself and his eyes not to think (let alone look) upon a maid. David said something similar when he said that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes.

Men, we need to do the same thing regarding the opposite sex. We need to determine to keep our eyes and our minds on that which is pleasing to the Lord. Turn off the TV if you have to; get rid of the internet if you must, but do what you have to do to keep yourself from sinning against your God and your wife. It is wise to know your limitations and put up some fences to protect yourself. A little accountability will go a long way. And ladies, your not exempt from this either. Your lusting may not be for the opposite sex per say, but I am sure you have your weak areas as well. Maybe with you the struggle involves seeing things at the mall that you can’t afford. We all need to make this same covenant that Job made to keep us from seeing and thinking about the things that we know are not part of God’s perfect will for our lives.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found

08afe7619647922b6d4b0d0fa925f8b5

Today’s Reading – Job 27 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Thessalonians 1 – 3; Psalms 56 – 60; Proverbs 12)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

Read the “0612 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12)

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

In today’s reading we have seen a continuation of what we have been reading for the past several days. Job is debating with his three friends regarding his calamity: they are claiming that Job is responsible; and Job is declaring his innocence. However, in the middle of this discussion is a passage dealing with wisdom. At first glance i wondered why God would put this teaching right in the middle of the discourse between Job and his friends regarding Job’s suffering; but then I remembered a similar teaching from the New Testament regarding trials and testing from the epistle penned by James. Remember that James admonished us to “count it all joy” in the trials; but then he added some instruction regarding wisdom:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)

Apparently there is an association between enduring trials and wisdom. God doesn’t hold back wisdom to those who fear him and depart from evil. Job had the wisdom of God. We know this to be true because later on when God enters into the discussion He states that Job spoke of Him the thing that is right.

If you are going through a time of testing, don’t seek the world and its counselors for wisdom: go to God. If you fear Him and are seeking to do that which is right, God will give you the wisdom that you need to see your way through the trial. In order for you to get to the other side you will need God’s wisdom, coupled with God’s grace. It is apparent that Job had both of these attributes.

You can find wisdom in God’s Word. The Bible is full of the wisdom of God that will help you when you need it. You can also find wisdom from godly counselors who will take Biblical principles and help you to apply them to your situation.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

Gold

Gold

Today’s Reading – Job 22 – 26 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 1 Thessalonians 1 – 5; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 61:1 – 3

Read the “0611 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” – (Job 23:10)

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” – (1 Peter 1:6-7)

There are several great, golden nuggets of truth in the Book of Job, and many of them are in today’s passage. I thought this morning about the statement made by Job in chapter 23, and verse 10. Job is going through the worst trial in his life. I think it would be safe to say that no other man in history was put to the test like Job. Many people have suffered the loss of health, and many others have endured the death of a child, and still more have gone through tough financial situations; but who can say that they have had to face the loss of everything they owned, and all of the children they loved, and then had to suffer through perhaps the most painful health condition known to man, all within the same time frame. Job could certainly stand alongside any man on earth, and win the “pity party” comparison. Yet, Job knew that when it was all over,that God would bring him through to the other side of the trial; and he also knew that the trial would make him a better man.

All men will endure the hardships of trials, but to experience suffering for no apparent reason can be especially difficult. Job did nothing to deserve the treatment that he was receiving at the hand of Satan, but God would use Job’s suffering to accomplish a few wonderful things. First, He would prove to Satan that there are some men who will retain their integrity, even under the most difficult of circumstances. Second, though Job was a good man, even a great man when compared among men, this trial would make him a still better man. I believe Job had a better understanding of the greatness of his Creator, and also a better grasp of his own frail humanity as a result of this ordeal. But, perhaps the greatest thing that God would reveal to us through Job’s trial, is that we can trust God. He won’t allow us to go through something that is greater than our ability to glorify Him through. He loves us. He doesn’t punish, but He does correct us at times through the trials and sufferings of life. Sometimes the trials are a direct result of sin, but they are often just God’s way of bringing us to the next level of faith. And if we will allow God to have His way in our lives, we too can come forth as gold; better servants, and better sons: more equipped to represent Him as the ambassadors of His glorious gospel.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

The Words of My Mouth

0f85be25355399b9ac6702899a1230bf

Today’s Reading – Job 19 – 21 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Colossians 1 – 4; Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 55:17

Read the “0610 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Then Job answered and said, How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words? (Job 19:1 & 2)

You didn’t have to read long this morning to find a great truth from today’s passage. Job is in the middle of the discourse with his three ‘friends’ who are accusing him of all kinds of wickedness; adding sorrow on top of sorrows. He is already as low as he can go, but these guys continue to beat him and kick him when he is down; and their weapons are their tongues.

And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. … But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. (James 3:6, 8 )

Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. (Ephesians 4:29)

The Bible has so much to say about the deadly nature of the tongue. Why are we so quick to run our mouths when God tells us very plainly that we are to be slow to speak. We all could avoid much of our problems with our mouth by simply not saying anything unless it is absolutely necessary, or unless we are sure we are saying something that is edifying. If we have to speak at all maybe it would be best if we paused and prayed about what would be the best thing to say.

Job’s friends were not helping him at all; they were making him worse. Remember, the purpose for their visit was to ‘comfort’ him. Maybe they should have just listened to him; even let him vent a little. Maybe, I should try the same thing. As a pastor I need to learn to listen more; pray before speaking; and, as much as possible, tell people what God said instead of what I think.

Lord, help me not to kill or maim any more people with my tongue.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 2 comments.

Thoughts About Job from Phil Erickson Jr.

0

Today’s Reading – Job 15 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Philippians 1 – 4; Psalms 41 – 45; Proverbs 9)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read the “0609 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.” (Job 16:2)

The story of Job in the Bible has always fascinated me. I have always loved hearing messages preached about his life. For those of you who attend our church, the “Hast thou retained thine integrity?” message is one of the all-time greats. To think that a man could go from being ”the greatest of all the men of the east” as the Bible calls him, to having nothing in just a matter of hours, and still praise God through all of it just boggles my mind. I have often wondered what it was that made Job such a “perfect and upright” man. Was it the fact that he gave his tithes and offerings faithfully? Maybe. Was it the fact that he cared so much about his family and their spiritual condition? Could be. Or maybe did God just like him better than anyone else at the time? God is not a respecter of persons, but who knows? Maybe He did favor him. He obviously blessed him with a lot. But as I read these few chapters a thought jumped out at me. Job is right smack in the middle of the absolute worst time in his life, and here come his ”friends.” They go on and on about why they think this is all happening to Job. And right in the middle of it, I noticed verses 19-20 of chapter 16. And, I may be wrong, but I think these couple verses may be the secret to Job’s “success” as a man of God. The verses say – “And now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.” Job cared about what God thought, and ONLY about what God thought. He said ‘my witness is in heaven’ , and ‘ my record is on high.’ He knew that God knew everything that was going on. He knew that God knew his heart and his intentions with everything he did in his life. He knew that God knew that his tithes and offerings, his service to God, and his love for his family was out of his love and devotion to God. It had nothing to do with ANYONE else. So, when the chips were down, and everything went down the drain, he didn’t go running to his friends or anyone else. He went to God. He brought his tears to God. He knew that when things were good, it was God. When things were bad, it was God. And he praised God through it all.

As Christians we need to see that everything that happens to us, good or bad, comes from the Lord. He loves us more than we can ever know. He has a plan for our lives, and we need to trust Him and Him alone. When the chips are down, our friends won’t always be there. Sometimes even our family won’t be there. But God is always there. He never turns His back on us…who are we to turn our backs on Him?


Posted in Guest Posts, Thoughts from Job by with 3 comments.

We Will Trust in Him

In-God-we-Trust

Today’s Reading –Job 12 – 14 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Ephesians 4 – 6; Psalms 36 – 40Proverbs 8)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 48:1 & 2

Read the “0608 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read another post from this passage – “Wisdom

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15)

In this statement we see Job’s declaration of faith in God. Though Job certainly has not figured out why God has allowed all of this tragedy to come into his life, he plainly declares here that no matter what God does to him (or allows to be done to him), he will continue to trust Him. When you and I read this book of the Bible it is easy for us, from the perspective of history, to identify with what Job has stated here. But think for a minute with me. If it were you or me going through what Job went through, how would we be feeling about God? If God were to allow us to lose everything all at once; and then to have excruciating physical pain be placed on top of it all, how would we react? Could we say, truthfully, “yet will I trust in Him”?

A few years back, I watched a movie/documentary called Amish Grace about the Nickle Mines tragedy in Lancaster, PA. The movie recounts the true story of a troubled man who went into an Amish school house, shooting 10 little girls and killing 5 of them. The amazing thing is that the Amish people chose to trust God’s wisdom in allowing what happened. Though it was very painful; though it took a little time for all of them to come to this decision: they chose to forgive the man that shot their children. This was certainly a modern day picture of what Job went through. These Amish folks did not understand why God had allowed it to happened, yet they continued to keep their trust in the Lord.

Most of the time I feel that my faith is so weak, I doubt whether it could stand up to such intense suffering. I guess it will have to be the grace of God that will sustain me through the dark days that seem to find their way into every believers life at one point or another. I know that difficult days lie ahead for me as well. I want to be prepared for them by getting so close to God that it will be easier to trust Him when it doesn’t seem like He is even there.

I also wanted to make a comment about the second half of verse 15. Job says that he will maintain [his] ways before him (God). I believe what Job was saying here is that though he was being severely tested by the Lord, he was still going to continue to do what he had always done. In other words, he wasn’t going to quit. He was going to keep on living for the Lord through the difficult trial. I know that when we are going through trials in life it can be very difficult to “maintain” your walk with the Lord; but it is especially important to stay close to God during the tough times. Don’t quit.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 1 comment.

The Daysman

8dd9f6c12554

Today’s Reading –  Job 8 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Ephesians 1 – 3; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 47:1

Read the “0607 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.” – (Job 9:32-33)

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” – (1 Timothy 2:5)

The word “daysman” in verse 33 of chapter 9 literally means a mediator. Job is lamenting because there is no one to bridge the gap between the righteous and holy God, and a sinner like himself. He already stated in verse 20 that he could not justify himself. God became man in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as the God-man he came to justify sinners like Job, and you and me also. He was the go-between, the mediator, the one who came between God and men, so that men could come into the presence of an holy God.

Consider some of these verses regarding what Christ accomplished for us when He came to earth as a man and died for our sins:

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” – (Matthew 27:50-51)

The veil in the temple separated men from God; but through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus, the veil was removed. Notice that the veil was torn from the top to the bottom, signifying that it was God that removed the veil that once kept man from Him.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Jesus was, and is, fully God, yet also fully man. He understands what it is like to be tempted, because he experienced it; yet without sin. He, as our great high priest, went before us and opened up a door for us to now boldly enter into the presence of God. We can now enter into God’s presence through “the Door”; through “the Way”; through Christ.

There has always been a “daysman”, even in Job’s time; but Job may not have understood it at the time. Praise God, however, we definitely have one that we can know today!


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 2 comments.

Encouragement or Discouragement?

Today’s Reading – Job 5 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Galatians 4 – 6; Psalms 26 – 30; Proverbs 6)

Read the 0606 Evening and Morning post by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Read a previous post from this passage –The Chastening of the Almighty

“Teach me, and I will hold my tongue: and cause me to understand wherein I have erred. How forcible are right words! but what doth your arguing reprove?” (Job 6:24-25)

In our passage this morning we read the conversation betweeen Job and his friends. In chapter 5, we read the continuation of what was said by Eliphaz to Job, and in chapters 6 – 7, we see Job’s reply. These friends of Job came to comfort him because of the anguish that he was experiencing. I believe that they were sincere in what they were trying to do because they waited for a full week with Job without saying anything. I think that they really wanted to help him, but I am also sure that they did not understand what Job was going through, nor did the have a clu as to why this was happening to him. They assumed that Job was receiving punishment for something that he had done. Our friends and family members oftentimes do not know how to react when we are going through the dark days. When you get down to it, it is really impossible for people outside of our situation to completely identify or understand what we are going through.  Sometimes when people try to help, they can often cause more trouble for us with the things that they say.  I guess we often ask for the added problems because we so desire to have the fellowship of people around us, especially when we are hurting.

My advice to you that are hurting right now is to try to understand the lack of understanding on the part of your “encouragers”. Try to appreciate their motivation to help you, but don’t be too frustrated by the help itself.  Understand also that you may be the one who is not seeing things clearly and the people who are trying to help you might just be right about what they are saying, though you may not want to hear it.

My advice to you who would try to encourage those that are hurting is that you would be slow to judge, and slow to speak.  Give a listening ear and let them vent a little; let them cry on your shoulder for a while.  There will eventually come a time when they will need to move forward but give them a little space to see what God is doing their lives. Remember, someday it will be you that is going through the valley and you will be glad that there are others around you who are patient and understanding with you.

“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 2 comments.

The Road May Be Long

big_2245_oboi_doroga

Today’s Reading – Job 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Galatians 1 – 3; Psalms 21 – 25; Proverbs 5)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:1 – 4

Read the “0605 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.” – (Job 2:13 )

I have read these first four chapters from Job many times, and I have preached several messages from them, but I noticed something new to me today that I thought was worth developing. But, first let me review the story. In chapter one Job lost all of his children, and nearly everything that he possessed; yet, his response was worship for God (see vs. 20 – 22). In chapter two, Satan is permitted to destroy Job’s health. I do not know much about what Job experienced, but I would imagine that Satan chose the most painful malady possible in order to make him break. Yet, Job maintained his integrity, even when his wife turned against him. By the way, I used to beat up Job’s wife for her weakness, but now I have some compassion for her. After all, she did lose all of her children and her possessions. This must have been a very difficult time for her as well. Then Job’s friends arrive. Again, I used to be pretty rough on Job’s friends, but they stayed with him for seven days without saying a word. I believe they truly wanted to help him.

It is not until we get to chapter three that we see Job begin to break down. He begins to complain that he wished that he had never been born at all. Satan couldn’t get him to break with the loss of his children and possessions, and he couldn’t get him to yield initially when Job lost his health. However, after enough time went by, Job began to crack. Time was the element used by Satan to wear Job away. Then, once he began to break, Job’s friends also piled up on him. They shouldn’t have said anything, but I think like most well-meaning people, they didn’t have a clue.

I have seen this happen in people’s lives today. When tragedy comes their way, oftentimes their first reaction is positive, but after a little time, bitterness begins to set in, and soon their faith begins to wane. Had Job’s trial ended the day after it started, he would have been fine, but time took its toll and slowly caused him to lose all hope.

I don’t know exactly what can be done in order to keep encouraged during trials like this, but I think understanding that trials are seldom short-term can be a help in itself. In other words, we need to realize that when we go into the valley, we need to be prepared to be there for quite a while. I have experienced long seasons in the valley, and I am sure there will be some more of them in my future. I need to understand that God may not be finished working in, and or, through me. I need to just trust Him. He can do what ever He wants. I need to remember that He knows what He is doing, even if I cannot see it. God may never remove a trial, but that is His decision. We need to be prepared to endure until the Lord removes the trial, or takes us home. It may be a very long road.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

The Chastening of the Lord

though-he-slay-me

Today’s Reading – Job 5 – 7 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Galatians 4 – 6; Psalms 26 – 30; Proverbs 6)

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

Read the “0606 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:” – (Job 5:17)

As we read the Book of Job, we will see that although Job has been put through a severe trial through no fault of his own, he has a difficult time convincing his friends of his innocence. The more he defends himself, the more his friends are convinced that he must be guilty. I am reminded of the verse in the New Testament where Jesus admonishes us to “judge not”. Job’s friends certainly did not see the entire picture, yet they made assumptions based on the false notion that all trials are somehow caused by sin. On the other hand, Job went a little overboard in declaring his innocence. Is anyone truly innocent? Aren’t we all sinners that are deserving of judgment. The bottom line is that whatever God allows to take place in our life is better than what we truly deserve. We have no right to gripe about what God allows to come our way.

In the middle of this conversation, one of Job’s friends makes a marvelous statement that I believe is supported by the teaching of Scripture. He says that we are to actually embrace the correction of the Lord. Now nobody enjoys correction, but we must understand that when God corrects us, He has nothing but our best interests in mind. He loves us with a perfect love, that far surpasses any love that any human parent can have for a child.

There have been many times in my life that I have experienced God’s “woodshed”, but I have learned that though the experience is not pleasant, it will make me a better child. I have learned to run to the Corrector, rather than away from Him. I will always be human, and I will always be in need of correction. It is kind of arrogant on our part to think that we are somehow beyond or above the correction of the Lord. Besides, correction is a great proof that we are His children. He only corrects us because He loves us.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” – (Hebrews 12:5-8)

One more thought from this passage – notice verse 9 of chapter 6:

“Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!” – (Job 6:9)

Job wanted God to end his life. Whenever a person is this low, they simply cannot logic their way through their trial. Job didn’t understand why he was going through what he was going through, and he couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Had God told him ahead of time why He was putting him through the trial, and had God shared with him what the final outcome would be, I am sure Job could have endured without much complaint; but Job just could not see clearly what was going on. We need to remember when times like this come into our lives, that we are in the hands of a loving God who is not hurting us, but helping us; and, in His time, He will deliver us.

 


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

With Friends Like These… – The Saturday Morning Post

 

jobc10

Today’s Reading – Job 8 – 11 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Ephesians 1 – 3; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7)

“Then answered Bildad the Shuhite, and said, How long wilt thou speak these things? and how long shall the words of thy mouth be like a strong wind? Doth God pervert judgment? or doth the Almighty pervert justice?” (Job 8:1-3)

“Then answered Zophar the Naamathite, and said, Should not the multitude of words be answered? and should a man full of talk be justified? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? and when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed?” (Job 11:1-3)

Loosely translated, Bildad the Shuhite said, “Job, you’re full of hot air.”; and Zophar the Naamathite said, “Job, you’re a liar.” With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Good morning. They were just trying to help their friend Job, weren’t they? Of course the truth will make you free, Job, so admit you messed up and sinned. For the Lord to take away everything you had, you must have really screwed up. You can trust us: we’re your friends. Come clean Job! Give us the dirt!

King David found himself in a similar situation…

“False witnesses did rise up; they laid to my charge things that I knew not. They rewarded me evil for good to the spoiling of my soul. But as for me, when they were sick, my clothing was sackcloth: I humbled my soul with fasting; and my prayer returned into mine own bosom. I behaved myself as though he had been my friend or brother: I bowed down heavily, as one that mourneth for his mother.” (Psalm 35:11-14)

Sometimes it’s best not to know what the situation is. God knows exactly what the situation is. We should all take David’s example and go to God in prayer. That’s being a friend.

Peace. (Job 42:10)

 

 


Posted in Guest Posts, Thoughts from Job by with 2 comments.

Gird Up Thy Loins Like a Man

Today’s Reading – Job 36 – 38 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Timothy 1 – 4Psalms 71 – 75Proverbs 15)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 119:105

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt – “12 Thoughts on Spiritual Battle

Read the  “0615 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” – (Job 38:3)

It is now God’s turn to speak. God hasn’t said anything in this book since His earlier conversation with Satan; and the humans in the story were not privy to that conversation. All of this talk that has been going on since chapter 2 has been by people who really had no idea of the true circumstances regarding the calamity that Job was facing. They were clueless. Job’s friends were accusing Job, and Job was defending himself. They were all speaking on behalf of God; yet much of what they said was not true. However, now we will hear from the Source. God is speaking, and we know that everything that God says is true. By the way, you get the idea from the tone of this passage that God is not very happy about all that has been said. It kind of reminds me of a time when I was much younger and I was rebuked by an authority figure in my life. He had some things to say to me, and I was going to listen. God will take 4 chapters to basically remind Job and his friends that He is God, and they are merely humans.

As we read chapters 39 – 42 together tomorrow, pay close attention to God describing Himself, and His magnificent, omnipotent power. Between now and then, however, think a little bit of how much we are like Job and His friends. We are just little humans, trying to understand an infinite God. Let’s start thinking of ourselves as we really are. We are not much. We are pretty small and insignificant in the big scheme of things. And while we are at it, let us also start trusting God’s wisdom in allowing the things that have happened to us in our lives.



Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

What Are You Looking At?

Today’s Reading – Job 30 – 32 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 1 Timothy 1 – 3Psalms 61 – 65Proverbs 13)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 92:1

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt – “Wait Before You Step Out

Read the “0613 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1)

In our reading we have been following the conversation between Job and his friends.  Job has been declaring hi innocence: not that he claims sinlessness; but he does contend that his sins were open and confessed to God, and that he was not living a double life.  His friends, however, are sure that Job must have some heinous secret sin in his life.  In this chapter Job seems to be answering a charge regarding his fidelity.  Perhaps the underlying accusation was that Job was an adulterer.  Job’s answer in chapter 31 is that he had been faithful, not only in not touching that which is forbidden, but in not looking on another woman besides his wife.

In our culture the accepted instruction is, “you can look, but you just can’t touch”.  Funny, my wife never bought into that line of reasoning.  The fact of the matter is that looking might just lead to touching.  Job said that he made a covenant, a commitment to himself and his eyes not to think (let alone look) upon a maid.  David said something similar when he said that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes.

Men, we need to do the same thing regarding the opposite sex. We need to determine to keep our eyes and our minds on that which is pleasing to the Lord. Turn off the TV if you have to; get rid of the internet if you must, but do what you have to do to keep yourself from sinning against your God and your wife. It is wise to know your limitations and put up some fences to protect yourself. A little accountability will go a long way.  And ladies, your not exempt from this either.  Your lusting may not be for the opposite sex per say, but I am sure you have your weak areas as well. Maybe with you the struggle involves seeing things at the mall that you can’t afford. We all need to make this same covenant that Job made to keep us from seeing and thinking about the things that we know are not part of God’s perfect will for our lives.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

Today’s Reading – Job 27 – 29 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – 2 Thessalonians 1 – 3;Psalm 56 – 60Proverbs 12)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 89:1

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt – “Wait Before You Step Out

Read the “0612 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“But where shall wisdom be found? and where is the place of understanding?” (Job 28:12)

“And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.” (Job 28:28)

In today’s reading we have seen a continuation of what we have been reading for the past several days.  Job is debating with his three friends regarding his calamity: they are claiming that Job is responsible; and Job is declaring his innocence. However, in the middle of this discussion is a passage dealing with wisdom.  At first glance i wondered why God would put this teaching right in the middle of the discourse between Job and his friends regarding Job’s suffering; but then I remembered a similar teaching from the New Testament regarding trials and testing from the epistle penned by James.  Remember that James admonished us to “count it all joy” in the trials; but then he added some instruction regarding wisdom:

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)

Apparently there is an association between enduring trials and wisdom.  God doesn’t hold back wisdom to those who fear him and depart from evil.  Job had the wisdom of God. We know this to be true because later on when God enters into the discussion He states that Job spoke of Him the thing that is right.

If you are going through a time of testing, don’t seek the world and its counselors for wisdom: go to God.  If you fear Him and are seeking to do that which is right, God will give you the wisdom that you need to see your way through the trial.  In order for you to get to the other side you will need God’s wisdom, coupled with God’s grace.  It is apparent that Job had both of these attributes.

You can find wisdom in God’s Word. The Bible is full of the wisdom of God that will help you when you need it. You can also find wisdom from godly counselors who will take Biblical principles and help you to apply them to your situation.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

Thoughts About Job from Phil Erickson Jr.

Today’s Reading – Job 15 – 18 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Philippians 1 – 4Psalms 41 – 45Proverbs 9)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 51

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt – “Wait Before You Step Out

Read the “0609 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

“I have heard many such things: miserable comforters are ye all.” (Job 16:2)

The story of Job in the Bible has always fascinated me. I have always loved hearing messages preached about his life. For those of you who attend our church, the “Hast thou retained thine integrity?” message is one of the all-time greats. To think that a man could go from being ”the greatest of all the men of the east” as the Bible calls him, to having nothing in just a matter of hours, and still praise God through all of it just boggles my mind. I have often wondered what it was that made Job such a “perfect and upright” man. Was it the fact that he gave his tithes and offerings faithfully? Maybe. Was it the fact that he cared so much about his family and their spiritual condition? Could be. Or maybe did God just like him better than anyone else at the time? God is not a respecter of persons, but who knows? Maybe He did favor him. He obviously blessed him with a lot. But as I read these few chapters a thought jumped out at me. Job is right smack in the middle of the absolute worst time in his life, and here come his ”friends.” They go on and on about why they think this is all happening to Job. And right in the middle of it, I noticed verses 19-20 of chapter 16. And, I may be wrong, but I think these couple verses may be the secret to Job’s “success” as a man of God. The verses say – “And now, behold, my witness is in heaven, and my record is on high. My friends scorn me: but mine eye poureth out tears unto God.” Job cared about what God thought, and ONLY about what God thought. He said ‘my witness is in heaven’ , and ‘ my record is on high.’ He knew that God knew everything that was going on. He knew that God knew his heart and his intentions with everything he did in his life. He knew that God knew that his tithes and offerings, his service to God, and his love for his family was out of his love and devotion to God. It had nothing to do with ANYONE else.  So, when the chips were down, and everything went down the drain, he didn’t go running to his friends or anyone else. He went to God. He brought his tears to God. He knew that when things were good, it was God. When things were bad, it was God. And he praised God through it all.

As Christians we need to see that everything that happens to us, good or bad, comes from the Lord. He loves us more than we can ever know. He has a plan for our lives, and we need to trust Him and Him alone. When the chips are down, our friends won’t always be there. Sometimes even our family won’t be there. But God is always there. He never turns His back on us…who are we to turn our backs on Him?


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 3 comments.

Wisdom

Today’s Reading –  Job 12 – 14 

(Second Milers Read – Ephesians 4 – 6; Psalms 36 – 40;Proverbs 8)

“With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding. With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding. … With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his. He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.” (Job 12:12-13, 16-17)

” If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.” (Proverbs 9:10)

Just a quick thought this morning from the reading passage from Job. Notice in chapter twelve the dialogue is continuing between Job and his three friends. Job’s friends are making their accusations regarding the cause of Job’s calamity, and they are all declaring what they think they know about God. In replying to them, Job teaches us something about wisdom. Wisdom belongs to God. He is wisdom.

Perhaps the greatest need that all of us have is wisdom. One of the first prayer requests I make each day is for wisdom. Like Solomon, “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in”. (1 Kings 3:7) But Solomon got the direction and answers he needed from God. James tells us that God will give any believer wisdom, if they ask it of Him; and He gives it out liberally and doesn’t hold back. The lack of wisdom that is apparent in believers today must simply be due to the fact that we are not asking Him; perhaps because we all too often” lean unto [our] own understanding”. (Proverbs 3:5)

Notice also that the passage declares that God is, not only wisdom, but he is strength as well. If we are going to be able to stand for the Lord today in this dark world, we must have His wisdom, and His strength. Have you asked the Lord for wisdom and strength today?


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

The Road May Be Long

Today’s Reading – Job 1 – 4 (Click on the references to listen to the audio – Click here to view the passage from Blue Letter Bible)

(Second Milers Read – Galatians 1 – 3Psalm 21 – 25Proverbs 5)

Scripture Memorization for June – Verses Supporting an Unlimited Atonement

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song –  Psalm 34

Read a great article by Pastor Cary Schmidt – “The Power of Biblical Affirmation

Read the “0605 Evening and Morning” devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Read a previous post from today’s passage – “Lessons from Job

“So they sat down with him upon the ground seven days and seven nights, and none spake a word unto him: for they saw that his grief was very great.” – (Job 2:13 )

I have read these first four chapters from Job many times, and I have preached several messages from them; but I noticed something new today that I thought was worth developing, but first, let me review the story. In chapter one Job lost all of his children, and nearly everything that he possessed; yet his response was worship for God (see vv 20 – 22). In chapter two, Satan is permitted to destroy Job’s health. I do not know much about what Job experienced, but I would imagine that Satan chose the most painful malady possible in order to make him break. Yet, Job maintained his integrity, even when his wife turned against him. By the way, I used to beat up Job’s wife for her weakness, but now I have some compassion for her. After all, she did lose all of her children and possessions also. This must have been a very difficult time for her as well. Then Job’s friends arrive. Again, I used to be pretty rough on Job’s friends, but they stayed with him for seven days without saying a word. I believe they truly wanted to help him.

It is not until we get to chapter three that we see Job begin to break down. He begins to complain that he wished that he had never been born at all. Satan couldn’t get him to break with the loss of his children and possessions; and he couldn’t get him to yield initially when Job lost his health. However, after enough time went by, Job began to crack. Time was the element used by Satan to wear Job away. Then, once he began to break, Job’s friends also piled up on him. They shouldn’t have said anything, but I think, like most well-meaning people, they didn’t have a clue.

I have seen this happen in people’s lives today. When tragedy comes their way, oftentimes their first reaction is positive; but after a little time, bitterness begins to set in; and soon their faith begins to wane. Had Job’s trial ended the day after it started, he would have been fine; but time took its toll. and slowly caused him to lose all hope.

I don’t know exactly what can be done in order to keep encouraged during trials like this, but I think that understanding that trials are seldom short-term can be a help in itself. In other words, we need to realize that when we go into the valley, we need to be prepared to be there for quite a while. I have been going through some things myself here lately that really started more than a year ago. There would be times when things would get temporarily better, and I would think that a mountaintop was on its way; but then something else would go wrong. I am learning to understand that God may not be finished working in, and or, through me. I need to just trust Him. He can do what ever He wants. I need to remember that He knows what He is doing, even if I cannot see it. God may never remove the trial, but that is His decision. We need to be prepared to endure until the Lord removes the trial, or takes us home. It may be a very long road.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 1 comment.

Gird Up Thy Loins Like A Man

Today’s Passage – Job 36 – 38

Second Milers also read – Hebrews 2 – 5; Psalms 71 – 75; Proverbs 15

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 34:6

“Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.” – (Job 38:3)

It is now God’s turn to speak. God hasn’t said anything in this book since His earlier conversation with Satan; and the humans in the story were not privy to that conversation. All of this talk that has been going on since chapter 2 has been by people who really had no idea of the true circumstances regarding the calamity that Job was facing. They were clueless. Job’s friends were accusing Job, and Job was defending himself. They were all speaking on behalf of God; yet much of what they said was not true. However, now we will hear from the Source. God is speaking, and we know that everything that God says is true. By the way, you get the idea from the tone of this passage that God is not very happy about all that has been said. It kind of reminds me of a time when I was much younger and I was rebuked by an authority figure in my life. He had some things to say to me, and I was going to listen. God will take 4 chapters to basically remind Job and his friends that He is God, and they are merely humans.

As we read chapters 39 – 42 together tomorrow, pay close attention to God describing Himself, and His magnificent, omnipotent power. Between now and then, however, think a little bit of how much we are like Job and His friends. We are just little humans, trying to understand an infinite God. Let’s start thinking of ourselves as we really are. We are not much. We are pretty small and insignificant in the big scheme of things. And while we are at it, let us also start trusting God’s wisdom in allowing the things that have happened to us in our lives.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

That Which I See Not

Today’s Passage – Job 33 – 35

Second Milers also read – Titus 2 – Hebrews 1; Psalms 66 – 70; Proverbs 14

“Surely it is meet to be said unto God, I have borne chastisement, I will not offend any more: That which I see not teach thou me: if I have done iniquity, I will do no more.” – (Job 34:31-32)

While reading this morning, my attention was drawn to the phrase made by Elihu in Job 34:32 – “That which I see not, teach thou me.” That is a great little nugget of truth, and I believe it is something we should pray to God on a regular basis. There is so much about ourselves that we do not see. We are quick to spot, and point out, the flaws of others; but the truth is, we are often blind to our own faults. I think that the first step to recognizing and correcting specific things about ourselves is to acknowledge in a general way that we have a problem with self-perception. We often have a much higher opinion of ourselves than reality would justify. We need to be open to allowing God, and some trustworthy friends perhaps, to help us with our spiritual eyesight.

A passage in the New Testament that speaks somewhat about this subject is James 1:22 – 25

“But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.”

I think it would be a good practice for us to come to God on a regular basis, and confess to him the sins that we already know about, and are fully aware of; but I also think it is wise to ask God to reveal to us some things that perhaps we do not see. His Word, of course, is the greatest exposer of these hidden truths about ourselves:

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – (Hebrews 4:12)

We will never be without fault, but we can allow the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit of God, and some godly counselors, to point out and correct some things about our lives that are interfering with our ability to relate to others, and may possibly be hindering our effectiveness in fulfilling His will.

Just a thought.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

What Are You Looking At?

Today’s Passage – Job 30 – 32

Second Milers also read – 2 Timothy 2 – Titus 1; Psalms 61 – 65; Proverbs 13

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 25

“I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” (Job 31:1)

In our reading we have been following the conversation between Job and his friends.  Job has been declaring hi innocence: not that he claims sinlessness; but he does contend that his sins were open and confessed to God, and that he was not living a double life.  His friends, however, are sure that Job must have some heinous secret sin in his life.  In this chapter Job seems to be answering a charge regarding his fidelity.  Perhaps the underlying accusation was that Job was an adulterer.  Job’s answer in chapter 31 is that he had been faithful, not only in not touching that which is forbidden, but in not looking on another woman besides his wife.

In our culture the accepted instruction is, “you can look, but you just can’t touch”.  Funny, my wife never bought into that line of reasoning.  The fact of the matter is that looking might just lead to touching.  Job said that he made a covenant, a commitment to himself and his eyes not to think (let alone look) upon a maid.  David said something similar when he said that he would set no wicked thing before his eyes.

Men, we need to do the same thing regarding the opposite sex. We need to determine to keep our eyes and our minds on that which is pleasing to the Lord. Turn off the TV if you have to; get rid of the internet if you must, but do what you have to do to keep yourself from sinning against your God and your wife. It is wise to know your limitations and put up some fences to protect yourself. A little accountability will go a long way.  And ladies, your not exempt from this either.  Your lusting may not be for the opposite sex per say, but I am sure you have your weak areas as well. Maybe with you the struggle involves seeing things at the mall that you can’t afford. We all need to make this same covenant that Job made to keep us from seeing and thinking about the things that we know are not part of God’s perfect will for our lives.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

Gold

Today’s Passage – Job 22 – 26

Second Milers also read – 2 Thessalonians 3 – 1 Timothy 3; Psalms 51 – 55; Proverbs 11

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Lisen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 25

Read an older post from this passage – “Did You Have Your Breakfast This Morning?”

“But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” – (Job 23:10)

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:” – (1 Peter 1:6-7)

There are several great, golden nuggets of truth in the Book of Job, and many of them are in today’s passage. I thought this morning about the statement made by Job in chapter 23, and verse 10. Job is going through the worst trial in his life. I think it would be safe to say that no other man in history was put to the test like Job. Many people have suffered the loss of health, and many others have endured the death of a child, and still more have gone through tough financial situations; but who can say that they have had to face the loss of everything they owned, and all of the children they loved, and then had to suffer through perhaps the most painful health condition known to man, all within the same time frame. Job could certainly stand alongside any man on earth, and win the “pity party” comparison. Yet, Job knew that when it was all over,that God would bring him through to the other side of the trial; and he also knew that the trial would make him a better man.

All men will endure the hardships of trials, but to experience suffering for no apparent reason can be especially difficult. Job did nothing to deserve the treatment that he was receiving at the hand of Satan, but God would use Job’s suffering to accomplish a few wonderful things. First, He would prove to Satan that there are some men who will retain their integrity, even under the most difficult of circumstances. Second, though Job was a good man, even a great man when compared among men, this trial would make him a still better man. I believe Job had a better understanding of the greatness of his Creator, and  also a better grasp of his own frail humanity, as a result of this ordeal. But perhaps the greatest thing that God would reveal to us through Job’s trial, is that we can trust God. He won’t allow us to go through something that is greater than our ability to glorify Him through. He loves us. He doesn’t punish, but He does correct us at times through the trials and sufferings of life. Sometimes the trials are a direct result of sin, but they are often just God’s way of bringing us to the next level of faith. And if we will allow God to have His way in our lives, we too can come forth as gold; better servants, and better sons: more equipped to represent Him as the ambassadors of His glorious gospel.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

The Words of My Mouth

Today’s Passage – Job 19 – 21

Second Milers also read –  1 Thessalonians 4 – 2 Thessalonians 2; Psalms 46 – 50; Proverbs 10

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 19

“Then Job answered and said, How long will ye vex my soul, and break me in pieces with words?” (Job 19:1 & 2)

You didn’t have to read long this morning to find a great truth from today’s passage.  Job is in the middle of the discourse with his three ‘friends’ who are accusing him of all kinds of wickedness; adding sorrow on top of sorrows.  He is already as low as he can go, but these guys continue to beat him and kick him when he is down; and their weapons are their tongues.

“And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell. … But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” (James 3:6, 8 )

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.” (Ephesians 4:29)

The Bible has so much to say about the deadly nature of the tongue. Why are we so quick to run our mouths when God tells us very plainly that we are to be slow to speak. We all could avoid much of our problems with our mouth by simply not saying anything unless it is absolutely necessary, or unless we are sure we are saying something that is edifying.  If we have to speak at all maybe it would be best if we paused and prayed about what would be the best thing to say.

Job’s friends were not helping him at all; they were making him worse. Remember, the purpose for their visit was to ‘comfort’ him.  Maybe they should have just listened to him; even let him vent a little. Maybe, I should try the same thing.  As a pastor I need to learn to listen more; pray before speaking; and, as much as possible, tell people what God said instead of what I think.

Lord, help me not to kill or maim any more people with my tongue.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

I Will Trust In Him

Today’s Passage – Job 12 – 14

Second Milers also read –  Philippians 4Colossians 1 – 3; Psalms 36 – 40; Proverbs 8

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – Psalm 18:3 & 46

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15)

In this statement we see Job’s declaration of faith in God.  Though Job certainly has not figured out why God has allowed all of this tragedy to come into his life, he plainly declares here that no matter what God does to him (or allows to be done to him), he will continue to trust Him.  When you and I read this book of the Bible it is easy for us, from the perspective of history, to identify with what Job has stated here.  But think for a minute with me.  If it were you or me going through what Job went through, how would we be feeling about God?  If God were to allow us to lose everything all at once; and then to have excruciating physical pain be placed on top of it all, how would we react?  Could we say, truthfully, “yet will I trust in Him”?

A few years back, I watched a movie/documentary called Amish Grace about the Nickle Mines tragedy in Lancaster, PA a few years ago. The movie recounts the true story of a troubled man who went into an Amish school house, shooting 10 little girls and killing 5 of them.  The amazing thing is that the Amish people chose to trust  God’s wisdom in allowing what happened. Though it was very painful; though it took a little time for all of them to come to this decision: they chose to forgive the man that shot their children.  This was certainly a modern day picture of the what Job went through.  These Amish folks did not understand why God had allowed it to happened, yet they continued to keep their trust in the Lord.

Most of the time I feel that my faith is so weak, I doubt whether it could stand up to such intense suffering.  I guess it will have to be the grace of God that will sustain me through those dark days.  I know that difficult days lie ahead.  I want to prepare for them now by getting so close to God that it will be easier to trust Him when it doesn’t seem like He is even there.

I also wanted to make a comment about the second half of verse 15. Job says that he will maintain [his] ways before him (God). I believe what Job was saying here is that though he was being severely tested by the Lord, he was still going to continue to do what he had always done. In other words, he wasn’t going to quit. He was going to keep on living for the Lord through the difficult trial. I know that when we are going through trials in life it can be very difficult to “maintain” your walk with the Lord; but it is especially important to stay close to God during the tough times. Don’t quit.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

The Daysman

Listen to last night’s message from Acts 4 – “Behold Their Threatenings”

Today’s Passage – Job 8 – 11

Second Milers also read – Ephesians 06Philippians 1 – 3; Psalms 31 – 35; Proverbs 7

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Joshua 1:8

“For he is not a man, as I am, that I should answer him, and we should come together in judgment. Neither is there any daysman betwixt us, that might lay his hand upon us both.” – (Job 9:32-33)

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” – (1 Timothy 2:5)

The word “daysman” in vers 33 of chapter 9 literally means a mediator. Job is lamenting because there is no one to bridge the gap between the righteous and holy God, and a sinner like himself. He already stated in verse 20 that he could not justify himself. God became man in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, and as the God-man he came to justify sinners like Job, and you and me also. He was the go-between, the mediator, the one who came between God and men, so that men could come into the presence of an holy God.

Consider some of these verses regarding what Christ accomplished for us when He came to earth as a man and died for our sins:

“Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;” – (Matthew 27:50-51)

The veil in the temple separated men from God; but through the shed blood of the Lord Jesus, the veil was removed. Notice that the veil was torn from the top to the bottom, signifying that it was God that removed the veil that once kept man from Him.

“Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” – (Hebrews 4:14-16)

Jesus was fully God, yet also fully man. He understands what it is like to be tempted, because he experienced it; yet without sin. He, as our great high priest, went before us and opened up a door for us to now boldly enter into the presence of God. We can now enter into God’s presence through “the Door”; through “the Way”; through Christ.

There has always been a “daysman”, even in Job’s time; but Job may not have understood it at the time. Praise God, however, we definitely have one that we can know today!


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.

The Chastening of the Almighty

Today’s Passage – Job 5 – 7

Second Milers also read –  Ephesians 2 – 5; Psalms 26 – 30; Proverbs 6

“Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:” – (Job 5:17)

As we read the Book of Job, we will see that although Job has been put through a severe trial through no fault of his own, but he has a difficult time convincing his friends of his innocence. The more he defends himself, the more his friends are convinced that he must be guilty. I am reminded of the verse in the New Testament where Jesus admonishes us to “judge not”. Job’s friends certainly did not see the entire picture, yet they made assumptions based on the false notion that all trials are somehow caused by sin. On the other hand, Job went a little overboard in declaring his innocence. Is anyone truly innocent? Aren’t we all sinners that are deserving of judgment. The bottom line is that whatever God allows to take place in our life is better than what we truly deserve. We have no right to gripe about what God allows to come our way.

In the middle of this conversation,one of Job’s friends makes a marvelous statement, that I believe is supported by the teaching of Scripture. He says that we are to actually embrace the correction of the Lord. Now nobody enjoys correction, but we must understand that when God corrects us, He has nothing but our best interests in mind. He loves us with a perfect love, that far surpasses any love that any human parent can have for a child.

There have been many times in my life that I have experienced God’s “woodshed”; but I have learned that though the experience is not pleasant, it will make me a better child. I have learned to run to the Corrector, rather than away from Him. I will always be human, and I will always be in need of correction. It is kind of arrogant on our part to think that we are somehow beyond or above the correction of the Lord. Besides, correction is a great proof that we are His children. He only corrects us because He loves us.

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” – (Hebrews 12:5-8)

One more thought from this passage – notice verse 9 of chapter 6:

“Even that it would please God to destroy me; that he would let loose his hand, and cut me off!” – (Job 6:9)

Job wanted God to end his life. Whenever a person is this low, they simply can not logic their way through their trial. Job didn’t understand why he was going through what he was going through, and he couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. Had God told him ahead of time why He was putting Job through this trial, and had God shared with Job what the final outcome would be, I am sure Job could have endured without much complaint; but Job just could not see clearly what was going on. We need to remember when times like this come into our lives, that we are in the hands of a loving God who is not hurting us, but helping us; and, in His time, He will deliver us.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 1 comment.

Lessons from The Book of Job

Today’s Passage – Job 1 – 4

Second Milers also read – Galatians 4 – 6Ephesians 1Psalm 21 – 25Proverbs 5

Scripture Memory for June – Psalm 139

Listen to this morning’s Scripture song – 1 John 4:7 & 8

Read an older post from today’s passage – “The Road May Be Long”

“Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD. In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.” – (Job 1:20-22)

Job is an amazing passage of Scripture.  It helps us understand a side of suffering that perhaps we would not be able to figure out without it.  Job is a man that suffered tremendously at the hand of Satan, and with the permission of God.  However, the curious part about Job’s suffering was the fact that he did not do anything to cause it.  In other words, the suffering was not brought on as a result of his sin or as some type of a judgment from God.  On the contrary, Job was put through the fire because he was a righteous man.  He was a man that “feared God and eschewed (put away; kept it far from him) evil”.  We like to think that if someone lives a life like Job lived that his life will be free from problems; however, this is not the case.

From this passage, we can learn some things about the Christian life:

1  If you live your life fearing God and eschewing evil, you will have the blessing of God.  When we speak of Job, we always focus on his season of suffering.  However, Job’s life overall was a life that was blessed tremendously by the Lord.  He did, in fact, have that hedge of protection around him and his family  for most of his life.

2  If you live a life like Job lived you will have the attention of God; but Satan will also be personally aware of you.  Satan had, in fact, considered Job.  I don’t know if Satan even knows my name.  I’m sure there are some devils who know me well; but Satan?  Job, who is neither omniscient nor omnipresent, had been paying close attention to Job.

3  Satan, if given the opportunity, will destroy you.  He hates you almost as much as he hates God.  The good news is that Satan is on a leash.  He cannot do what God does not permit him to do.

4  God will only permit Satan to do what you are able to handle.

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

5  God will eventually remove the suffering.  He gave back Job double of everything He allowed Satan to take from him.  God even gave him ten more children in addition to the ten that were waiting for him in Heaven.

6. People may not understand what you are going through, or why you are going through it. Job’s wife wanted him to just give up, and Job’s friends accused him of all kinds of bad things, which simply were not true.

Learn these lessons from Job.  When suffering comes your way, don’t think that God is not aware or not even personally involved in it.  Try to learn the lesson that God may be trying to teach you through the suffering and glorify Him in the suffering.  Our God is a loving Heavenly Father who only does what is right.  Trust Him!


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with 1 comment.

Take It Like A Man

Today’s Passages – Job 39-42; Proverbs 16

(Second Milers also read – Hebrews 2 – 5; Memorize Luke 6:38)

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” – (Job 40:3-4)

“Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.” – (Job 40:6-7)

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” – (Job 42:1-6)

In these last several chapters of the Book of Job, we see that God is doing most of the talking. Job’s friends are completely silent, and Job doesn’t say much except to declare that he is going to keep his mouth shut. I remember as a child, I would often get into arguments with my brothers. My dad would tolerate the bickering up to a certain point, but there would come a time when he would eventually make us all shut up, and then he would do all of the talking; and we often didn’t like what he had to say. Needless to say, he set us straight. That is what God is doing here with Job and his three friends, He is setting them straight. They were all pompous experts about God in the early part of the book, but now they are strangely silent. Job finally declared that he “uttered [he] understood not”.

My thought this morning, however, comes from vv 6 & 7 of chapter 40. God is rebuking Job and his three friends. I am sure that they did not like what God had to say, but they needed to hear it. People don’t like rebuke too much. It is not very pleasant. However, when it comes to rebuke by those who are in authority over us, we must train ourselves to accept it, and apply it to our lives. God told Job to “take it like a man”. Every once in a while in life, God is going to bring you through something unpleasant for your own good, and you are going to have to “suck it up” and take it like a man. It’s part of life. Trials are part of life; rebuke is part of life. Who do we think we are that we should be excempt from it? We are not God. We need to be taken to the woodshed every once in a while. Learn to appreciate the correction of God, knowing that He corrects us with nothing but our best interest in mind.


Posted in Thoughts from Job by with no comments yet.