Where Shall Wisdom Be Found?

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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.


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The Road May Be Long

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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.


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The Chastening of the Lord

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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.

 


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With Friends Like These… – The Saturday Morning Post

 

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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)

 

 


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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.



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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.


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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.


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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?


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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?


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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.


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