Category Archives: Job

I am not on God’s advisory board

“How then can I dispute with him?  How can I find words to argue with him?” Job 9:14.

Why do I try to boss God around?

How often do I pray as if God is busy and I need to get Him up to speed on what is going on?

I pray, “Lord, do this or that,” or “Lord, be with so-and-so.”  Do I realize what I am actually doing?  I am underestimating Him.  My God is small when I do that.

God is totally in charge.  The sun shines because He allows it to shine.

God does not need my help at the management level.  He needs my help at the servant level.  He’s looking for someone who realizes His greatness and is willing to do whatever He asks him to do.

Often, however He gets someone who minimizes Him and has the unmitigated willingness to offer suggestions!

I am indeed to pray without ceasing.  I am indeed to be in regular interaction with Him.  But I do these as to The Boss and from a servant’s position. I imagine Him as being so awesome that I start with, “What do You want me to do.  Whatever it is I will attempt it in Your Strength.”

Conclusion: I must always be a servant of God and glad to be that.

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Everything is gone. Now what?

“After this, Job opened his mouth and cursed the day of his birth.”  Job 3:1.

Job had lost everything.

There was no one to console him.  His wife told him to curse God.  His friends were speechless.

That’s the bottom.  Everything given to him was gone.

Job had been showered with God’s gift.  When they were all gone Job was left with nothing but God.

That needs to be my core as well.  Everything I have has a shelf life.  It’ll wear out.  God doesn’t have a “shelf life.”

He will be with me forever and ever.  My life here is part of an eternal life with Him that I have been promised.

I am not going to leave this earth with anything.

It behooves me to detach myself from the things of earth.  I can have them, but they can’t “have” me.

I enjoy them but I don’t have to have them.

God knows exactly what I need.  What He provides is a blessing.  I have no right to expect anything from Him.  He will give me what is best.  He will keep me from things that aren’t.

When I lose the things I have, as Job did, I must react as he did in today’s verse.  He did not curse God.  He cursed the life he was leading.

I must glorify Him in all things.  I may not see or understand why things happen, but I must never forget that He has everything figured out.  I must rightly represent Him in whatever station he sets me up in.  To Him be all glory.

Conclusion: God is in charge.  I must do His Work wherever He has put me.

 

 

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God hears my prayer

“My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly.”  Job 42:8.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 41-42, and 2 Corinthians 1-2.

Hardship did NOT come to Job because of his sinfulness.

Job was a righteous man.  Job’s friends were certain that there was some sinning by Job that was the reason for his troubles.

His friends were persistent and eloquent in their assertions……but they were wrong.

God tells them as much but as New Testament Scripture tells us, “The prayers of a righteous man are valuable.”  Job was going to intercede for his friends in prayer to God.  He was going to ask God to forgive them for what they had done, AND God was going to accept, and carry out, Job’s request.

God’s lesson for me: I can pray for others.  God hears me, and He can respond to my request in line with the way I asked it.  This is encouraging.

I have folks in my midst and in my family who need to hear the Gospel and/or have the Gospel explained to them.  I MUST request that from God.  If He heard Job and responded to Job’s request, I know that it is within God’s power to respond to mine.

“Lord, thank You for the story of Job.  So many great truths.  So many role models of both persuasions.  I pray for the salvation of my neighbors and my family.  I ask that You will intervene in their lives so that they hear and understand the Gospel.  I ask for divine appointments.  I beg You for Your Words in those endeavors.  You are a great God!”

God heard Job’s prayer and did what he requested.  He can do the same for me……and you.

 

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God replies to Job……..and it doesn’t go well!

“Where were you when I created the earth?  Tell me, since you know so much!”  Job 38:4 (The Message).

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 37-38, and 1 Corinthians 12.

Job has been begging for an audience with God.  Job believes that he hasn’t been treated well and wants God to explain why.

Be careful what you ask!

When God speaks to Job out of a storm (38:1) you knew that Job was going to get more than he bargained for.

God doesn’t answer Job’s question.  He doesn’t have to.  Instead Job hears a series of questions, the answers to which shout that God is in charge.  Job is not on equal footing with God.  This falls into the clay pot and the potter realm.  The Potter will do what He chooses to do.  Our role is to function as He created us striving to please Him along the way.

I must never assume that I am God’s equal.  I will never be on the same page as the Almighty.

I do NOT need to be driven to figure out why things go the way they do.  I am obligated to trust God’s judgment and live/act accordingly.

Job is often described as patient.  I have never seen that as I read his story.  He is impatient as I often am.  I want things to go “right.”  But that “right” is my determination not God’s.  God has put me on this earth to do His Will.  He holds the master plan for my life. My job is to serve Him within the plan He has for my life.

“Lord, thank You for answering Job so clearly.  Forgive me for underestimating Who You are.  Help me to do what You have created me to do this day.  Prick my conscience when I am off course.  I beg for divine appointments today.  Enable me to see people as You see them.  I love You, Lord.”

God is in charge……period!

 

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God doesn’t listen to the proud

“He does not answer when people cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked.  Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.” Job 35:12-13.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 35-36, and I Corinthians 7-8.

Job so-called friends continue to blister him.

It is Job’s arrogance, according to Elihu, that is preventing God from listening to him.

Wrong, Elihu!

God always listens to us.  None of us come perfect before Him.

The Pharisees, of the New Testament, saw themselves as good before God.  They had a direct line to God because of the righteous way they lived.  God was aware of their righteous lifestyle and would surely hear them and respond to their requests.

Jesus blistered them for their arrogance.  Those who considered themselves worthy were the most needy.  Those who saw themselves as unworthy of anything from God recognized what their status actually was.

I must approach God mindful that I am still alive because of His mercy.  I am a sinner and always will be one.  God would be perfectly just if a tragedy befell me.

I pray to Him always in need.  I must never be self-sufficient.  I must be fully trusting Him.  There can be no declaring of independence from Him.

“Lord, I thank You that I can always call out to You.  I am needy, and You always know what my actual needs are.  Forgive me for evaluating You from a human standpoint.  Your Ways are best.  Direct me this day, I beg.  Please give me more of those divine appointments.  Take care of Jack.  I love You, Father.”

God ALWAYS hears us no matter how wretched we are.  Feel free to contact Him.

 

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Two ways of interacting with God

“I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me.” Job 30:20.

“I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.” Psalm 120:1.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 30, Psalm 120, and Galatians 3-4.

Could these two verses by any more different?

Isn’t that the way it is with us, though?

How often do we not get an answer?  We have in mind what we want for an answer, but we don’t get it.

We create a picture of God in our heads that is faulty.

Job thought that his troubles were caused by an unfair God.  He wanted to go man-to-man with God.  That’s not happening.  God’s ways are not Job’s ways.  God has reasons that Job will never fathom for what goes on.  Job forgets this and lashes out at God.

The psalmist looks at things differently.  The psalmist knows that God hears him, and he knows that God will answer.  Note that the psalmist doesn’t have any predetermination of what the answer will be.  He doesn’t judge God by the answer that comes.

I must remember that God ALWAYS hears me.  I must remember that I will not ALWAYS like the answer I get.

If my confidence is in God, I will rejoice in His hearing me and rejoice that He knows what He’s doing with me.

“Lord, forgive me for doubting You.  Forgive me for ignoring You.  I need You in my life full-time.  Every breath I take is a gift from You.  May every word of mine be a word from You.  I love You, Father.”

God will hear me and He knows what best for me.

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“This is what you should do……”

“But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.”  Job 16:5.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 16, and Acts 21-23.

Job’s friends were not doing a good job of comforting him.  In fact, they were making him more troubled than he already was.

If you recall, Job had lost almost everything but life itself.  His “friends” were certain that Job had done something that caused God to treat him this way.  To them, Job needed to ‘fess up to what it was.

Instead, Job insisted on a chance to find out from God what He had done wrong knowing that such a hearing was impossible.

In today’s verse, Job tells how he would have comforted his friends if they were in a similar predicament.   He says that he would have tried to make things less awful for his friends.

How do I handle those in trouble in my own midst?  One of my tendencies is to analyze, as Job’s friends did, the reason for the trouble.  To second guess them.  That is not comfort.  A minister friend of mine says that when you are in the midst of a troubled person you should, “Show up and shut up.”  Sometimes just being there is all that is needed.

Missing in my words is the need to be prayerful before and during such an interaction.  God has promised “His Words” to those who belong to Him.

“Lord, I need You every second and in every sentence.  Guide me, I beg.  Fill me with You.  I love You, Lord.”

I must rightly represent God in every interaction I have today.

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God does what He wants

“’But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.  Which of all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?  In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.’”  Job 12:7-10.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 11-12, and Acts 15-16.

God is in charge.

God is so much in charge that only He could explain what He does with His creations.

We can look at what goes on and declare that He was great.  We can also look at what goes on and think that He could have done better.  The issue with these attitudes is that we evaluate God with our fallible minds.  We will never have the capacity to see things as God does.

We are totally dependent on God whether we even believe that He exists.  God will do what He wants to do.

My task is to trust Him.  To believe that He knows best.

I believe that I can reason with God.  If Abraham did it and Moses did it and David did it, why can’t I?  I do not want the 7-year-old with Stage 4 cancer from our church to pass away.  So I ask God to intervene.  I tell Him (even though He already knows) that her family loves God.  I tell Him of the glory that will come to Him if young Ellie is healed.  But I also know that God sees the Big Picture and I never will.  His will will be done in the end.

“Lord, I surrender to You. You truly know what is ultimately best.  I want to please You.  I ask for wisdom so that I can pull this off.  Spare young Ellie’s life, I beg.  You are indeed a gracious God.  I love You, Father.”

God is in charge.  I must act accordingly.

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With friends like that who needs enemies?

“But if you will seek God earnestly and plead with the Almighty, if you are pure and upright, even now he will rouse himself on your behalf and restore you to your prosperous state.”  Job 8:5-6.

Verses chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 7-8, and Acts 12.

Bildad makes so many assumptions about Job that aren’t true.

Bildad sees difficulties as earned punishments.  You did something wrong and now God is getting you for it.  Since Job’s difficulties are so extreme then Job must have been extremely bad.

That is not the way God works.  We live in a world that has evil in it.  Floods affect the Godly and the ungodly.

God is with us in our troubles, as with everything else, if we have our faith in Him.  Job was doing what God wanted him to do when the troubles came.  Bildad’s talk reveals that he didn’t think this could be true.  This was what made Bildad’s comments so painful for Job to hear.

I can rejoice that God is with me.  His omnipresence and omnipotence enables Him to know everything about me.  He cares for me and I love Him back.  He has given me much and He has comforted me through the rough patches in my life.

“Lord, I thank You that I have You with me during all times.  You will never leave me nor forsake me.  Any of that stuff is done by me.  Forgive me for it.  I need You every second.  Guide me this day O God.”

Blame Satan for the evil in the world.  It didn’t exist until he enter the Garden of Eden.

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Nothing is yours

“’Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart.  The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.’”  Job 1:21.

Verse chosen from today’s Bible reading; Job 1-2, and Acts 6-7.

That Job could say that after what had just happened to him was remarkable.

I don’t actually “own” anything.

I have been given what I have by God.  My function is to be a Godly steward with what He’s given to me.

As I get older, I realize that I am diminishing physically.  I want to deny/ignore it but it is happening.  I do not have command of my future.  God does.

I must make good use of what I have.  All I have is temporary.  And there will be an accounting on Judgment Day of my stewardship.

I need to view each day as if it is my last……..and it could be.  If I approach life like that then I will appreciate what I have now and be extremely mindful of His gifts.

Job knew that God had blessed Him.  Satan thought that Job’s righteous life was all about what he had, not about God.  Satan was allowed to “de-bless” Job and today’s verse are Job’s response.  Having the blessings removed did not remove Job’s loyalty to God.

“Lord, every good gift I have is from You.  Forgive me for considering myself deserving of anything from You.  I am a sinner and continue to be one.  Forgive me.  Cleanse me.  Enable me to clearly see Your good gifts in my midst throughout this day.  You have blessed me royally.  Thank You, Father.”

God has given us every good gift we have.

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