Good Morning Everyone!! I apologize for being late with this post this morning (I KNOW some of you are EARLY risers and I want to honor that). However, today is the 24th anniversary of the day I married God’s gift to me, my sweet husband. By the grace of God we were able to celebrate all weekend by doing things we enjoy doing together, had a fabulous time, leaving me a little tired… thus late. Please forgive my tardiness.
Here we are, at the END of Job. WE have NOW completed our first book of the bible together!! Doesn’t it feel great!!! We started Job by saying the book asks a question we all desire the answer to which is “WHY do bad things happen to good, righteous, people?” Does God ever answer this question for Job or for us … nnnnnnnnooooooooo …… at least not directly.
BUT… what does God say. FIRST and foremost I think it is so important to note that GOD CAME TO JOB, demonstrating HIS love and care for him. And for those of you who are “playing my game of seeing Jesus on each page”… ISN’T THIS THE VERY REASON THAT JESUS CAME???? So we can have a personal relationship with HIM??? We can speak to Him every day. HE lives IN us!! HALLELUJAH!!
The Bible does NOT tell us that life will be fair, easy, or without challenges. It actually tells us that we will face challenges, trials, and tribulations, but when we have Jesus in our life we will NEVER be alone. HE is always with us to guide us, comfort us, give us strength, and love, and SO much more. I could not live without my personal relationship with HIM in my life.
Chapter 40 – God once again reminds him that HE has been listening to him. HE is the Almighty God who has created EVERY thing, so NOW Job in verse 2, has the opportunity to answer God’s question: “Let him who accuses God answer him!!” Again, this time that I am reading this I do not think God is angry with Job. Yes, he is speaking to him during a storm and I am sure the awesomeness was totally overwhelming. HE promises to use ALL things for our good. However, he does want us to grow more into the image of Christ. And think about this on a personal level…. Don’t our conversations often go back and forth with God just as God’s conversation with Job did??
Romans 8:28-29 (NIV) states:
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. 29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
1 Peter 1:6-7(NIV) states:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
I LOVE how Job answers God in verses 3-5 (The Message):
“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
I’m ready to shut up and listen.”
It is obvious in these verses that Job decided the answer to his question wasn’t really that important, after all, GOD ALMIGHTY came to him and reminded him of HIS greatness. God had revealed to Job that as a limited human being he did not have the ability or right to judge God. God’s actions do not depend on ours. HE will do what HE knows is best regardless of what we think or feel.
I also LOVE the way God uses animals to convey WHO HE is, HIS character. HE uses the animals as PROOF of HIS greatness. He discusses the behemoth in Chapter 40 and the leviathan in Chapter 41 (the ENTIRE CHAPTER IS ABOUT THIS CREATURE). Some scholars believe the behemoth to be either an elephant or hippopotamus, and the leviathan to be a crocodile. However, some scholars believe otherwise. One of the participants in last year’s bible study shared the following Christian links. These links are TOTALLY awesome … ESPECIALLY if you believe that the dinosaurs walked with humans AND if you believe in the mystery of an extinct sea creature (who played in the ocean and NO MAN could tame… not just a story for children J). These animals and creatures that God gives us in these chapters are more than examples for us. They should remind us that as powerful as these animals were/are … animals that men could not conquer… God could STOP their breath in a split second without any effort at all. Do you see how AWESOME and POWERFUL HE is??
Chapter 42 — IF YOU READ NOTHING ELSE IN THE SCRIPTURES TODAY…. READ THIS CHAPTER!! It begins with Job realizing he was sinning because of his suffering not suffering because of sin. He confesses his sin to God in verses 2-6:
NOTE that Job is not confessing a sin of an action he did. He is confessing his sin of pride, his attitude toward God, his lack of conversation WITH God DURING his pain. God was there the ENTIRE time. If you get nothing more from this study …. GOD IS WITH YOU AND ME ALL THE TIME. HE WANTS to speak to us … but we must CHOOSE to take time to read HIS WORD and LISTEN…. He DESIRES a one on one relationship with us. Do you ask God: “WHY is “THIS” happening to me?” OR do you ask God “Lord, what would you like me to learn from “THIS”, show me your way LORD?” Job REPENTED. He did a total “360” , a total “U-turn” and STOPPED thinking His old way and began NEW. He began having conversations with God again. What is God saying to you right this moment??
Verse 7 states “AFTER … (again AFTER repeated for my emphasis)…. The LORD said these things to Job he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “ I AM ANGRY WITH YOU AND YOUR TWO FRIENDS BECAUSE YOU HAVE NOT SPOKEN OF ME WHAT IS RIGHT, AS MY SERVANT JOB HAS. Verse 8 states: “SO NOW…” Did you notice the scripture states “I AM ANGRY WITH YOU” as God is speaking to the “friends.” However, HE did NOT say this when speaking to Job!! AHHHHHMAZING!!! (Light bulb moment for me 🙂 )
God has the three friends GO to Job and sacrifice a burnt offering “FOR YOURSELVES.” God tells them EXACTLY how many animals to bring.
God also states in verse 8: “MY servant Job will pray for you and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly (because they had been judging Job.)”
Can you imagine the look on their faces? I mean they thought they knew it ALL. THEY had DONE NO WRONG… they were JUST there to give comfort. Yet God knows our heart which is why it is SO important to FILL our hearts with the WORD of God. I am CERTAINLY NOT pointing a finger at the friends because I KNOW that whenever I point a finger at someone else … there are 3 fingers pointing back at ME!!! (OUCH).
And Job, do you wonder what he was thinking when God commanded him to pray for these three friends. He may have been on auto pilot because he was so humbled from God’s speaking to him. However, I think about myself and how HARD it is to pray for people who have hurt me (Luke 6:28 states: ” bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.”) …. Ummmmmmmm….with an ouch … AND part of his prayer ALSO showed forgiveness of their judgement.J Just two scriptures (there are MANY) that you can check out about what God says about forgiveness are: Colossians 3:13 and Hebrews 8:12. And Job was so obedient. He obeyed God.
Verse 10 – “AFTER JOB PRAYED for his friends the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” WE ARE TALKING RESTORATION FOLKS. Restoration is not about money and things although it was so like God to bless Job in this manner. However, EVEN if God did not give Job double for his trouble in earthly things …. The ending would have been the SAME in regards to Job’s restoration.. the restoration in his soul!! This also reminds us that JESUS is written ALL over this reading because that is why HE came!! LOOK at ALL the ALMIGHTY GOD gave back to Job…… I’m singing Hallelujah, tears running down my cheeks, and have the deep “peace that passETH understanding.”
Talk about DEVINE REVELATION!! Job had a RELATIONSHIP with ALMIGHTY GOD!! GOD spoke to him!!! And, guess what…… God speaks to us TODAY. When you read this Scripture today (or any scripture) did/do you “hear” a still small voice inside of you telling you something over and over??? WELL…. That is God!! The Bible is the major way he communicates to us, after all it is HIS LIVING WORD. Open your heart and listen to HIM. This is not simply another history book with “good stories”. IT IS THE LIVING WORD OF GOD … BREATHED BY GOD… JUST FOR YOU AND FOR ME!!!
One other note before closing, one of the GREAT things about reading in the KJV at times is that you will see many verbs with an added “ETH” at the end. Above when I said I have a deep peace that PASSETH understanding, that “ETH” is VERY IMPORTANT. WHY you ask? It is because whenever you see this “ETH” it means that God does it OVER AND OVER AND OVER … TO INFINITY AND BEYOND OVER AGAIN FOR US. Take a look at the KJV and SEE how AWESOME our God is and to know HE REALLY is the God of second chances (and third, and forth… etc)!! Check out Psalm 23 from the KJV:
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makETH me to lie down in green pastures: he leadETH me beside the still waters.
3 He restorETH my soul: he leadETH me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runnETH over.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
BE STRONG AND COURAGEOUS (Joshua 1:9) … (Thank you Dawn E for allowing God to use you and making this scripture come alive for me)!! And make it a GREAT day … go on an adventure WITH God today … ASK HIM what HE would like you to know. GOD is PERSONAL and desires a personal, daily, consistent relationship with HIM. This is NOT about rules and regulations, rituals, formality, length of time we spend in prayer, where we pray, or timing… it is simply about making a commitment to HIM to be a part of our daily… moment by moment …lives. HE is waiting with open arms 🙂
Sharng HIS love
As I was reading today’s chapters I kept thinking of two songs. The first one was “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin. You can listen to it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cKLQ1td3MbE
The second one was “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord)” by Matt Redman and you can listen to that at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXDGE_lRI0E
God speaks to Job and opens up with 60 something rhetorical questions to let him and all readers simply KNOW how awesome HE is. Most of HIS questions were: “where were you when…..”!! Those questions certainly humbled me …. “ Ummmm…. Nope… I was not there Lord … and I have NO idea how you did what you did but thank YOU for reminding me of ALL you did.
The things that struck me deeply today were what I did not see in writing. The first thing we are told is that “God answered Job out of the storm.” Just a few nights ago we had winds of up to 60 mph in the area. It was about midnight. I was at my kitchen table listening to pine cones and other debris SLAM into my bay windows. I really thought things were going to start coming through the glass. I happened to be reading THIS chapter at the same time and began to imagine how Job must have felt.
Job is in the MIDST of a storm and hears GOD SPEAK!! What I did NOT read following that Scripture was that Job was afraid, or that he hid from God. There was no discussion of fear and trembling. God simply began to speak. MANY years ago when I did my first Job bible study, I thought for sure God was mad and spoke in an angry voice. However, when I read it this time … NO WHERE does it say that God was angry. It simply says GOD SPOKE.
THIS year when I read this I heard a loving Father, speak through HIS majesty, to HIS child. God is firm. HE is clear with HIS point. He doesn’t answer Job’s question. Yet, HE opens Job’s eyes to MORE of HIS character. There is NO indication that Job is saying .. “but … but … God… that’s not what I asked”. I can only imagine that Job is watching the storm, listening to the wind, and hearing HIS God remind him of all HE has done. I am confident Job was humbled, speechless, and awestruck.
God makes it abundantly clear what is important and what needs to be focused on and guess what … if we are like Job and are focusing on our circumstances rather than on God…. We have our focus in the WRONG place (ouch.. ouch … and ouch again). When life doesn’t make sense we have a choice to make and that is do we chose to dwell on our circumstances and/or fears or do we chose to shift focus onto God’s greatness, HIS awesomeness. HOW do we do this? Begin by looking at the stars on a clear night, listening to the roar of the ocean, watching a storm, or snow falling, witnessing the birth of a baby. HE created it ALL.
Not ONLY did He create it ALL, but because of Jesus Christ, HE now LIVES IN US. God is not some distant God who cannot relate, or who simply watches from up in the heavens. God is right here with us, IN US in EVERY thing we do. HE KNOWS what we are going through. HE wants us to KNOW WHO HE is and how deeply HE loves us.
I have a deep love of animals and my guess is that Job understood animals well (he would have had to in order to own so many before the trials came.) Did you notice how many questions God asked Job about animals? I believe he did so to help Job understand how much HE understood him/us. HIS questions were on a level Job could comprehend, picture, and relate to. PLUS as much as Job knew about animals … God’s questions possibly made him see how little he really knew.
Ultimately, God does not need to answer Job’s direct questions, because Job answered most of them himself. Even in Job 7:17-19 (NIV), Job already began to answer his own question without really knowing it:
17 “What is mankind that you make so much of them,
that you give them so much attention,
18 that you examine them every morning
and test them every moment?
19 Will you never look away from me,
or let me alone even for an instant?
The answer to Job’s question is …. No!!! HE won’t. THANK GOD!!!
Sharing HIS love,