Where Were You When…?

Re:Verse passage – Job 38:1-7; 40:6-9 (day four)

God asks Job 69 questions in these three chapters…none of them can be answered by Job.  It is a stark reminder that God is infinitely mightier than man.  God is all-powerful, all-wise, ever-present, all-knowing, infinite, holy, just, and loving.  He is our creator, sustainer, healer, and Savior.  Not only was Job left speechless before God, he was re-focused on the glory of God.

We often need to be re-focused upon God.  Using the character qualities of God to give praise to Him is an effective way to pray.  We are reminded of our standing before the Almighty God.  Reciting His character in prayer is like praying Scripture back to Him.  Now is a good time to pause and praise.  Express your praise by acknowledging God’s character! (Respond in the comment section your one sentence praise to God:  “Lord, I praise you for You are…”)

Words

Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24 (day four)

Elihu is the last friend to speak to Job.  His discourse is different than the others in that he focuses primarily on who God is rather than what Job did to deserve his suffering.  In many ways, Elihu helped to prepare Job’s thinking for what God was about to ask him.  The next three chapters will open Job’s eyes to see God clearly.  Elihu’s words caused Job to remember that God was his creator and Job did not have position to question His actions.

Question:  Do our words prepare people to experience God?  Do we speak truthful and encouraging words that turn thoughts to God?  Every encounter with another can serve as an entrance to an encounter with God.  Our words should lead others to obedience, service, repentance, or commitment.  Every conversation can be turned to God and a divine encounter may result as we make ourselves available to God.  Choose your words wisely!

Nothing

Re:Verse passage – Job 19:20-27 (day four)

What a man of faith!  Even while Job laments his suffering, he says unashamedly, “my redeemer lives.”  Job, in faith, says ‘in the end, God will still stand.’  Job recognizes and knows that God will be there no matter what.  Whether all of his possessions are gone, all of his family and friends are gone, or all of his flesh is gone, God will still care for him.

Paul wrote similar words many years later.  Romans 8:38-39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, not principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  We have the promise from God of His constant, never-ending love and care for us that can never be taken from us.  Satan would have us believe that God will fail us, but Job understood this to be a lie.  Nothing can separate us from God!

We Win!

Re:Verse passage – Job 19:13-19 (day four)

Satan is very thorough in his quest to break the faithfulness of a child of God.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able.  This look at Job shows us what the red line looks like.  The deceiver had no limits, short of the life of Job.  God provided a way of escape for Job…He will do the same for us.

Since we have the Word of God, we can read Revelation, the last chapter.  Richard Wurmbrand was arrested.  A Romanian pastor, he began to lead the other prisoners to Christ.  The Communists planned to kill him.  Wurmbrand told his captors that if they killed him, his blood would become the blood of a martyr and more would be saved.  They released him out of fear of doing that.  They told Wurmbrand that they weren’t going to kill him, no matter what he did to try to make them.  He continued to bear fruitful witness in a communist land, without hindrance.  Have you read the last chapter?  (We win!)

All In the Perspective

Re:Verse passage – Job 13:15-16, 14:1-2, 14-17 (day four)

We have to stand in admiration of Job…facing all of the trials and suffering that he did, he continued to trust in God.  Job said even if God slays me, I will hope in Him.  What faith!  Job lived generations before Jesus came to walk among us.  He had a mature faith that trusted God, no matter what.  We have a very different perspective.  Living in AD instead of BC, we have the benefit of Scripture.  Scripture reveals to us God’s plan for the world.  We have seen how He has worked in history…we have learned from the prophets, from the apostles, from servants like Paul…we have the truth of Scripture.

We also have the gospel story of the work of Christ.  We can know the gift of forgiveness of sin, we can know the power of the Holy Spirit, and we can know the glory of the Father.  Job’s faith had none of these to build his foundation on, yet he remained faithful and obedient to the Lord.  How can we not believe?

Fear of the Unknown

Re:Verse passage – Job 9:32-35 (day four)

There is no one like God!  Who can stand before Him as His equal, much less His superior?  Job is saying that there is no one to arbitrate with God.  For an arbitrator to resolve a conflict between two parties, he must hold some level of authority over both of them.  Job says there is no one who can arbitrate with God because no one has any authority over God.

Knowing this truth, Job is in despair as to what to do.  He wants to put aside his sufferings as if they were not happening.  He cannot understand what is going on or why God has turned His face from him.  Job says that it is fear that keeps him from trusting God.  Fear of the unknown has paralyzed Job’s spirit.

How often are we paralyzed with fear?  Fear of uncomfortable circumstances, fear of mounting bills and debts, fear of health challenges, fear of relationships gone bad…we can be consumed with fear.  What if we prayed first? …what a novel idea!  Since God is God and has no equal, why don’t we ask Him for His perspective, for His provision, or for His power?  Job eventually got there but why don’t we start there?

Trust God

Re:Verse passage – Job 7:1-21 (day four)

Job was trying to understand.  By his evaluation, he had done nothing wrong.  Job recognized that there was sin and iniquity in his life, but why wasn’t God forgiving him when he confessed before Him?  Even Job’s friends were offering explanations as to what was going on.  The assumption was that bad things only happen to bad people.  Job and his friends were looking at circumstances rather than relationships.

You and I are like that…we want an explanation!  Why did this bad thing happen to me and good came to that other sinful, unregenerate person?  There is a reason why God is God and we are not!  Our finite understanding  and limited knowledge may never know the answers to some of life’s questions.  Often times, our relationship with God comes back to one thing…faith!  Faith in God and faith in His love for us!  We have to trust that God knows best.  We serve an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present, all-loving, infinite God.  Praise the Lord!

What Do You See?

Re:Verse passage – Job 2:11-13, 22:5-6, 9-11 (day four)

Contrast the two meetings that were held on Job’s behalf.  The first was the heavenly meeting between God and satan.  God saw all of the good in the heart of Job.  Regardless of the circumstances in Job’s life, God knew Job would be true and faithful in his worship of God.  The second meeting was the meeting of Job’s friends who came to sympathize with Job.  They, like satan, saw the circumstances surrounding Job and drew their own conclusions to the situation.  They assumed that Job’s suffering was the result of evil in his heart.  They had no clue that the exact opposite was true.  It was Job’s righteousness that landed him in trouble.

What do you see when you look at others?  Do you see circumstances or do you see hearts and faithfulness to God?  Ask God to give you His eyes…ask Him to keep you from jumping to assumptions and to teach you to discern truth and righteousness in people’s hearts.

Fair Weather Friend?

Re:Verse passage – Job 2:1-10, 3:11, 20-26 (day four)

So…do we really believe that God did not know where Satan had been?  He asked, “Where have you come from?”  He likewise had asked Adam in the garden, “Where are you?”  God is All-Knowing, Omnipresent, and Sovereign over all…He was initiating a conversation to point out truth (or lack of it) in the world.

Satan was, and is, the very essence of evil.  He truly believed that if God removed His blessing from Job, he would turn against God.  Satan could not fathom a heart wholly devoted in worship to God.  He thought that every action was controlled by our circumstances.  Change the circumstances and the heart response would be different.  This worldview could be very true if it were not for the presence and reality of God and His love.

What about your heart?  Are you dependent on your circumstances in how you respond to the Lord?  When trials come your way, will you lament your losses and turn against God or will you worship and exalt God?  Let Job be our example…”Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

The Grace of God

Re:Verse passage – Job 1:13-22 (day four)

The world is broken by sin.  There is chaos in every earthly arena.  Try as we may, man cannot ‘fix’ the brokenness of our world.  Apart from the grace of God, all of our lives would look like the tragic day in Job’s world.  God had placed a hedge of protection about all of Job’s life.  Even when Job was not aware of it, God had protected Job, his home, and his family.  He had blessed the work of Job’s hands and prospered Job’s entire existence.

Like Job, we may never know the heavenly influences in our lives.  What we do know though is that God is the supreme authority and His Word makes all things possible.  Gratitude should fill our hearts that God, in His infinite mercy, has established our very existence and life on this earth.  Our purpose in life is to worship God and to bring glory to His name.  Evil will abound, atrocities will occur…but God’s grace is sufficient for our every need!  I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5b)