Re:Verse passage – Job 38:1-7; 40:6-9 (day one)
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us throughJob 38:1-7; 40:6-9 in our Spring Re:Verse Series: “JOB – Through the Storm.”
Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24 (day seven)
Although there are things I would correct in Elihu’s theology, I find myself drawn to several character traits that I believe would do us well to replicate when we find ourselves in the position to give advice.
What I see today is a lot of people rushing to share their unwarranted advice. I see people leaning more on feelings than on spiritual truth. I see people unwilling to hear out the other side and be challenged. Want to know someone else who epitomizes these three traits? You might find Him in John 8:1-11.
Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24 (day six)
There are no bad questions. Some may conclude that one of the purposes of Job is to illustrate the futility of asking hard questions; that we simply aren’t capable of understanding the complexities of God’s management of the universe as it involves human suffering. The latter is true of course, but it is a big leap to conclude we shouldn’t search for reasons for suffering.
In fact the book of Job points to a different conclusion, I think. We are privy to Job’s emotional journey as he attempts to make sense of his suffering. He argues with friends, questions God, wrestles with his will to press on, but ultimately longs for justice and restored fellowship with God. We can conclude that while we may not receive the answers we want, we may discover the meaning me need.
God is sympathetic to our frailty, and his shoulders are big enough to carry our fears, tough questions, and yes, even our anger. Elihu would advise we not forget who God is in all his wonder in the process.
I would advise something similar, it is okay to ask hard questions about suffering, as long as you don’t lose sight of the kind of person you ought to be in your suffering.
Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24 (day five) “Behold, God does all these oftentimes with men, To bring back his soul from the pit, That he may be enlightened with the light of life.”
“Don’t let what you don’t know, keep you from believing, saying, and doing what you do know.” These were the words of a wise professor at Howard Payne to his ministry students. One of the points he made with this quote is that there most always will be things that we don’t know or cannot understand about the Lord. The other important point, is that there are things we do know and understand about the Lord. So, today will you make a list (verbally, mentally, physically) of the things you do know about the Lord? His love. His mercy. His strength. His forgiveness. His faithfulness. This list will turn into praise. This list will serve as a reminder of the greatness (both known and unknown) of God. This list could cause a reverent hunger and thirst to know God better and at a deeper level (discipleship). This list will give voice to confession of sin and communication of truth (repentance and witnessing).
God has already made enough of Himself known to save us, for us to grow, and for us share the gospel with others (creation, scriptures, changed lives).
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!
Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24 (day three)
“Therefore men fear Him;
He does not regard any who are wise of heart.”
One can sense at the core of Elihu’s musings a discontent with what has come to be regarded as wisdom. Elihu looks at the cumulative thinking from each perspective, and he doesn’t see much that’s promising. He basically says, “None of you has got it right.” He himself doesn’t claim definitive insight, but he finds the ideas of his elders – Job included – to be deficient in dealing with the questions that arise from Job’s plight. This young person doesn’t say, “Get out of the way so we can do it my way.” He does say, “I haven’t heard true wisdom yet, so let’s keep seeking.” That’s the kind of youthful passion that can soften hardened positions and set a people up for God’s revelation.
Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24
(day two). The Almighty—we cannot find Him;
He is exalted in power
And He will not do violence to justice and abundant righteousness. 37:23
Wait for me a little, and I will show you
That there is yet more to be said in God’s behalf. 36:1
Of all the advice given by Job’s friends, I have always considered Elihu to be closest to the mark. Close, but not quite on target. I appreciate that he gives deference to age and wisdom. He waits his turn and listens. I also appreciate that he doesn’t let his youth ultimately keep him from speaking. When he asks Job about the characteristics of God in creation it comes very near to how God ultimately responds.
There are, however, some flaws in Elihu’s logic. He continues to contend that Job is deserving of his suffering. It stands to reason that, following Elihu’s logic, God will not do violence to justice, so Job must be unjust. It must be nice to live in such a binary sort of world, but it doesn’t take too many days on the earth to realize that isn’t how suffering works. Secondly, he says that God is not accessible. Again, according to Elihu, God is exalted and once he set the world in motion he stepped away. Third, God needs an interpreter.
Friends, this isn’t how we approach the Almighty. Our suffering is not unknown to the Lord. He hears our pleas for mercy, and God, his Word, and the Holy Spirit are sufficient. Stop looking for the “fix” and continue to search for Jesus in the storm.
Re:Verse passage – Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24
Join us as Senior Pastor Chris Johnson, Associate Pastor Aaron Hufty, and Associate Pastor Bryan Richardson walk us through Job 32:1-10; 33:2-4, 22-30; 35:9-10; 37:14-24 in our Spring Re:Verse Series: “JOB – Through the Storm.”
Re:Verse passage – Job 19:20-27 (day seven)
I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth. vs 20b
I was “today” years old when I realized this idiom was from Job. As with other popular lines found in the Bible, this phrase has become a part of our cultural vernacular. In Job’s instance, he might have literally escaped by the skin of his teeth (his gums were likely the only part of his body that escaped affliction), but when we use this phrase today, we are referring to barely managing to do something. “He passed his exam by the skin of his teeth.”
For how many of us is this more than vernacular? We find ourselves moving so fast from one project to the next that we do barely enough get by. When this rhythm becomes the norm, it begins to bleed into our spiritual walk. We do barely enough to check our boxes and move on to the next thing. God promises so much more to us when we put in the intentional effort to abide with Him. Don’t just try to get through it by the skin of your teeth, dwell in and with Him, and watch what He does when you put in the work to abide. John 15:1-11
Re:Verse passage – Job 19:20-27 (six)
Pastor Scott is absolutely right! Undergirding Job’s proclamation is a worldview; a set of convictions that help him make sense of God and the world around him. Part of Job’s story is that experience of indiscriminate suffering threw some of what he had previously believed about God out the door, but other things remained.
One of the things that remained in Job’s worldview, we see echoed loudly here too, and that is-God cares. Job is convinced that God has NOT abandoned him, nor is he distant and aloof, unaware and unconcerned about his suffering and his words (Job 19:23).
In Job’s mind, God is more than knowledgeable about situation, he cares about him, his well being, and about justice; so much so, he can leave everything in God’s hands, and not take matters into his own.