1292.) Job 22

April 15, 2014

Job22 succeed

Job 22   (NLT)

Eliphaz’s Third Response to Job

Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:

Eliphaz attacks Job’s character:

“Can a person do anything to help God?
    Can even a wise person be helpful to him?
3 Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous?
    Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect?

Two responses:

“Is he not simply arguing the case for the self-sufficiency of God? God needs nothing; God lacks nothing. Since God is already absolutely perfect, He did not create man out of any personal deficiency or compulsion, and therefore man cannot give anything to God. This is standard orthodox doctrine.”

–Mike Mason

and

In one aspect Eliphaz certainly had correct theology—God does not “need” Job in the way Job needed God. Nevertheless Eliphaz’s application of this principle was wrong in this context, because it was indeed a pleasure to the Almighty that Job was righteous (as seen in Job 1-2). According to those first two chapters, it was indeed a gain to Him that Job made his ways blameless.

–David Guzik

Is it because you’re so pious that he accuses you
    and brings judgment against you?
No, it’s because of your wickedness!
    There’s no limit to your sins.

“For example, you must have lent money to your friend
    and demanded clothing as security.
    Yes, you stripped him to the bone.

Job22 not fair

This begins a remarkable list of groundless accusations against Job. Eliphaz accuses Job mainly of greed and cruelty for the sake of riches.

You must have refused water for the thirsty
    and food for the hungry.
You probably think the land belongs to the powerful
    and only the privileged have a right to it!
You must have sent widows away empty-handed
    and crushed the hopes of orphans.
10 That is why you are surrounded by traps
    and tremble from sudden fears.
11 That is why you cannot see in the darkness,
    and waves of water cover you.

Eliphaz attacks Job’s theology:

12 “God is so great—higher than the heavens,
    higher than the farthest stars.
13 But you reply, ‘That’s why God can’t see what I am doing!
    How can he judge through the thick darkness?
14 For thick clouds swirl about him, and he cannot see us.
    He is way up there, walking on the vault of heaven.’

15 “Will you continue on the old paths
    where evil people have walked?
16 They were snatched away in the prime of life,
    the foundations of their lives washed away.

Job22 Noah's ark

“Sarcastically, he asks Job if he plans to continue going in the wrong direction – along the path of the wicked. He says this same path that Job is now traveling led to the drowning of an entire generation in Noah’s day, a reference to the Flood.”

–Steven Lawson

17 For they said to God, ‘Leave us alone!
    What can the Almighty do to us?’
18 Yet he was the one who filled their homes with good things,
    so I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.

19 “The righteous will be happy to see the wicked destroyed,
    and the innocent will laugh in contempt.
20 They will say, ‘See how our enemies have been destroyed.
    The last of them have been consumed in the fire.’

Eliphaz counsels Job to make himself right with God:

21 “Submit to God, and you will have peace;
    then things will go well for you.
22 Listen to his instructions,
    and store them in your heart.
23 If you return to the Almighty, you will be restored—
    so clean up your life.
24 If you give up your lust for money
    and throw your precious gold into the river,
25 the Almighty himself will be your treasure.
    He will be your precious silver!

26 “Then you will take delight in the Almighty
    and look up to God.
27 You will pray to him, and he will hear you,
    and you will fulfill your vows to him.
28 You will succeed in whatever you choose to do,
    and light will shine on the road ahead of you.
29 If people are in trouble and you say, ‘Help them,’
    God will save them.
30 Even sinners will be rescued;
    they will be rescued because your hands are pure.”

“Great and wonderful words are these. Had Eliphaz applied them to himself he would have found that his own imperfect acquaintance with God was the reason why he was not able to bring any real comfort to his suffering friend.”

–G. Campbell Morgan

_________________________

Music:

I love the word-picture in verse 28 —  and light will shine on the road ahead of you.  And we remember that Christ is the light of the world as well as the salvation of the world.  Which takes us to Psalm 27, “The Lord is my light and my salvation,” sung  HERE  by the Cambridge Singers (written and directed by John Rutter).

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
You will succeed.    http://www.dailylifeverse.com/posts/images/2013/03/job-22-28.jpg?s=full
It’s not fair.    http://theworkplacetherapist.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/notfair_graphic317.jpg
Noah’s ark.    http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Basics/noah_ark_people_drowing.jpg

1291.) Job 21

April 14, 2014

Job21 Psalm37

Job 21   (NLT)

Job’s Seventh Speech: A Response to Zophar

The problem of the prosperity of the wicked:

Then Job spoke again:

“Listen closely to what I am saying.
    That’s one consolation you can give me.
Bear with me, and let me speak.
    After I have spoken, you may resume mocking me.

“My complaint is with God, not with people.
    I have good reason to be so impatient.
Look at me and be stunned.
    Put your hand over your mouth in shock.

JOB mind-your-language

Job enriches our language. 

Here is a quotation which has become a part of our everyday speech: put your hand over your mouth.

This gesture can be both threatening or playful, depending on the context. Rescuers may sometimes use this if they have to sneak up on a friend from behind and don’t want them alerting nearby foes by yelling in surprise.

When I think about what I am saying, I shudder.
    My body trembles.

These opening verses demonstrate again that Job’s real point of crisis was his conflict with God, not with man (especially with his friends). His crisis was fundamentally spiritual in nature, much more than being a medical crisis, an economic crisis, a social crisis, or a family crisis. His struggle was against God, and he wondered where God was in the midst of this very dark time.

–David Guzik

“Why do the wicked prosper,
    growing old and powerful?
They live to see their children grow up and settle down,
    and they enjoy their grandchildren.
Their homes are safe from every fear,
    and God does not punish them.
10 Their bulls never fail to breed.
    Their cows bear calves and never miscarry.
11 They let their children frisk about like lambs.
    Their little ones skip and dance.
12 They sing with tambourine and harp.
    They celebrate to the sound of the flute.
13 They spend their days in prosperity,
    then go down to the grave in peace.

Job21 JB play

A pair of ringmasters, Messrs. Nickles or “Satan” (Bruce Alan Rauscher) and Zuss or “God” (Steve Lebens) enter the circus area and wax philosophical and theological. (American Community Theater, Arlington, VA, 2012)

Archibald MacLeish wrote J.B. — A Play in Verse and won the Pulitzer Prize for it in 1959.  The play is based on the story of Job and set in a modern world circus context (as in the picture above).  In the “Foreward,” the author compares J.B./Job to mid-century American businessmen, and the description is not unlike Job’s description of the wicked who prosper:

“My hero, called J.B. after the current fashion in business address, bears little relation, perhaps, to that ancient owner of camels and oxen and sheep.  He is not a particularly devout man.  But he is, at the beginning of the play, prosperous, powerful, possessed of a lovely wife, fine children—everything the heart of man can desire—and he is aware, as he could hardly help being, that God has made “an hedge about him and about his house and about all that he hath on every side.”  Not that the name of God is often in his mouth.  He is one of those vastly successful American businessmen—not as numerous now as they were before the Great Depression—who, having everything, believe as a matter of course that they have a right to have everything. 

“They do not believe this out of vulgarity; on the contrary, they are most often men of exuberance, of high animal spirits, of force and warmth.  They believe it because they possess in large measure that characteristically American courage, which has so often entertained Asian and European visitors, the courage to believe in themselves.  Which means to believe in their lives.  Which means, if their tongues can shape the words, to believe in God’s goodness to them.  They are not hypocritical.  They do not think that they deserve more at God’s hands than others.  They merely think that they have more—and that they have a right to have it.”

This play always makes me think.  I highly recommend you go to your local library for a copy and read it for yourself!

14 And yet they say to God, ‘Go away.
    We want no part of you and your ways.
15 Who is the Almighty, and why should we obey him?
    What good will it do us to pray?’
16 (They think their prosperity is of their own doing,
    but I will have nothing to do with that kind of thinking.)

The wisdom of God and the prosperity of the wicked:

17 “Yet the light of the wicked never seems to be extinguished.
    Do they ever have trouble?
    Does God distribute sorrows to them in anger?
18 Are they driven before the wind like straw?
    Are they carried away by the storm like chaff?
    Not at all!

19 “‘Well,’ you say, ‘at least God will punish their children!’
    But I say he should punish the ones who sin,
    so that they understand his judgment.
20 Let them see their destruction with their own eyes.
    Let them drink deeply of the anger of the Almighty.
21 For they will not care what happens to their family
    after they are dead.

22 “But who can teach a lesson to God,
    since he judges even the most powerful?

Job21 AllTruth

Romans 11:34   (NIV)

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”

23 One person dies in prosperity,
    completely comfortable and secure,
24 the picture of good health,
    vigorous and fit.
25 Another person dies in bitter poverty,
    never having tasted the good life.
26 But both are buried in the same dust,
    both eaten by the same maggots.

Job challenges the empty words of his friends:

27 “Look, I know what you’re thinking.
    I know the schemes you plot against me.
28 You will tell me of rich and wicked people
    whose houses have vanished because of their sins.
29 But ask those who have been around,
    and they will tell you the truth.
30 Evil people are spared in times of calamity
    and are allowed to escape disaster.
31 No one criticizes them openly
    or pays them back for what they have done.
32 When they are carried to the grave,
    an honor guard keeps watch at their tomb.
33 A great funeral procession goes to the cemetery.
    Many pay their respects as the body is laid to rest,
    and the earth gives sweet repose.

34 “How can your empty clichés comfort me?
    All your explanations are lies!”

_________________________

Music:

Job21 stop-shopping

Yes, I know we all measure success by the amount of stuff acquired.  And it seems irksome that jerks get more nice things than the good people.  But when you come right down to it, what are all those acquisitions worth at the end?  HERE  is L. L. Fleming’s haunting arrangement of “Give Me Jesus,” sung by the Chamber Choir of California State University, Long Beach.  Just to remind us of what is really, truly, absolutely important.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Do not fret because of evil men.    http://www.1journey.net/stdavids/SW/BibleVerses/support/psalm37_1-2.jpg
scene from the play J.B.     http://dctheatrescene.com/2012/09/26/j-b/
All truth is God’s truth.    http://cdn.theresurgence.com/files/2012/11/09/AllTruth.jpg
Stop shopping.    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0uS60mKYDmY/TUMU45SU72I/AAAAAAAAATg/mBYgWK8mM_8/s1600/20081119-stop-shopping-sticker%255B1%255D.jpg

1290.) Job 20

April 11, 2014

Job20 Zophar-talking

Job 20   (NLT)

Zophar’s Second Response to Job

Then Zophar the Naamathite replied:

Zophar describes his turmoil:

“I must reply
    because I am greatly disturbed.
I’ve had to endure your insults,
    but now my spirit prompts me to reply.

The short triumph of the wicked man:

“Don’t you realize that from the beginning of time,
    ever since people were first placed on the earth,
the triumph of the wicked has been short lived
    and the joy of the godless has been only temporary?

Apparently Job’s confession of faith fell on deaf ears.  Zophar was not listening.

Though the pride of the godless reaches to the heavens
    and their heads touch the clouds,
yet they will vanish forever,
    thrown away like their own dung.
Those who knew them will ask,
    ‘Where are they?’
They will fade like a dream and not be found.
    They will vanish like a vision in the night.

Job20 dont-count-the-days

Psalm 103:15-17   (NIV)

The life of mortals is like grass,
    they flourish like a flower of the field;
the wind blows over it and it is gone,
    and its place remembers it no more.
But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children.

May we spend our time sharing the Lord’s love!

Those who once saw them will see them no more.
    Their families will never see them again.
10 Their children will beg from the poor,
    for they must give back their stolen riches.
11 Though they are young,
    their bones will lie in the dust.

The frustrated life of the wicked man:

12 “They enjoyed the sweet taste of wickedness,
    letting it melt under their tongue.
13 They savored it,
    holding it long in their mouths.

Job20 Open-Mouth

Psalm 10:7  (NIV)

His mouth is full of lies and threats;
    trouble and evil are under his tongue.

May our mouths be filled with truth and love and praises of the Lord!

14 But suddenly the food in their bellies turns sour,
    a poisonous venom in their stomach.
15 They will vomit the wealth they swallowed.
    God won’t let them keep it down.
16 They will suck the poison of cobras.
    The viper will kill them.
17 They will never again enjoy streams of olive oil
    or rivers of milk and honey.
18 They will give back everything they worked for.
    Their wealth will bring them no joy.
19 For they oppressed the poor and left them destitute.
    They foreclosed on their homes.
20 They were always greedy and never satisfied.
    Nothing remains of all the things they dreamed about.

Job20 gratitude

Proverbs 17:1 (NIV)

Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
    than a house full of feasting, with strife. 

May we be content with God’s bountiful goodness!

21 Nothing is left after they finish gorging themselves.
    Therefore, their prosperity will not endure.

The dark destiny of the wicked man:

22 “In the midst of plenty, they will run into trouble
    and be overcome by misery.
23 May God give them a bellyful of trouble.
    May God rain down his anger upon them.
24 When they try to escape an iron weapon,
    a bronze-tipped arrow will pierce them.
25 The arrow is pulled from their back,
    and the arrowhead glistens with blood.
The terrors of death are upon them.
26 Their treasures will be thrown into deepest darkness.
A wildfire will devour their goods,
    consuming all they have left.
27 The heavens will reveal their guilt,
    and the earth will testify against them.
28 A flood will sweep away their house.
    God’s anger will descend on them in torrents.
29 This is the reward that God gives the wicked.
    It is the inheritance decreed by God.”

This was Zophar’s firm conclusion (he speaks no more in the Book of Job). He made the clear connection between the wrath that the wicked man reaps and Job’s own situation. Zophar—as with the rest of Job’s friends—left little room for grace. “It is worth pointing out, as a sign of the narrowness of Zophar’s beliefs, that his speech contains no hint that the wicked might repent, make amends, and regain the favour of God. Zophar has no compassion and his god has no mercy.” (Andersen)

–David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

Zophar’s thinking is that we get God’s mercy and blessing only by earning it.  But that is not what the whole of Scripture teaches.  Isaiah 30:18 says — Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.  For the Lord is a God of justice.  Blessed are all who wait for him!  HERE  is Terry Butler and “Deep, Deep Love.” 

Let your heart rest today in God’s deep and abiding love.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved

Images courtesy of:
Zophar talking.   http://gorepent.com/wp-content/uploads/posts18/zophar-talking.jpg
don’t count the days.    http://booandboy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/dont-count-the-days.jpg
open mouth.    http://pxv0jal6vyucmm5q.zippykid.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/BLOG-Chap-5-Open-Mouth.jpg
gratitude.    http://www.netcastchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/gratitude.jpg

1289.) Job 19

April 10, 2014

“Job and His Friends,” by Ilya Yefimovich-Repin, 1869

Job 19   (NLT)

Job’s Sixth Speech: A Response to Bildad

1Then Job spoke again:

Job complains that his friends have not understood him at all:

2 “How long will you torture me?
How long will you try to crush me with your words?
3 You have already insulted me ten times.
You should be ashamed of treating me so badly.

“They struck at him with their hard words, as if they were breaking stones on the roadside. We ought to be very careful what we say to those who are suffering affliction and trial, for a word, though it seems to be a very little thing, will often cut far more deeply and wound far more terribly than a razor would.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

4 Even if I have sinned,
that is my concern, not yours.
5 You think you’re better than I am,
using my humiliation as evidence of my sin.

Matthew 7:1-5 (English Standard Version)

“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.  Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

6 But it is God who has wronged me,
capturing me in his net.

Job describes how God has attacked him:

7 “I cry out, ‘Help!’ but no one answers me.
I protest, but there is no justice.
8 God has blocked my way so I cannot move.
He has plunged my path into darkness.
9 He has stripped me of my honor
and removed the crown from my head.
10 He has demolished me on every side, and I am finished.
He has uprooted my hope like a fallen tree.
11 His fury burns against me;
he counts me as an enemy.
12 His troops advance.
They build up roads to attack me.
They camp all around my tent.

In Job 19:8-12, Job recounts the reverse progression of an ancient siege and conquering of a city; yet the irony was that Job was not like a mighty city, but only like a humble tent.

 We can see the reverse progress starting at Job 19:8:

  • Captivity (I cannot pass; and He has set darkness in my paths).
  • Dethronement (taken the crown from my head)
  • Being like a wall torn down (He breaks me down on every side)
  • Being like an uprooted tree (my hope He has uprooted like a tree)
  • Having a siege set against him (build up their road against me)
  • Being surrounded (they encamp all around my tent)

–David Guzik

Job describes the bitter results of God’s attack upon him:

13 “My relatives stay far away,
and my friends have turned against me.
14 My family is gone,
and my close friends have forgotten me.
15 My servants and maids consider me a stranger.
I am like a foreigner to them.
16 When I call my servant, he doesn’t come;
I have to plead with him!
17 My breath is repulsive to my wife.
I am rejected by my own family.

If it were not enough that he has lost so much, now even the friends and family remaining to him are distancing themselves from him.  This rejection is even a heavier burden to bear!  As the little poem goes:

Sticks and stones are hard on bones.
Aimed with cruel art,
Words can sting like anything.
But silence breaks the heart.

18 Even young children despise me.
When I stand to speak, they turn their backs on me.
19 My close friends detest me.
Those I loved have turned against me.
20 I have been reduced to skin and bones
and have escaped death by the skin of my teeth.

JOB mind-your-language

Job enriches our language. 

Here is a quotation which has become a part of our everyday speech: by the skin of my teeth.

The expression by (or with) the skin of one’s teeth, which means ‘by an extremely narrow margin; just barely; scarcely’ is an example of a literal translation of a phrase in another language. It’s also another example of a Biblical expression gaining currency in mainstream usage.

The phrase, which first appears in English in a mid-sixteenth-century translation of the Bible, does not appear to become common until the nineteenth century. At this point by the skin of one’s teeth is the usual form, as if the teeth actually have skin that is so fine you can barely tell. (An interesting parallel is the nineteenth-century Americanism fine as frog’s hair, meaning ‘very fine’, based on a similar assumption.)

–randomhouse.com

Job pleads for pity from his friends:

21 “Have mercy on me, my friends, have mercy,
for the hand of God has struck me.
22 Must you also persecute me, like God does?
Haven’t you chewed me up enough?

Job’s triumphant proclamation of faith:

23 “Oh, that my words could be recorded.
Oh, that they could be inscribed on a monument,
24 carved with an iron chisel and filled with lead,
engraved forever in the rock.

25 “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
and he will stand upon the earth at last.
26 And after my body has decayed,
yet in my body I will see God!
27 I will see him for myself.
Yes, I will see him with my own eyes.
I am overwhelmed at the thought!

from Whispers of His Power,
by Amy Carmichael

Job 19:26-27 — In my flesh shall I see God:  whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.

I shall see God for myself, and not another; not a stranger is the KJV margin.  I shall not have to learn to know and love Him, for it will be the God who has led me all my life long — and not another.

No stranger’s face will meet us on the day we die.  We shall be awakened by the vision of His face — only His.

A little girl was slowly dying in her home in India.  A Christian doctor who was called to see her told her of our Lord Jesus.  After a little while she began to understand and love Him.  One day she said:  “I don’t know anyone in heaven.  I shall feel very shy there.”

“But you know our Lord Jesus,” said the doctor.  “You won’t be shy with Him.”  She was comforted.  Soon after that she saw Him — not another, not a stranger, but the Lord who loved her and gave Himself for her.

28 “How dare you go on persecuting me,
saying, ‘It’s his own fault’?
29 You should fear punishment yourselves,
for your attitude deserves punishment.
Then you will know that there is indeed a judgment.”

_________________________

Music:

“I Know that My Redeemer Liveth”  from Messiah, by George Frederich Handel, 1741.   HERE  is Lynne Dawson with the Choir of King’s College and the Brandenburg Consort, conducted by Stephen Cleobury in 1993.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Repin.   http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_QVtPk6brgO4/TESiiahh-gI/AAAAAAAABVI/Eb2GlvgMeK0/s1600/Job%2520by%2520Repin.jpg
logs.   http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_WAsZai723Yk/TTS30wWNCNI/AAAAAAAAAlM/E-Fv5EV1wQc/s1600/Logging.jpg
tent.  http://www.clipartpal.com/_thumbs/pd/buildings/blue_festive_tent.png
Jesus.  http://www.prlog.org/11425991-faceofjesus.jpg

1288.) Job 18

April 9, 2014

Job18 wages of sin

Job 18   (NLT)

Bildad’s Second Response to Job

Bildad rebukes Job:

Then Bildad the Shuhite replied:

“How long before you stop talking?
    Speak sense if you want us to answer!
Do you think we are mere animals?
    Do you think we are stupid?
You may tear out your hair in anger,
    but will that destroy the earth?
    Will it make the rocks tremble?

Bildad describes the afflictions of the wicked:

“Surely the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
    The sparks of their fire will not glow.
The light in their tent will grow dark.
    The lamp hanging above them will be quenched.
The confident stride of the wicked will be shortened.
    Their own schemes will be their downfall.
The wicked walk into a net.
    They fall into a pit.
A trap grabs them by the heel.
    A snare holds them tight.
10 A noose lies hidden on the ground.
    A rope is stretched across their path.

havahart humane live animal trap

A net, a pit, a trap, a snare, a noose, a rope — Bildad is surely thorough!  The wicked are on a dangerous path; their doom is sure! 

11 “Terrors surround the wicked
    and trouble them at every step.
12 Hunger depletes their strength,
    and calamity waits for them to stumble.
13 Disease eats their skin;
    death devours their limbs.
14 They are torn from the security of their homes
    and are brought down to the king of terrors.

Job18 Grim_reaper

“The king of terrors” — a marvelously poetic description of death itself.  We speak of the “Grim Reaper” and, from the 15th century onwards, it came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood.  The Bible itself refers to “The Angel of Death” when he reaps Egypt’s firstborns.  Incidentally, in English, death is personified as male, but in some other languages, death is portrayed as female.

15 The homes of the wicked will burn down;
    burning sulfur rains on their houses.
16 Their roots will dry up,
    and their branches will wither.
17 All memory of their existence will fade from the earth,
    no one will remember their names.
18 They will be thrust from light into darkness,
    driven from the world.
19 They will have neither children nor grandchildren,
    nor any survivor in the place where they lived.
20 People in the west are appalled at their fate;
    people in the east are horrified.
21 They will say, ‘This was the home of a wicked person,
    the place of one who rejected God.’”

“It is not Job’s wickedness but his faithfulness that the Lord is disclosing through this ordeal. In fact there may be nothing our God wants more than to bring each one of us to the point where He can do with us exactly what He did with Job: hand us over with perfect confidence into the clutches of Satan, knowing that even then our faith will hold.”

–Mike Mason

_________________________

Music:

Bildad makes very clear what the destiny of the wicked will be. And wicked ones and righteous ones alike must face the end of their lives.  Yet what a difference!  Death is the last enemy a believer must face, and even then, Jesus is with us!  Goodness and mercy will follow us.  So there is no need to fear, now or then.   HERE  is Chris Tomlin and “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.”  It is a peaceful joy to let these words sink in and soothe the soul.

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved

Images courtesy of:
The wages of sin.    http://m1.behance.net/rendition/modules/17151334/disp/4cbcf5ee270172aae2c547fe8866b4ff.jpg
animal trap.    http://grow.ars-informatica.ca/images/havahart_humane_trap.jpg
Grim Reaper.    http://img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090507165214/monster/images/5/55/Grim_reaper.jpg

1287.) Job 17

April 8, 2014

Job17 hope
Job 17   (NLT)

Job Continues to Defend His Innocence

Job directs a complaint both towards earth and towards heaven:

“My spirit is crushed,
    and my life is nearly snuffed out.
    The grave is ready to receive me.
I am surrounded by mockers.
    I watch how bitterly they taunt me.

“You must defend my innocence, O God,
    since no one else will stand up for me.
You have closed their minds to understanding,
    but do not let them triumph.
They betray their friends for their own advantage,
    so let their children faint with hunger.

A faint bright glimmer in the hopeless condition of Job:

“God has made a mockery of me among the people;
    they spit in my face.
My eyes are swollen with weeping,
    and I am but a shadow of my former self.
The virtuous are horrified when they see me.
    The innocent rise up against the ungodly.
The righteous keep moving forward,
    and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger.

Job17 v9

F.B. Meyer gave several reasons why the righteous will “hold their way.”

  • You shall hold on your way because Jesus holds you in his strong hand. He is your Shepherd; He has vanquished all your foes, and you shall never perish.
  • You shall hold on your way because the Father has designed through you to glorify His Son; and there must be no gaps in his crown where jewels ought to be.
  • You shall hold on your way because the Holy Spirit has designed to make you his residence and home; and He is within you the perennial spring of a holy life.

–quoted by David Guzik

10 “As for all of you, come back with a better argument,
    though I still won’t find a wise man among you.
11 My days are over.
    My hopes have disappeared.
    My heart’s desires are broken.
12 These men say that night is day;
    they claim that the darkness is light.
13 What if I go to the grave
    and make my bed in darkness?
14 What if I call the grave my father,
    and the maggot my mother or my sister?
15 Where then is my hope?
    Can anyone find it?

for all of us who are waiting . . .

for all of us who are waiting . . .

16 No, my hope will go down with me to the grave.
    We will rest together in the dust!”

_________________________

Music:

We need not lose hope!  HERE  is Hillsong and “Hope of the World.”

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
My only hope is in you.    http://ih3.redbubble.net/image.13878711.6274/flat,550×550,075,f.u2.jpg
The righteous also.    http://www.inspirationalchristianquotes.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Job-17-Verse-9p.png
Don’t lose hope.    http://31.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lyw0424HcC1qck0geo1_500.jpg

1286.) Job 16

April 7, 2014

Job16 my witness

Job 16   (NLT)

Job’s Fifth Speech: A Response to Eliphaz

Then Job spoke again:

Job reproaches his pitiless friends:

“I have heard all this before.
    What miserable comforters you are!

JOB mind-your-language

Job enriches our language. 

Here is a quotation which has become a part of our everyday speech:  Job’s comforters.  (This exact phrase is not found, but here we get the general meaning — someone who tries to make you feel better but makes you feel worse instead!)

Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air?
    What makes you keep on talking?
I could say the same things if you were in my place.
    I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you.
But if it were me, I would encourage you.
    I would try to take away your grief.

“The chief reason for being suspicious of the theology of Job’s friends is that it is so obviously lacking in mercy.”

–Mike Mason

Instead, I suffer if I defend myself,
    and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak.

“O God, you have ground me down
    and devastated my family.
As if to prove I have sinned, you’ve reduced me to skin and bones.
    My gaunt flesh testifies against me.
God hates me and angrily tears me apart.
    He snaps his teeth at me
    and pierces me with his eyes.

“Eliphaz accused Job of attacking God, but Job claimed the reverse was true; God assailed him.”

–Elmer Smick

10 People jeer and laugh at me.
    They slap my cheek in contempt.
    A mob gathers against me.
11 God has handed me over to sinners.
    He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked.

12 “I was living quietly until he shattered me.
    He took me by the neck and broke me in pieces.
Then he set me up as his target,
13     and now his archers surround me.
His arrows pierce me without mercy.
    The ground is wet with my blood.
14 Again and again he smashes against me,
    charging at me like a warrior.

Job wonders why his righteous life has deserved his dark trial:

15 I wear burlap to show my grief.
    My pride lies in the dust.
16 My eyes are red with weeping;
    dark shadows circle my eyes.
17 Yet I have done no wrong,
    and my prayer is pure.

18 “O earth, do not conceal my blood.
    Let it cry out on my behalf.
19 Even now my witness is in heaven.
    My advocate is there on high.
20 My friends scorn me,
    but I pour out my tears to God.
21 I need someone to mediate between God and me,
    as a person mediates between friends.

Job anticipated the need that would be fulfilled in Jesus Christ, who is both our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and our advocate (1 John 2:1) in heaven before God the Father.  He knew by faith that such a person existed and could be trusted. The reality of this truth is even more available to us in light of the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross and His exaltation to the right hand of God the Father in heaven.

–David Guzik

Our Heavenly Father is never absent from our pain and by His design, He shares in our grief. D. A. Carson said, “Christianity is uniquely comforting because only the Christian God plunged into the suffering we experience.” Jesus knows. Jesus understands.

22 For soon I must go down that road
    from which I will never return.

_________________________

Music:

Job saw it dimly.  Paul wrote it clearly in  1 Timothy 2:5-6  — “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all.”  We can rejoice exceedingly!   HERE  is Ghost Ship and “Mediator.”

_________________________

New Living Translation (NLT)   Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Images courtesy of:
Even now my witness is in heaven.    http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x175/hollywd58/Bible%20Verses/Job16.jpg

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 483 other followers