1317.) Job 42

May 20, 2014

“Job’s Sacrifice,” by William Blake, 1805 (Morgan Library, New York)

Job 42 (NLT)

Job Responds to the Lord

Job’s repentance:

1Then Job replied to the Lord:

2 “I know that you can do anything,
and no one can stop you.

This wonderful statement from Job was obviously connected to the impressive display of the power and might of God over creation; but it was also connected to the comfort that the sense of the presence of God brought to Job.  God indeed could do everything, including bring comfort and assurance to Job, even when Job still did not understanding the origin or meaning of his crisis.

And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You:  The God who can master Behemoth and Leviathan (Job 40 and 41) can also accomplish every purpose in Job’s life, including the mysterious meaning behind the twists and turns.

–David Guzik

3 You asked, ‘Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorance?’
It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about,
things far too wonderful for me.

“God comes in at the end, not to answer riddles, but to propound them. The other great act which, taken together with this one, makes the whole work religious instead of merely philosophical, is that other great surprise which makes Job suddenly satisfied with the mere presentation of something impenetrable. Verbally speaking the enigmas of Jehovah seem darker and more desolate than the enigmas of Job; yet Job was comfortless before the speech of Jehovah and is comforted after it. He has been told nothing, but he feels the terrible and tingling atmosphere of something which is too good to be told. The refusal of God to explain His design is itself a burning hint of His design. The riddles of God are more satisfying than the solutions of man.”

–G. K. Chesterton, Introduction to the Book of Job (1907)

4 You said, ‘Listen and I will speak!
I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.’
5 I had only heard about you before,
but now I have seen you with my own eyes.
6 I take back everything I said,
and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”

What did Job have to repent of? In his sermon, Job Among the Ashes, Charles Spurgeon suggested several things:

  • Job repented of the terrible curse he had pronounced upon the day of his birth.
  • Job repented of his desire to die.
  • Job repented of his complaints against and challenges to God.
  • Job repented of his despair.
  • Job repented that his statements had been a “darkening of wisdom by words without knowledge”; that he spoke beyond his knowledge and ability to know.

And God’s confidence in Job is entirely vindicated!

_________________________

“Mother and Child” by Mary Cassatt, 1890

Psalm 131 (English Standard Version)

O LORD, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
like a weaned child is my soul within me.

O Israel, hope in the LORD
from this time forth and forevermore.

Conclusion: The Lord Blesses Job

Job’s restoration:

7 After the Lord had finished speaking to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “I am angry with you and your two friends, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.

The NIV has this as:  “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.”  Yet we know that Job has said some things about God that are not true.  So what is the point?

I think God is saying that although certain of Job’s words may not have been truth, his heart towards God was always true.  He was a man of fidelity and integrity in his being.  Job was in a true relationship with God, heart and soul, world without end, Amen.  The friends have spoken about God, while Job speaks to God.  God doesn’t answer Job’s questions as much as God reveals himself to Job — as Truth, as Love.  “Now I have seen you with my own eyes,”  Job says, and this is enough.  This is the answer to everything.  This is the answer that fills the God-shaped vacuum in our hearts.  This is GOD.

_____

He had seen the great glory so shot through with sheer, fierce light and life and gladness, had heard the great voice raised in song so full of terror and wildness and beauty, that from that moment on, nothing else mattered.  All possible questions melted like mist, and all possible explanations withered like grass, and all the bad times of his life together with all the good times were so caught up into the fathomless life of this God, who had bent down to speak with him though by comparison he was no more than a fleck of dust on the head of a pin in the lapel of a dancing flea, that all he could say was, “I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees thee; therefore I despise myself and repent in dust and ashes.”

–Frederick Buechner, Peculiar Treasures

8 So take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer on your behalf. I will not treat you as you deserve, for you have not spoken accurately about me, as my servant Job has.” 9So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite did as the Lord commanded them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. 10 When Job prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes. In fact, the Lord gave him twice as much as before! 11 Then all his brothers, sisters, and former friends came and feasted with him in his home.

Job was once an outcast even from his own family (as described in Job 19:13-17). Now these relationships were restored.

And they consoled him and comforted him because of all the trials the Lord had brought against him. And each of them brought him a gift of money and a gold ring.

12 So the Lord blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning. For now he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 teams of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys. 13 He also gave Job seven more sons and three more daughters. 14 He named his first daughter Jemimah, the second Keziah, and the third Keren-happuch. 15 In all the land no women were as lovely as the daughters of Job. And their father put them into his will along with their brothers.

What we have lost, God will restore;
That, and Himself, forevermore.
It won’t be long before the rod
Becomes the tender kiss of God.

–John Piper, from the Misery of Job and the Mercy of God

16 Job lived 140 years after that, living to see four generations of his children and grandchildren. 17 Then he died, an old man who had lived a long, full life.

“The greatest, the most important purposes were accomplished by this trial. Job became a much better man than he ever was before; the dispensations of God’s providence were illustrated and justified; Satan’s devices unmasked; patience crowned and rewarded; and the church of God greatly enriched by having bequeathed to it the vast treasury of divine truth which is found in the Book of Job.”

— Adam Clarke

“In this great Book there is no solution of problems. There is a great revelation. It is that God may call men into fellowship with Himself through suffering; and that the strength of the human soul is ever that of the knowledge of God.”

–G. Campbell Morgan

 “We are not all like Job, but we all have Job’s God. Though we have neither risen to Job’s wealth, nor will, probably, ever sink to Job’s poverty, yet there is the same God above us if we be high, and the same God with his everlasting arms beneath us if we be brought low; and what the Lord did for Job he will do for us, not precisely in the same form, but in the same spirit, and with like design.”

— Charles Haddon Spurgeon

_________________________

Music:

“You Never Let Go” is a song of such confidence in God!  And the book of Job shows us how magnificent and beyond our understanding our God is!  We can trust such a One!  HERE  it is — thanks, Matt Redman!

_________________________

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:
Blake.  http://www.artbible.net/1T/Job_a_Job_blessed/images/19%20BLAKE%20JOB%20S%20SACRIFICE.jpg
repentance.   http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_UUpL1wE3yP8/TGl_n44wvsI/AAAAAAAAD8Y/o5z2-WF939Q/s1600/Repentance.jpg
Cassatt.  http://hoocher.com/Mary_Cassatt/Mother_And_Child_ca_1890.jpg
God-shaped hole.  http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_drsACX1RqfU/TE4p3R6bHiI/AAAAAAAAFDA/YFujk6rQ4l8/s1600/The+God+Shaped+Hole.jpg

1316.) Job 41

May 19, 2014
"Behemoth versus Leviathan"  by M. J. Tannacore

“Behemoth versus Leviathan” by M. J. Tannacore

Job 41   (NLT)

The Lord’s Challenge Continues

Contending with Leviathan:

“Can you catch Leviathan with a hook
    or put a noose around its jaw?

Job41 river monster

Usually Leviathan is considered to be a mythical sea-monster or dragon that terrorized sailors and fishermen. Some believe that Leviathan describes an ancient dragon-like dinosaur that either survived to Job’s day, or survived in the collective memory of mankind, so that God could refer to it as an example. Others consider that in this context, Leviathan is nothing more than a mighty crocodile.

–David Guzik

Can you tie it with a rope through the nose
    or pierce its jaw with a spike?
Will it beg you for mercy
    or implore you for pity?
Will it agree to work for you,
    to be your slave for life?
Can you make it a pet like a bird,
    or give it to your little girls to play with?
Will merchants try to buy it
    to sell it in their shops?
Will its hide be hurt by spears
    or its head by a harpoon?
If you lay a hand on it,
    you will certainly remember the battle that follows.
    You won’t try that again!
9 No, it is useless to try to capture it.
    The hunter who attempts it will be knocked down.
10 And since no one dares to disturb it,
    who then can stand up to me?
11 Who has given me anything that I need to pay back?
    Everything under heaven is mine.

The point is clear.  If Job cannot contend with Leviathan, how could he ever hope to stand against the God who made and masters Leviathan?  This was another effective way of setting Job in his proper place before God.

*

And finally, my servant, Job,
Can you draw down and then disrobe
Leviathan, the king of all
The sons of pride, and in his fall
Strip off his camouflage of strength,
And make him, over all the length
Of earth and heav’n, to serve the plan
Of humble righteousness? I can.
I make Leviathan my rod.
Belovèd Job, behold your God!”

–John Piper, from The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God

*

The description of Leviathan:

12 “I want to emphasize Leviathan’s limbs
    and its enormous strength and graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its hide,
    and who can penetrate its double layer of armor?
14 Who could pry open its jaws?
    For its teeth are terrible!
15 Its scales are like rows of shields
    tightly sealed together.
16 They are so close together
    that no air can get between them.
17 Each scale sticks tight to the next.
    They interlock and cannot be penetrated.

18 “When it sneezes, it flashes light!
    Its eyes are like the red of dawn.
19 Lightning leaps from its mouth;
    flames of fire flash out.
20 Smoke streams from its nostrils
    like steam from a pot heated over burning rushes.
21 Its breath would kindle coals,
    for flames shoot from its mouth.

Job41 Smaug

Definite dragon-like qualities!  Think Smaug, from The Hobbit!

“My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”

–J. R. R. Tolkien

22 “The tremendous strength in Leviathan’s neck
    strikes terror wherever it goes.
23 Its flesh is hard and firm
    and cannot be penetrated.
24 Its heart is hard as rock,
    hard as a millstone.
25 When it rises, the mighty are afraid,
    gripped by terror.
26 No sword can stop it,
    no spear, dart, or javelin.
27 Iron is nothing but straw to that creature,
    and bronze is like rotten wood.
28 Arrows cannot make it flee.
    Stones shot from a sling are like bits of grass.
29 Clubs are like a blade of grass,
    and it laughs at the swish of javelins.
30 Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass.
    It plows up the ground as it drags through the mud.

31 “Leviathan makes the water boil with its commotion.
    It stirs the depths like a pot of ointment.

Psalm 104:25-26 (NIV)

There is the sea, vast and spacious,
    teeming with creatures beyond number—
    living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
    and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

32 The water glistens in its wake,
    making the sea look white.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal,
    no other creature so fearless.
34 Of all the creatures, it is the proudest.
    It is the king of beasts.”

“Jonah was swallowed by a whale; but the believer in Jesus Christ swallows the whale. We eat Leviathan for breakfast. It takes a very big God, and a very big faith in God, to be able to absorb so much evil. Leviathan seems to endlessly sprawling, gargantuan, invincible. But the essence of the gospel is that the love of God is greater than any evil.”

–Mike Mason

_________________________

Music:

Job41 Danube-River

As I have been thinking about sea creatures, I have also been thinking about bodies of water — and  HERE  is “The Blue Danube” by Richard Strauss II.  Composed in 1866, it has been one of the most consistently popular pieces of music in the classical repertoire.  This performance comes from the New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic, conducted by Daniel Barenboim, at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria on January 1, 2014.

_________________________

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:
Tannacore.    http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs11/i/2006/243/7/f/Behemoth_versus_Leviathan_by_HairyApeMan.jpg
“An artist’s drawing of the Pannoniasaurus inexpectatus that lived 84 million years ago in freshwater floodplains.”    http://www.mnn.com/sites/default/files/PannoniasaurusInexpectatus_.jpg
Smaug, the Dragon, by Evolvana.   http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2013/293/e/3/smaug_the_dragon_by_evolvana-d6qohvt.jpg
Danube River.   http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YDCSue2IqAk/T9nwcDtRzXI/AAAAAAAAATI/pRvTHb_wjfc/s1600/Danube-River.jpg

 


1315.) Job 40

May 16, 2014

“Behemoth and Leviathan” by William Blake, 1805 (Morgan Library, New York)

Job 40 (NLT)

God questions Job:

1 Then the Lord said to Job,

2 “Do you still want to argue with the Almighty?
You are God’s critic, but do you have the answers?”

Job is speechless before God:

3Then Job replied to the Lord,

4 “I am nothing—how could I ever find the answers?
I will cover my mouth with my hand.
5 I have said too much already.
I have nothing more to say.”

Job40 hand-over-mouth

What a difference in tone here!  Before, Job was full of questions, demanding answers!  Now God is with him, and Job sees he does not have the ability to judge God or even to question his actions.  Job says, “You are God and I am not.”

All of the arguing of Eliphaz, Bildad, Zophar, and Elihu could not bring Job to this place. Only the revelation of God could so humble Job and set him in his right place before the Lord. Job made his strong and sometimes outrageous statements when he felt, to the core of his soul, that the Lord had forsaken him. Now with his sense of the presence of the Lord restored, Job could better see his proper place before God.

–David Guzik

The Lord Challenges Job Again

6Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

God once again teaches Job:

7 “Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.

8 “Will you discredit my justice
and condemn me just to prove you are right?

How often do I presume to judge my circumstances — and God! — so as to put myself in the right?  O Lord, forgive.

Job 40:8 (English Standard Version)

Will you even put me in the wrong?
   Will you condemn me that you may be in the right?

We might say that Job fell into the trap of thinking that because he couldn’t figure God out, that perhaps God wasn’t fair. Yet in this larger section of God’s revelation of Himself to Job, God has demonstrated that there are many things that Job doesn’t know, and therefore he was not a fit judge of God’s ways.

–David Guzik

9 Are you as strong as God?
Can you thunder with a voice like his?
10 All right, put on your glory and splendor,
your honor and majesty.
11 Give vent to your anger.
Let it overflow against the proud.
12 Humiliate the proud with a glance;
walk on the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them in the dust.
Imprison them in the world of the dead.
14 Then even I would praise you,
for your own strength would save you.

15 “Take a look at Behemoth,
which I made, just as I made you.

Job40 African-Hippopotamus4

Several of the commentaries I have read suggest that the behemoth might be a hippopotamus.  So let’s go with that!  The great African hippopotamus, pictured above, stands about 5 feet tall at the shoulder and may weigh up to 4 tons.  It has been clocked running 19 mph over short distances.  The hippopotamus is one of the most aggressive animals in the world even though it eats only grasses.

It eats grass like an ox.
16 See its powerful loins
and the muscles of its belly.
17 Its tail is as strong as a cedar.
The sinews of its thighs are knit tightly together.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze.
Its limbs are bars of iron.
19 It is a prime example of God’s handiwork,
and only its Creator can threaten it.
20 The mountains offer it their best food,
where all the wild animals play.
21 It lies under the lotus plants,
hidden by the reeds in the marsh.

Behold the hippopotamus!
We laugh at how he looks to us,
And yet in moments dank and grim,
I wonder how we look to him.

Peace, peace, thou hippopotamus!
We really look all right to us,
As you no doubt delight the eye
Of other hippopotami.

–Ogden Nash

22 The lotus plants give it shade
among the willows beside the stream.
23 It is not disturbed by the raging river,
not concerned when the swelling Jordan rushes around it.
24 No one can catch it off guard
or put a ring in its nose and lead it away.

The Lord showed Job that He was not only the all-knowing architect of the universe, but also its all-powerful manager. He asked Job to look at Behemoth and Leviathan, not look them up in a book, which indicates that these huge animals still existed.

Based on their detailed descriptions, some people think these two beasts were what we now call dinosaurs, and the Lord made the point that He was the only one who could control them, either with His sword, or by pulling them with a hook (40:19, 24). Behemoth was a huge marsh-dwelling land beast that answered to no one but God. He was the king of the Land, sustained by “springs of water.”

–Mike Bull

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is “I Stand in Awe” written by Mark Altrogge and performed by the GTA Praise Band.

_________________________

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:
Blake.  http://www.1artclub.com/uploads/08-0182.jpg
hand over mouth.    http://everybodytalks.me/images/hand-clamped-over-mouth-large.png
hippopotamus.   http://www.africananimal.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/African-Hippopotamus4.jpg
hippo at leaf lunch.    http://www.walpapershddownload.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/hippopotamus-wallpapers-2.jpg

1314.) Job 39

May 15, 2014
"The Garden of Eden"  by Roelandt Savery -- all these wonderful creatures created by a wise and loving God!

“The Garden of Eden” by Roelandt Savery — all these wonderful creatures created by a wise and loving God!

Job 39   (NLT)

The Lord’s Challenge Continues

“Do you know when the wild goats give birth?
    Have you watched as deer are born in the wild?
Do you know how many months they carry their young?
    Are you aware of the time of their delivery?
They crouch down to give birth to their young
    and deliver their offspring.
Their young grow up in the open fields,
    then leave home and never return.

Job39 Wild-Donkey

“One of the most admired animals of the Old Testament world was the wild donkey. It was a compliment and a promise of an enviable freedom when the angel declared that Ishmael (Genesis 16:12) would become ‘a wild donkey of a man.’ The creature was admired for both its freedom and its ability to survive under the harshest conditions.”

–Elmer Smick

“Who gives the wild donkey its freedom?
    Who untied its ropes?
I have placed it in the wilderness;
    its home is the wasteland.
It hates the noise of the city
    and has no driver to shout at it.
The mountains are its pastureland,
    where it searches for every blade of grass.

“Will the wild ox consent to being tamed?
    Will it spend the night in your stall?
10 Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow?
    Will it plow a field for you?
11 Given its strength, can you trust it?
    Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work?
12 Can you rely on it to bring home your grain
    and deliver it to your threshing floor?

Job39 Ostrich_Eggs

Ostrich — why does a flightless bird have wings?

13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,
    but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth,
    letting them be warmed in the dust.
15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them
    or a wild animal might destroy them.
16 She is harsh toward her young,
    as if they were not her own.
    She doesn’t care if they die.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom.
    He has given her no understanding.
18 But whenever she jumps up to run,
    she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.

Job39 horse mane

Horses were historically used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control. Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares.

–Wikipedia

19 “Have you given the horse its strength
    or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust?
    Its majestic snorting is terrifying!
21 It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength
    when it charges out to battle.
22 It laughs at fear and is unafraid.
    It does not run from the sword.
23 The arrows rattle against it,
    and the spear and javelin flash.
24 It paws the ground fiercely
    and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows.
25 It snorts at the sound of the horn.
    It senses the battle in the distance.
    It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.

Job39 eagletakesflight

The Eagle
by Lord Alfred Tennyson

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.

26 “Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar
    and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle rises
    to the heights to make its nest?
28 It lives on the cliffs,
    making its home on a distant, rocky crag.
29 From there it hunts its prey,
    keeping watch with piercing eyes.
30 Its young gulp down blood.
    Where there’s a carcass, there you’ll find it.”

“If we find it exasperating that God never gives Job any reasons for his long ordeal of suffering, then we have entirely missed the point of these final chapters. While it is true that the Lord’s answer to Job is neither logical nor theological, this is not the same as saying that He gives no answer. The Lord does give an answer. His answer is Himself.”

–Mike Mason

“One thought, and one only, is brought into the foreground. The world is full of mysteries, strange, unapproachable, overpowering mysteries that you cannot read. Trust, trust in the power, and in the wisdom, and in the goodness of Him, the Almighty One, who rules it.” (Bradley)

–quoted by David Guzik

_________________________

Music:

HERE   is “All Creation Worships” written by Kirk Dearman and Jim Mills, performed by Tony Melendez.

_________________________

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:
Savery.    http://www.artbible.net/1T/Gen0120_5Fishes_birdslife/source/17%20SAVERY%20THE%20GARDEN%20OF%20EDEN%20ANIMALS%20D2.jpg
wild donkey.    http://soulbusiness.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Wild-Donkey.jpg
ostrich and eggs.    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5nMKRlil5XA/TjCsboFz9OI/AAAAAAAAzME/B3t3teyuzUk/s1600/Fresh_Ostrich_Hatching_Eggs.jpg
horse.    http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/cd/2b/01/cd2b01589c98506e23f6a8ece10bc31b.jpg
eagle.    http://advocateboattours.com/457/

 


1313.) Job 38

May 14, 2014

“The Lord answering Job out of a whirlwind,” by William Blake, 1805 (Morgan Library, New York)

Job 38   (NLT)

Chapters 38 – 42:  God Answers Job

 Devlin

Perhaps you would like to hear this chapter.  Son Devlin, currently a student at Princeton Theological Seminary,  learned this chapter by heart and presented it to a Wheaton College chapel a couple years ago.  Of course, I am biased, but it is very cool!  Click  HERE  to watch and listen!

The Lord Challenges Job

1Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

2 “Who is this that questions my wisdom
with such ignorant words?
3 Brace yourself like a man,
because I have some questions for you,
and you must answer them.

God questions Job regarding what he doesn’t know:

4 “Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell me, if you know so much.
5 Who determined its dimensions
and stretched out the surveying line?
6 What supports its foundations,
and who laid its cornerstone
7 as the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

the Milky Way galaxy

Genesis 1:1 (New International Version)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

8 “Who kept the sea inside its boundaries
as it burst from the womb,
9 and as I clothed it with clouds
and wrapped it in thick darkness?
10 For I locked it behind barred gates,
limiting its shores.
11 I said, ‘This far and no farther will you come.
Here your proud waves must stop!’

the Atlantic Ocean at Cocoa Beach, Florida

Genesis 1:9-10 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so.  God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

12 “Have you ever commanded the morning to appear
and caused the dawn to rise in the east?
13 Have you made daylight spread to the ends of the earth,
to bring an end to the night’s wickedness?
14 As the light approaches,
the earth takes shape like clay pressed beneath a seal;
it is robed in brilliant colors.
15 The light disturbs the wicked
and stops the arm that is raised in violence.

sunrise over New York City

Genesis 1:14-18 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years,  and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.  God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night.  God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth,  to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good.

16 “Have you explored the springs from which the seas come?
Have you explored their depths?
17 Do you know where the gates of death are located?
Have you seen the gates of utter gloom?
18 Do you realize the extent of the earth?
Tell me about it if you know!

19 “Where does light come from,
and where does darkness go?
20 Can you take each to its home?
Do you know how to get there?
21 But of course you know all this!
For you were born before it was all created,
and you are so very experienced!

Genesis 1:3-4 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.

22 “Have you visited the storehouses of the snow
or seen the storehouses of hail?
23 (I have reserved them as weapons for the time of trouble,
for the day of battle and war.)
24 Where is the path to the source of light?
Where is the home of the east wind?

25 “Who created a channel for the torrents of rain?
Who laid out the path for the lightning?
26 Who makes the rain fall on barren land,
in a desert where no one lives?
27 Who sends rain to satisfy the parched ground
and make the tender grass spring up?

Genesis 1:11-12 (New International Version)

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

28 “Does the rain have a father?
Who gives birth to the dew?
29 Who is the mother of the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens?
30 For the water turns to ice as hard as rock,
and the surface of the water freezes.

31 “Can you direct the movement of the stars—
binding the cluster of the Pleiades
or loosening the cords of Orion?
32 Can you direct the sequence of the seasons
or guide the Bear with her cubs across the heavens?

the Pleiades

Genesis 1:16 (New International Version)

God also made the stars.

33 Do you know the laws of the universe?
Can you use them to regulate the earth?

34 “Can you shout to the clouds
and make it rain?
35 Can you make lightning appear
and cause it to strike as you direct?
36 Who gives intuition to the heart
and instinct to the mind?
37 Who is wise enough to count all the clouds?
Who can tilt the water jars of heaven
38 when the parched ground is dry
and the soil has hardened into clods?

39 “Can you stalk prey for a lioness
and satisfy the young lions’ appetites
40 as they lie in their dens
or crouch in the thicket?

Genesis 1:24-25 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so.  God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

41 Who provides food for the ravens
when their young cry out to God
and wander about in hunger?

raven and chicks at Yellowstone National Park

Genesis 1:20-21 (New International Version)

And God said, “Let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.”  So God created every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

_________________________

Music:

HERE  is Steve Green and “Creation Sings.”  It is a happy song!

Creation sings the Father’s song
He calls the sun to wake the dawn
And run the course of day
‘Til evening falls in crimson rays
His fingerprints in flakes of snow
His breath upon this spinning globe
He charts the eagle’s flight
Commands the new born baby’s cry

Hallelujah, let all creation stand and sing
Hallelujah, fill the earth with songs of worship
Tell the wonders of creations’ King

Creation gazed upon His face
The ageless One in times’ embrace
Unveiled the Father’s plan
Of reconciling God and man
A second Adam walked the earth
Whose blameless life would break the curse
Whose death would set us free
To live with Him eternally

Creation longs for His return
When Christ shall reign upon the earth
The bitter wars that rage
Are birth pains of a coming age
When he renews the land and sky
All heav’n will sing and earth reply
With one resplendent theme
The glory of our God and King

Fill the earth with songs of worship
Tell the wonders of creation’s King

_________________________

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:
Blake.   http://en.wahooart.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8EWSDW/$File/WILLIAM-BLAKE-THE-LORD-ANSWERING-JOB-OUT-OF-THE-WHIRLWIND.JPG
Milky Way.  http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/milky-way-galaxy-400×360.jpg
Cocoa Beach.  http://www.myplanetflorida.com/cocoa_beach.jpg
sunrise.  http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_1vYYpDTtUVg/TSAK6nT_nuI/AAAAAAAAAFg/2ryDy-38klA/s1600/_41625134_nicoatridge_nysunr.jpg
candles.   http://carolinemccain.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/light-dark-for-change-ability-tip-19.jpg
prairie grass.  http://www.grahamenvironmental.com/images/prairie_grass.jpg
lioness and cubs.  http://www.crownandandrews.com/HTMLFiles/14111_big.jpg
raven.  http://www.andrewmerwinphoto.com/birds/raven&chicks.jpg

1312.) Job 37

May 13, 2014

Job37 v14

Job 37   (NLT)

The thunder of God’s voice:

“My heart pounds as I think of this.
    It trembles within me.
Listen carefully to the thunder of God’s voice
    as it rolls from his mouth.
It rolls across the heavens,
    and his lightning flashes in every direction.

This passage (verses 1-13) reveals a sophisticated observation of atmospheric conditions and their effects:  the evaporation and distillation of water for rain, the clouds as holders of moisture, and the cyclonic behavior of clouds.  (The Archaeological Study Bible)

Then comes the roaring of the thunder—
    the tremendous voice of his majesty.
    He does not restrain it when he speaks.
God’s voice is glorious in the thunder.
    We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power.

What the voice of God can do:

“He directs the snow to fall on the earth
    and tells the rain to pour down.
Then everyone stops working
    so they can watch his power.
The wild animals take cover
    and stay inside their dens.
The stormy wind comes from its chamber,
    and the driving winds bring the cold.
10 God’s breath sends the ice,
    freezing wide expanses of water.

Lake Superior's Apostle Islands sea caves, completely frozen.

Lake Superior’s Apostle Islands sea caves, completely frozen.

Psalm 147:17   (NIV)   

Who can withstand his icy blast?

11 He loads the clouds with moisture,
    and they flash with his lightning.
12 The clouds churn about at his direction.
    They do whatever he commands throughout the earth.

Job37 snow clouds

Psalm 148:7-8   (NIV)

Praise the Lord from the earth . . .
   lightning and hail, snow and clouds,
    stormy winds that do his bidding.

13 He makes these things happen either to punish people
    or to show his unfailing love.

14 “Pay attention to this, Job.
    Stop and consider the wonderful miracles of God!
15 Do you know how God controls the storm
    and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
16 Do you understand how he moves the clouds
    with wonderful perfection and skill?
17 When you are sweltering in your clothes
    and the south wind dies down and everything is still,
18 he makes the skies reflect the heat like a bronze mirror.
    Can you do that?

Elihu’s final advice to Job:

19 “So teach the rest of us what to say to God.
    We are too ignorant to make our own arguments.
20 Should God be notified that I want to speak?
    Can people even speak when they are confused?
21 We cannot look at the sun,
    for it shines brightly in the sky
    when the wind clears away the clouds.
22 So also, golden splendor comes from the mountain of God.
    He is clothed in dazzling splendor.
23 We cannot imagine the power of the Almighty;
    but even though he is just and righteous,
    he does not destroy us.
24 No wonder people everywhere fear him.
    All who are wise show him reverence.”

_________________________

Music:

I have been struck by the beautiful descriptions of nature throughout the book, and who can forget Job’s confident proclamation of hope amid his trials and his not-so-helpful “comforters” — “I know that my Redeemer lives!”  Nicole C. Mullen puts it all together  HERE  in “My Redeemer Lives.”

_________________________

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:
Stop and consider.    http://ih0.redbubble.net/image.4709740.8507/flat,550×550,075,f.jpg
sea caves.   http://thumbs.media.smithsonianmag.com//filer/a4/3c/a43c499e-61d9-44f9-8f93-4f5f61729ff9/apostles-island-wide-main.jpg__800x600_q85_crop.jpg
cloud, flakes of snow.    http://www.clipartpal.com/_thumbs/pd/weather/snow_from_glossy_cloud.png

1311.) Job 36

May 12, 2014

Job36 job and his friends

Job 36   (NLT)

Elihu continued speaking:

Elihu teaches Job about the justice and righteousness of God:

“Let me go on, and I will show you the truth.
    For I have not finished defending God!
I will present profound arguments
    for the righteousness of my Creator.
I am telling you nothing but the truth,
    for I am a man of great knowledge.

Job36 genius

Elihu gives himself a certificate of genius!  Then he says a lot of the same old things.

God rewards the obedient and the disobedient perish:

“God is mighty, but he does not despise anyone!
    He is mighty in both power and understanding.

“If God were little, he might despise the little; if he were weak he would disdain the weak; if he were untrue he would be supercilious to those about him; but, seeing he is none of these, but is God over all blessed for ever, the only wise God, we have to deal with one who, though he be high, hath respect unto the lowly; who, though he humbleth himself even to observe the things which are done in heaven, yet despiseth not the cry of the humble. The magnanimity of God is the reason why he despiseth not any.”

–Charles Haddon Spurgeon

He does not let the wicked live
    but gives justice to the afflicted.
He never takes his eyes off the innocent,
    but he sets them on thrones with kings
    and exalts them forever.
If they are bound in chains
    and caught up in a web of trouble,
he shows them the reason.
    He shows them their sins of pride.
10 He gets their attention
    and commands that they turn from evil.

11 “If they listen and obey God,
    they will be blessed with prosperity throughout their lives.
    All their years will be pleasant.

The sad fate of the hypocrite:

Elihu thought Job was a hypocrite for continuing to deny his guilt. He felt Job was putting himself under a greater and greater outpouring of God’s wrath.

–David Guzik

12 But if they refuse to listen to him,
    they will be killed by the sword
    and die from lack of understanding.
13 For the godless are full of resentment.
    Even when he punishes them,
    they refuse to cry out to him for help.
14 They die when they are young,
    after wasting their lives in immoral living.
15 But by means of their suffering, he rescues those who suffer.
    For he gets their attention through adversity.

Job36 v.15

“We can ignore even pleasure. But pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

–C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Elihu teaches Job about the greatness of God:

16 “God is leading you away from danger, Job,
    to a place free from distress.
    He is setting your table with the best food.
17 But you are obsessed with whether the godless will be judged.
    Don’t worry, judgment and justice will be upheld.
18 But watch out, or you may be seduced by wealth.
    Don’t let yourself be bribed into sin.
19 Could all your wealth
    or all your mighty efforts
    keep you from distress?
20 Do not long for the cover of night,
    for that is when people will be destroyed.
21 Be on guard! Turn back from evil,
    for God sent this suffering
    to keep you from a life of evil.

Elihu Reminds Job of God’s Power

22 “Look, God is all-powerful.
    Who is a teacher like him?
23 No one can tell him what to do,
    or say to him, ‘You have done wrong.’
24 Instead, glorify his mighty works,
    singing songs of praise.
25 Everyone has seen these things,
    though only from a distance.

The unsearchable greatness of God is expressed in the storm:

Job36 watercycle

26 “Look, God is greater than we can understand.
    His years cannot be counted.
27 He draws up the water vapor
    and then distills it into rain.
28 The rain pours down from the clouds,
    and everyone benefits.
29 Who can understand the spreading of the clouds
    and the thunder that rolls forth from heaven?
30 See how he spreads the lightning around him
    and how it lights up the depths of the sea.
31 By these mighty acts he nourishes the people,
    giving them food in abundance.
32 He fills his hands with lightning bolts
    and hurls each at its target.
33 The thunder announces his presence;
    the storm announces his indignant anger.

Job36 lightning-noaa

Your science lesson for the day!

Lightning is a powerful burst of electricity that happens very quickly during a thunderstorm.  The movement of rain and ice inside a thundercloud creates an electrical charge, with the negative charge (electrons) forming at the bottom of the cloud and the positive charge (protons) forming at the top. Thus there is an unbalanced electrical charge in the atmosphere.  Opposites attract so the negative charge at the bottom of the cloud seeks out a positive charge to connect with.

Thunder is the sound caused by lightning.  The intense heat from lightning causes the surrounding air to rapidly expand and create a sonic wave that you hear as thunder.  The average temperature of lightning is around 36000 °F.  Light travels faster than sound so we see lightning before we hear thunder.

_________________________

Music:

So the last couple verse refer to thunder and lightning — and from far in the deep recesses of my brain this song came to mind, back from my college days in the 70’s!  HERE  is “Thunder and Lighting”  by the American rock-pop-jazz songwriter, pianist, and singer, Chi Coltrane.

_________________________

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:
Job and his friends.     http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-2xzh9qii-xs/Uyh-fYm0sdI/AAAAAAAAItA/m8uEF_wVkFg/s1600/job+and+his+friends.png
light bulb.       http://www.motherjones.com/files/images/blog_light_bulb.jpg
verse 15.    http://deanneleblanc.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Job-36.15.png
water cycle.     http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/mitchemh/images/watercycle.jpg
lightning.    http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/lightning-noaa.jpg