Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – September 23, 2019
Job was a man who lived in Uz. He was honest inside and out, a man of his word, who was totally devoted to God and hated evil with a passion. He had seven sons and three daughters. He was also very wealthy—seven thousand head of sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred teams of oxen, five hundred donkeys, and a huge staff of servants—the most influential man in all the East! Job 1:1-3, The Message
It doesn’t seem fair. Parents who raise their child in the fear of the Lord, attending church, doing the best they can, end up with a wayward son. Another God-fearing family works hard, saves and gives generously, but the dad has been out of work for way too long. Another precious lady loves her family, mentors young ladies, but has battled breast cancer for years. Or in the workplace, the one who works the smartest and the hardest, behind the scenes serving the team, is passed over for the promotion. Where is the justice? When will things be made right to those wronged?
Job was God’s choice servant. A man of integrity. A blessed businessman, but even greater was the joy and fulfillment he and his wife experienced with their family. Healthy, wealthy and wise. But change was coming. Lucifer (Satan) had been one of the Lord’s angels, but he fell from grace because of his pride. Now, the accuser approaches the Almighty and challenges the authenticity of Job’s faith. After all, anybody can follow God when everything seems to be going his way. But when he loses everything, surely he will lose faith—even make a deal with the devil.
“Then the Lord asked Satan, “Have you noticed my servant Job? He is the finest man in all the earth—a good man who fears God and will have nothing to do with evil.” “Why shouldn’t he when you pay him so well?” Satan scoffed. “You have always protected him and his home and his property from all harm. You have prospered everything he does—look how rich he is! No wonder he ‘worships’ you! But just take away his wealth, and you’ll see him curse you to your face” (Job 1:8-11, The Living Bible)!
God allows the accuser to ambush Job. He loses everything. His camels, donkeys, oxen and servants destroyed or stolen by the despised enemies–the Sabeans and Chaldeans. Additionally, fires burned up his sheep and servants. Today, the camels might be equivalent to a fleet of merchant ships moving goods, and the donkeys to Uber or Lyft transporting people. Overnight, Job’s economic empire came tumbling down. Most devastating were gale force winds that crushed the home where all his children were feasting, now all dead. Not surprisingly, Job experienced sorrow upon sorrow, fell to the ground, weeping and in worshipful grief proclaimed:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, naked I’ll return to the womb of the earth. God gives, God takes. God’s name be ever blessed. Not once through all this did Job sin; not once did he blame God”(Job 1: 21-22, The Message).
Wow! So how like Job, can we respond—when bad things happen to good people?
Trust Jesus Not Stuff As Our Savior and Security
Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. Job 13:15
My flesh longs for security in stuff. More money. More insurance policies. More gadgets. But my spirit longs for security in a Savior—Jesus! If my trust is in changing circumstances, fickle people or undependable finances, then I am set up for failure, fear and discontentment. Eternal security in Christ begins on earth. Longing for the Lord fills our deepest longings and achy soul.
Worship The Lord With Awe And Wonder When Surrounded By Sorrow
Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand. Job 38:1-4
Pain is our opportunity to look up for help and cry out to our Creator for His comfort and love. God’s power to create the world is our reminder of His power to shepherd us through the threats of disease or fear of the unknown. Instead of a glib “fine”, when we take inventory of our hurting heart, we can confess we have Feelings on the Inside that Need Expressing (F.I.N.E.). Our sympathizing Savior understands, He cares—so we worship Him, caught up in His holy love.
Stay Faithful To God, Even When It Seems Like He Is Not Faithful
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11
Job never one time blamed God for his bad, some would say, horrific circumstances. His hope was still in heaven, even if the Lord took him to heaven. Our faithfulness to Christ is not based on our circumstances or even on our perception of injustice. Faithfulness happens when we choose to see the bigger picture of our Father”s heart”s desire for what is best for us. No loss is wasted with the Lord”s loving ways. Stay faithful in the face of adversity, and trust He is at work. The Lord”s compassion and mercy is near to the brokenhearted to administer His healing love. “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him” (Lamentations 3:22-24).
Heavenly Father, grow my heart in Your grace and truth during uncertain times, in Jesus’ name, amen.
How does the Lord want to grow deeper my trust in Him?
The Lord’s compassion and mercy is near to the brokenhearted to administer His healing love. #WisdomHunters #trials #Jesus
6 minute video: Jason Upton-
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