Archive for the ‘Lessons From Job’ Category

God Forgives

After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: “My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has. Now therefore take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and offer up a burnt offering for yourselves. And my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept his prayer not to deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has.” So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. -Job 42:7-9 (ESV)

Job’s friends had sined against the Lord. They had essentially put words in God’s mouth and offered false council. Yet God forgave them. This is perhaps one of the most amazing attributes of God. He forgives.

if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. -2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)

And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.” -Jeremiah 31:34 (ESV)

“Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” -Mark 2:7

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. -Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. -1 John 1:9 (ESV)

Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” And he said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” Then those who were at table with him began to say among themselves, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?” And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” -Luke 7:47-50 (ESV)

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.
-Psalm 130:3-4 (ESV)

To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.” -Acts 10:43 (ESV)

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Where Were You Job?

Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said:

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Dress for action like a man;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone,
when the morning stars sang together
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?
-Job 38:1-11 (ESV)

By the end of the book of Job, Job wants to know why all these things have happened to him. He has four friends who for the entirety of the book have been telling him that God must be punishing him for some great sin. But Job continually denies this and is at loss for a reason. In Job chapters 38 and 39, God comes and speaks to Job. (Actually the conversation continues through the end of the book in chapter 42.) In these chapters God is asking Job, “where were you Job?” Basically what God is saying is, “look, I have a plan that you’re only seeing part of. Don’t question what I’m doing.” Just like Job, we often see only a tiny piece of the puzzle. This particular piece may not be very pretty. We want to question God about what’s happening instead of putting our trust in Him and His name. We can’t now what God has planned. Romans 11:34-35 (ESV) says, “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen. We do not know the Father’s mind. We do not need to try  to. We need only to trust in Him and His promises and in His divine plan.

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. -Jeremiah 29:11

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Job’s Hope

Though he slay me, I will hope in him;
yet I will argue my ways to his face.
This will be my salvation,
that the godless shall not come before him.
-Job 13:15-16 (ESV)

Already we have learned from from Job that when trouble comes we should praise God. Job also teaches us something else to do when trouble comes. Hope. But not hope in tomorrow, or hop in the government, or hope in a paycheck. Job teaches us to hope in God. Yesterday I discussed the promise God gives us in Romans 8:28 (ESV), And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. Today though, I want us to look at a different promise. This one is found in Matthew 6:25-33 (ESV): 

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

So then, let’s recap shall we? Everything is part of God’s plan. God will provide all that we need. Why then do so often insist on putting our hope some where other than God? Job said, Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. (Job 13:15a, ESV) If Job could put his hope in God after everything he had been through, can’t we who are still abundantly blessed do the same? Matthew 6:19-20 (ESV) says, Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. So put your hope in God, and not the things of this world.

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Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. The Lord said to Satan, “From where have you come?” Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking up and down on it.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” And the Lord said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your hand. Only against him do not stretch out your hand.” So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. -Job 1:6-12 (ESV)

This is often a hard concept to grasp. If everythiny is done with God’s permission, then why do bad things happen? Some people will try and get around this by saying that God just can’t stop the bad things from happening. Yet, this makes it sound as if satan is more powerful than God. Thankfully God is in control of ALL things, the good and the bad. calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it. (Isaiah 46:11, ESV) Now I would like to briefly point out that some people say God “let” something happen. Now, no matter what you mean by that, I would shy away from such terminology because it still comes off sounding like God isn’t in control. Instead one could say that God allowed something to happen because this indicates that he gave his permission. Now then, why do bad things happen to good people? Well first of all, are there really “good” people? Are there really some of us who don’t deserve the most severe punishment ever? Romeans 3:10 (ESV) says, as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one. Now, that’s not to say that everything that has happened is a ounishment for sin. In fact, in the chapters of job following his loss of health, Job’s friends try continuosly to convince Job that he has sinned and brought the current calamity upon himself. Like I said, the bad things that happento us aren’t automatically a punishment for some sin. God often uses the bad things that happen to us to teach us, to strengthen our faith, to bring unbelievers to Him. We can’t always see the whole picture. In fact, very often we are looking at only a small peice of a much larger puzzle. So when the bad timescome, trust God, praise Him and rest assured in this promise, And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,  for those who are called according to his purpose.-Romans 8:28 (ESV)

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Blessed be Your Name

Have you ever felt like life just wasn’t fair? Have you ever felt like you are all alone? I know I have. i fact, I struggle with this a lot. I would like to share with you what helps me when I feel like this.

Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” -Job 1:20-21 (ESV)

Now, I’m pretty sure we have all heard of Job, but for those who haven’t or that need a refresher, the story basically goes like this:

Job was a devote man of God, and because of this God had greatly blessed him. satan wanted to make Job curse the name of God, so God gave him permission to test Job. satan took away all of Job’s children and wealth and finally Job’s health.

The verse I shared with you at the beginning show great faith on Job’s part. When job lost everything, he praised God instead of cursing Him. Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak. Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.-Job 2:9-10 (ESV) Job actually wrote the words to one of my favorite songs, Blessed be Your Name, by Matt Redman, Blessed Be Your Name/In the land that is plentiful/Where Your streams of abundance flow/Blessed be Your name/Blessed Be Your name/When I’m found in the desert place/Though I walk through the wilderness/Blessed Be Your name. How often we are tempted to be “fair-weather” Christians. But noboay ever said that it would be easy. John 15:18-20 (ESV) says,  If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. When trials come let us praise God’s name and trust Him for our salvation. God bless you all.

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