He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them. He takes away the understanding of the chiefs of the people of the earth, And makes them wander in a pathless wilderness. They grope in the dark without light, And He makes them stagger like a drunken man. Job 12:23-25 NKJV
Job answers his critics. He shows that wicked men do often prosper. The godly do suffer. He also speaks of God’s divine wisdom and omnipotence.
Job altered his theology. He believed God always blesses the righteous and judges the wicked. Job’s theology was correct. He just didn’t understand that God’s ways are not our ways.
Job discovered prosperity is not necessarily evidence of God’s blessing. Trials and hardship are not always a sign of God’s judgment.
Nebuchadnezzar was the King of the greatest nation on earth. He was the most powerful man alive. He was arrogant and proud. He set up a statue of himself. He issued a decree that all people everywhere should worship at the feet of his image.
God gave Nebuchadnezzar a dream. Only a servant of God could interpret it. Daniel stood before the King and declared he would be driven insane. He would live with the beasts of the field and eat grass like an animal.
Daniel also declared the king would be restored to his throne when he knew the Most High God rules over heaven and earth. Everything happened just as the Lord declared it would.
God made Nebuchadnezzar a mighty king. The Lord judged him for accepting worship. God corrected Him. He blessed Nebuchadnezzar by revealing Himself to the king. Nebuchadnezzar praised God and worshipped Him when he was restored to power.
Why did God place such an evil man on the throne of a great nation? Why did He punish the king and restore him to his former glory?
God demonstrated His power and authority over men and nations. He gained glory praise and honor. God revealed that no one can ascend to a position of great power and authority apart from Him. He showed that He can humble anyone anytime!
Evil people and nations are raised up and brought down for reasons only God knows. Godly people suffer hardship and trial for reasons only God knows. Do not let those revelations change your theology.
Evil people and nations will be judged. People who stand up and declare the truth of God will be blessed by the Lord!
If you stand up and declare the truth of God to a world gone mad with idolatrous pride and arrogant self-reliance the Lord will be with you. God rules over heaven and earth!
Then Job answered and said: “No doubt you are the people, And wisdom will die with you! But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Indeed, who does not know such things as these?” Job 12:1-3 NKJV
Job tells his friends; you guys think you know it all. The world will not stop spinning in its place when you die. I’m no dummy. You are no better than me. Everything you are working so hard to explain is common knowledge!
Job’s friends have done a lot of talking. They are not done yet. They began with genuine concern for Job. Pride raised its ugly head. They continued on in exaggerated self importance. They stopped listening to Job.
Listening to people has become a lost art. It is the most important part of any conversation. Listening to people is what ministry is all about. How can we share the Word of God with people if we haven’t taken the time to hear from the Lord?
There are people in my life who rarely listen to what I say. They may come up and ask how I am doing but their attention is elsewhere before I finish answering the question.
A man I met with for years kept calling my father a drug addict. I corrected him every time he said it. My father never used drugs. I told him so countless times. He probably still believes it. He said a lot of things over the years. He never really listened to me.
I watched a thriving church dwindle down to twenty people. New leadership was established. Hasty decisions were made. Little regard was given to people’s needs. They did certain things regardless of what anyone thought.
He said to him again a second time, “Simon son of Jonah, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:16
Jesus wants us to tend His sheep. He wants to use us to meet the needs of His people. He wants us to share the Word of God with people so they can apply it to their lives. We can’t do that if we don’t listen to what their needs are.
Most of us have a lot to say but do not listen enough. That includes me. We can be a greater blessing to the people around us if we take the time to listen to them.
Really listening to people affirms their value to us and God. It shows that our interest in them and concern for them is genuine. Not taking the time to listen to people is rude and disrespectful. It can wound a person’s spirit and make us look hypocritical.
Do want to serve God? Do you want to help hurting people? Practice active listening!
Listen to what people say. Listen for the voice of God. Be about God’s business. Tend to the needs of His sheep!
“Your hands have made me and fashioned me, An intricate unity; Yet You would destroy me.” Job 10:8 NKJV
Job continues to complain against God. He wants God to make life easier before he dies.
The world is full of deception. Deceiving spirits teach lies. We have been conditioned to believe them. This world is not our home. Physical death will not be the end of our lives.
We were created in the image and likeness of God. We were created to live with Him throughout eternity. Some of us will. Others will live an endless hopeless existence outside of God’s blessing and protection.
God allowed Satan to inflict pain and loss on Job. It seems to be more than he can endure. Job does not think he is being treated fairly by God his friends or his wife.
Why should a man who fears God and shuns evil lose all of his possessions? Why should a father so devoted to his children outlive them? Why is he being afflicted with such a painful illness when he is so careful how he lives?
The bible answers all of Jobs questions. He did not have the benefit of them. We do!
In verse 8 Job acknowledges God created him. He hints at the marvelous complexity of creation. Then he makes two common mistakes. He thinks God wants to harm him. He forgets there is an eternity of life awaiting him when his temporary existence ends.
In Psalm 139 David said, “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, Marvelous are Your works. And that my soul knows very well.” He was speaking to God.
You were fearfully and wonderfully made by God. His work in your life is marvelous. Do you know that? Do you remember it during times of trial and hardship?
When the cares and affairs of this world become more than you can endure do you remember it is not your home? You were created in the image and likeness of God? You can choose to live with Him in timeless perfection when this world ends?
God does not want to harm you. He wants to bless you. Will you choose to praise Him even when it seems like you are being treated unfairly? Will you turn your back on the deception of life and believe the Word of God?
Job was the greatest of the men of the east, blameless and upright, one who shunned evil and feared God. Could he have relied too heavily on his own resources? Did he lean too much on his own understand of God’s requirements? It is possible. We can’t be sure.
All that you have could disappear in the blink of an eye. God has no beginning and will have no end. Should you rely on Jesus or your bank account? God wants to guide through this life and lead you into eternity.
Will you follow Jesus even when you do not know where He is leading?
“For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.” Job 9:32-33 NKJV
The bible tells us God created the heavens and the earth.
Scientists in different disciplines tell us the cosmos evolved over billions of years. The earth sun and moon were formed out of the void. How exactly did that happen? How long did it really take? Maybe that is a question best answered by fools.
Professing to be wise they became fools. Romans 1:22.
God’s wrath will be poured out on the unrighteous. Unrighteous people refuse to accept the One True God is sovereign over creation. They refuse to accept Him as Lord of all!
God’s is revealed through His creation. Some people are too educated and wise in their own eyes to recognize the truth any fool can understand. God created the heavens and the earth!
God is a being unlike any other. He is perfect in every way!
People wise in their own eyes become fools when they devise philosophies and theories to oppose God’s authority over creation!
Job was angry with God. He would have sued God if there was a court where he could plead his case. There was nowhere for Job to turn except to God.
Job did not stay angry at God. He fought through the pain and anguish. He remembered God is holy and righteous. He remembered God is just. He remembered God is good all the time. Job remembered God loved Him!
It is not unusual for people to become angry at God. It takes faith to be angry at Him. We would not get angry at God if we did not believe our fate is in His hands. We would not be angry at Him if we did not believe He could change our circumstances.
We may become angry when we lose people we love. We may feel angry when we suffer hardship and pain. We may be angry when we feel abandoned and betrayed. We may lash out if we think God no longer cares about us. God is not surprised by our feelings and emotions. He gave them to us!
We have a mediator we can turn to. His name is Jesus. He will always be a man. He has always been God. He knows pain and suffering. He knows the heartache of betrayal and abandonment. He is at the right hand of the Father praying for us right now!
Jesus has not gone away and left us to ourselves. He is close enough to hear the cry of your heart. Call out to Jesus when you need Him. He will extend His hand of mercy and grace towards you and reach out to His Father on your behalf!
If you would earnestly seek God and make your supplication to the Almighty, If you were pure and upright, Surely now He would awaken for you, And prosper your rightful dwelling place. Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly. Job 8:5-7 NKJV
Job’s friend Bildad tells him to repent. Like Eliphaz he speaks of God’s justice. Like Job and Eliphaz he believes God always blesses the righteous and punishes the wicked.
We should all repent or turn from wickedness and embrace righteousness. God is just in all His dealings with us. He does bless the righteous and punish wickedness. God’s ways of doing things are very different than ours!
The days before Jesus returns will be wicked. Depravity will be unbridled. People will commit all manner of evil and call it good. The devil will tighten his grip upon the world. He will lash out at God’s people. Evil will be in full bloom for a short period of time.
People who love God and trust Him through trials and hardships will be blessed. If we call on God He will answer. The answers may not come right away. Then suddenly as if God was roused from a slumber He will answer with blessing and prosperity of spirit!
The place where we prosper will not be built by human hands. God is preparing it for us. As if roused from a deep sleep He will appear suddenly and come riding on the clouds to take us home!
We were born in sin and iniquity. Our lives are spent in a land that is not our home. We are surrounded by evil and injustice. When Jesus takes us home we will be surrounded by true love. It will be perfect and unending!
It is wrong to believe only evil people suffer. Good people are not always blessed the way we expect.
There are many evil people who appear to prosper. God is allowing them the freedom to choose how they live and where they spend eternity. There are many Godly people suffering. God has not abandoned them. Goodly people will spend eternity with the Lord!
Israel has suffered more than any nation or people ever have. God has protected them and blessed them more than any other people. They are His. He loves them.
All people who call on the Name of the Lord are the people of God. He loves us. He is calling us to trust Him more than ever before. The days are growing darker by the hour. When Jesus returns will He find faith upon the earth? Yes, He will. We will be here!
Do not judge God by your circumstances. If He could take us out of this fallen world and still carry out His perfect plan He would. Seek Jesus and you will find Him. Follow Jesus and He will teach you His ways!
God will rise up and prosper you in ways you cannot see with your eyes today!
But he said to her, you speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity? In all this Job did not sin with His lips. Job 2:10 NKJV
I cannot imagine what life would be like if God did not love us. I cannot imagine what our existence would be like if God were not righteous and holy. What would our world be like if God was not good all the time?
When I was sixteen I spent a weekend at a retreat. I knew God was calling me. I remember feeling like I was caught up in a struggle between good and evil. I was the prize in that struggle.
I believed in God. I did not know Him. I refused to surrender my life to Him. If I did I could not have continued to live as I was. I remember thinking I would surrender to God someday but not then. I was having too much fun.
I thought God was going to crimp my style. I thought He was going to rain on my parade. I could have avoided so much pain and suffering if I had known God is good all the time.
When I became a Christian God spoke to me. He said “My hand has always been upon you!” The Lord was with me even when I was trying to keep Him out of my life. I tried to hold God back until I was ready. I did not know God is good all the time.
Job knew God is good all the time!
Job was convinced of God’s goodness even though it appeared the Lord had abandoned him. He was convinced of God’s goodness even though it appeared the Lord was punishing him. Job refused to blame God for his circumstance even when his wife did.
Job could not comprehend God as anything other than Righteous and Holy. Job refused to believe God would stop blessing him. Job could not wrap his mind around a world in which the goodness and mercy of God did not prevail over evil!
Can you? It really does not matter. You do not have to. God is good all the time!
Job struggled with his circumstances. He did not know why he suffered such horrible trials and hardships. He did not know why his loved ones were taken from Him. Job chose to focus on what he did know. He focused on the goodness of God.
Will you choose to focus on the goodness of God rather than your circumstances? Will you remember that our circumstances do not change God’s character? Will you choose to trust the God of goodness and mercy?
Do not be deceived by the temporary and transitory circumstances of life in a fallen world? God is good all the time!
“What is man, that You should exalt him, That You should set Your heart on him, That You should visit him every morning, And test him every moment?
Will you not look away from me, And let me alone till I swallow my saliva?
Have I sinned? What have I done to You, O watcher of men? Why have You set me as Your target, So that I am a burden myself?
Why then do You not pardon my transgression, And take away my iniquity?
For now I will lie down in the dust, And You will seek me diligently, But I will no longer be.” Job 7:17-21 NKJV
I witnessed a man plead no contest to fifty-six counts of child molestation. I wanted him to suffer for his crimes. I ended up prayed for him. Why?
God loves him as much as He loves me!
Some of those children are still suffering. The pain is so severe some look for ways to numb it. They wonder where God was when they were victimized. They may wonder where He is today. Some of them may blame Him for their pain.
God loves us so much He gave us free will. We can return His love or reject it. He wants us to choose Him over evil. Is that God’s way of testing us?
Job blamed God for His suffering. He wondered how long God would afflict him. He wondered how long God would allow him to suffer. When would God forgive his sin? When would God take away his iniquity? When would God allow him to die in peace?
Job did not know God was using him for a purpose he could not understand. God uses many of us for reasons we do not understand today.
Pain and suffering is one of the reasons some people choose not to believe in God. Others choose to oppose Him for the same reasons. They do not understand the doctrine of free will.
The evil in people hearts manifests in their actions toward others. People are the cause of evil in the world, not God!
I do not understand why those children were used and abused like play things. I have no words to comfort them. I cannot explain why it happened. I cannot console them or their families. There is a God in heaven who can do so much more!
The God of heaven and earth turns ashes into beauty. He heals broken hearts minds and bodies. He forgives sin and takes away iniquity!
God is waiting for people to receive and return His love. He is waiting for the day He sends the Prince of Peace to restore justice upon the earth. Turn to Him when your pain and suffering are more than you can endure!
Jesus gives purpose to our pain and turns tragedy into triumph!
There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil. Job 1:1 NKJV
If God is love, if He is rich in mercy and grace, why do righteous people suffer?
Job was the greatest of all the people in the east. He had seven sons and three daughters. He possessed large herds of livestock. He provided homes for his sons. It was not Job’s wealth that set him apart from other men. It was his devotion to God!
Job was not blameless because he never sinned. He was not upright because he was perfect. He was blameless and upright because he feared God enough to obey Him. Job shunned evil because of his faith in God. He knew God’s goodness triumphs over evil.
So it was, when the days of feasting had run their course, that Job would send and sanctify them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did regularly. Vs 5
Job was an amazing father. He sanctified his children by offering them to the Lord. He cleansed them and purified them by offering the burnt sacrifices for sin in case they cursed God in their hearts. Job blessed his children and modeled godliness for them.
Job took his responsibility as priest of his family very seriously. His children were blessed with a Godly father. Job blessed God with His faithfulness and obedience!
In those days it was believed the Godly were always blessed and evil was always cursed. The theology is correct. The confusion comes from an incorrect definition of blessing and cursing. Job would learn the difference.
Job did everything he could to earn God’s blessing. He did everything he could to shun evil. He represented God to his family friends and neighbors. His heart was right before the Lord. God’s desires were in his heart.
Many things have changed since Job lived. God has not. The Lord has the same desires for us He had for Job. He wants us to be blameless and upright. He wants us to fear God and shun evil!
God wants us to sanctify our children by lifting them up in prayer. He wants us to offer ourselves to Him as a living sacrifice so He can minister to them. He wants us to give our children to Jesus so He can purify their souls and cleanse their hearts!
God sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. Sometimes it is a blessing. Sometimes it brings a flood of trials and troubles. Some blessings are wrapped in heartache and pain. Ask Jesus to help you understand the difference between blessings and curses.
Be blames and upright, fear God and shun evil through faith in Jesus Christ!
“Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth? Are not his days also like the days of a hired man? Job 7:1 NKJV
Portions of this book remind me of the book of Ecclesiastes. Like Solomon Job was conflicted. Solomon used the word “vanity” and phrase “a chasing after the wind” to describe life and the pursuit of human pleasures.
Solomon began his kingship of Israel by asking God to give him an understanding heart to judge his people. He lost his way. He gave in to the temptations of wealth and power.
At the end of his life Solomon said, “Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is man’s all.”
Job was confused and lost at this point in his life. He was the most powerful man in the east. Now he describes life as a weary grind. He relates more with an employee or slave than an employer or slave owner.
Don’t we all have seasons when we feel like we are making progress as we journey through life and seasons when we feel like it is a struggle just to survive?
In the end it will not matter how successful we were or what we did for a living. The only things we can take with us into eternity are our relationships. Everything else is vanity and a chasing after the wind. Solomon understood that.
Job continues to struggle with the belief God always blesses the righteous and always curses evil doers. Job waivers but understood obedience to God had to be his priority in life.
That is why God used Job to reveal his power and authority over creation. The Lord knew Job would be confused. He knew Job would fall into despair. He also knew Job would eventually submit to his circumstances. God knew he would accept them!
Yes, this life is a time of hard service for God’s people. Jesus wants us to identify with His suffering. Yes, our days are like the days of a servant. It is better to be a door keeper in the house of God than to be a king in this fallen world!
Job persevered even though he did not understand why he had to suffer. He did not do it alone. The Lord was with Him. God gave Him what he needed when he needed it to persevere on his journey through life.
You can persevere even though you do not understand why you have to suffer. You can persevere because Jesus is with you. God will give you what you need when you need it to persevere on your journey through life in a fallen world!
Some of our struggles come wrapped in fine paper and pretty bows. Do not surrender to the temptations of prosperity and ease. Fear God and walk in His ways. That is the path to true unending joy and blessing!
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