He stirs up the sea with His power, And by His understanding He breaks up the storm. By His Spirit He adorned the heavens; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent. Indeed these are the mere edges of His ways, And how small a whisper we hear of Him! But the thunder of His power who can understand? Job 26:12-14 NKJV
The same God who calls forth the storm calms it, or does He?
There are many forces at work as we journey through life on planet earth. God gave the first man and woman freedom to choose their own way. They chose to covet wisdom reserved for God. Sin took hold in the heart of man. It is woven into our DNA.
Creation groans under the weight of corruption. The serpent who deceived Adam and Eve is the master of this fallen world. He leads people into rebellion and wages war against the children of God.
The God of the bible sits alone upon the throne of creation. His power and authority is absolute. That does not mean everything that happens is in accordance with His will. It means His good and perfect plan for creation will unfold exactly as He ordained it!
God did not take Job’s children. He did not inflict Job with painful boils. He did give Satan permission to do those things. He did not cause Job’s wife and friends to turn against Him. He did give them the freedom to do so.
The Lord also brought an end to Job’s suffering. He restored all that Job lost. He blessed Job more at the end of his life than He did at the beginning.
Satan has an army of evil angels who follow him. God could annihilate them with a thought or spoken word. Why doesn’t He? No one knows the answer to that question. We can only assume God has a purpose for the existence of evil.
God makes beauty from ashes. He turns tragedy into triumph. He uses evil to bring about good. No other being can do such things!
God gave us His Word to teach us His ways. And yet there is so much we do not know. There are many things happening all around us that we cannot understand. There is a very good reason why God has limited our understanding and power.
If our understanding and power approached God’s we would destroy creation!
God’s divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and Godliness, through Him who called us by His own glory and goodness!
Jesus loves you. His hand of protection is upon people who love Him. He guides those who follow Him. Do not judge Him for your circumstances. Praise Him for His mercy and grace!
But Job answered and said: “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength? How have you counseled one who has no wisdom? Job 26:1-3 NKJV
Bildad had his say. Job scolded him for having an unloving spirit.
Job ridiculed Bildad. He asked Bildad if his faith has ever born fruit. He asked Bildad if he speaks words of encouragement to people in need. Or does he only judge and condemn with his tongue? He asked Bildad whose spirit is at work in him. These are good self-examination questions for us.
It is possible to speak truth for the wrong reasons. It is possible to twist the truth for a cruel purpose. The bible says the power to bless and curse is in our tongues. It was true in the day it was written. It is true today!
When we are born again into the Kingdom of God we become new creatures in Christ. We are still weighed down by the sin that so easily besets us. The difference between religion and living in relationship with God is love!
Some people say we should not focus too much on the love of God. They say when we teach God is love we are telling people what they want to hear. They are wrong!
God’s greatest commandment is to love Him with all of our heart soul strength and mind. He also commands us to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves. God is love. He wants us to surrender to His love!
Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Jesus loved us enough to die for us. He wants us to love each other as much as He does!
Unsaved people are not drawn to Christ when we represent Him with an unloving holier than thou attitude. Our brothers and sisters in the Lord are not built up and encouraged in their faith when we take on a critical attitude towards each other.
We all sin. We all make mistakes. God gave us truth so we can recognize a lie. He gave us truth so we will know when we fall short. He gave us truth so we can share it with other people. It must always be tempered with love!
Jesus humbled Himself by leaving the perfection of heaven and taking up the life of a man. He served the people He came to save. The Lord is calling us to humble ourselves before God and serve His people today!
Ask Jesus to give you a loving heart. Ask the Lord to reveal light to people who are walking in darkness.
Only the light of God’s love can transform our hearts. Only the truth of His love revealed in Jesus Christ can open blind eyes!
“There are those who rebel against the light; They do not know its ways nor abide in its paths. The murderer rises with the light; He kills the poor and needy; And in the night he is like a thief. The eye of the adulterer waits for the twilight, saying, “No eye will see me; And he disguises his face.” Job 24:13-15 NKJV
Job complained of violence on the earth. Sin often goes unpunished in this life. And yet God is always in control.
Nimrod was the first tyrant. The bible describes him as a mighty hunter before the Lord. He gathered his people together to glorify themselves. They built a city and a tower to reach the heavens in defiance of God.
The mighty hunter set his sights on the Lord of heaven and earth. God confused their language and scattered them over the face of the earth.
Some people live like God does not exist. It may be because they are unsure if He does. Others know in their hearts God is who He claims to be. They wage war against Him through the way they live. They oppose all that is good. They choose evil, why?
Humans are reward driven. We repeat behaviors that stimulate pleasure.
The sinful nature of man is not just a theological doctrine. It is woven into our DNA. That is why drug addicts crave a substance that destroys relationships eats up resources and takes away the enjoyment of simple pleasures.
Evil exists in many forms. God is allowing it to fester until the day He pours out His wrath upon people who will not repent. The Lord will judge people who oppose Him!
There is a thin line between opposing evil and having a critical spirit. Some of the people we point our boney fingers at will be saved. God loves them as much as He loves us.
Jesus wants us to oppose evil. He wants us to love people. Everyone sins, including us.
Job makes the point that evil often prospers. He is trying to convince his friends that his suffering is not the result of sin. He is right. God is using him. He is the Lord’s servant.
Job took an amazing stand of faith. He also made a lot of mistakes. That did not change the way God felt about him. God showed incredible confidence in Job by putting him through such a painful trial.
I have taken some amazing stands of faith in God. I have also made some bone head mistakes. You may have had seasons of amazing faith in God. You may have also made serious mistakes. That does not change the way God feels about us. He has more confidence in us than we do in ourselves.
Take a stand of faith against evil. Allow God to love people through you!
My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and not turned aside. I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food. Job 23:11:12 NKJV
God incited Satan against Job. He gave the devil permission to attack Job. God used Job to display His power and authority over heaven and earth. He used Job to show His sheep hear His voice and obey Him!
God’s is so powerful, His wisdom so unsearchable He can do a limitless number of works with one sovereign act. God can make us do something without violating our free will.
Job was a thoughtful and serious man. He left nothing to chance. He offered sacrifices for his children before they sinned. His motives were honorable. He wanted to walk uprightly before the Lord. He wanted to obey the commandments of God.
Job was self-reliant. He trusted in his ability to keep the law. He believed God would bless him if obeyed the Lord’s commands. Job argued the unfairness of his pain and suffering. He believed God was treating him unfairly since he had not sinned.
God called Job righteous and blameless. It was not because he never sinned. It is because his heart was right before the Lord. He feared God so much he gave the offering for sin on a regular basis. His desire to shun evil fostered an arrogant attitude!
Many of us want to live righteously today. We may try so hard we miss the point. We cannot be righteous in our own strength. We can only be righteous through faith in the one who never sinned, Jesus.
Many of us want to shun evil. We may begin to look down on people we perceive as sinners. We may start to believe we are better than them.
Job is a true hero of the faith. There was more than one reason God allowed him to suffer. He needed to be molded and shaped into the man God created him to be. It was the author and finisher of his faith who made him a hero.
Job was a much better man at the end of his trial than he was at the beginning of it.
I do not have the patience of Job. You probably do not either. We can have the type of faith Job had. Our faith needs to be in what Jesus has done, not we can do!
You will be a better disciple of Christ when your trials and hardships have ended. Trust the author and finisher of your faith to complete the work He is doing in your life!
Hold fast to Jesus’ steps. Keep His way and do not turn aside. He will lead you where you need to go!
And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” Luke 10:27 NKJV
This is the opening verse of the story of the Good Samaritan. The Samaritan is not the central character of the story. Neither is the man who fell among thieves. The lawyer is.
The lawyer was not asking Jesus what he must do to be saved. He was testing Jesus. He did not call Jesus “teacher” out of respect. Pride and arrogance filled his heart!
Jesus answered the lawyers question by asking, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?”
The lawyer answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
And Jesus said to him, “You have answered rightly, do this and you will live.” The lawyer seeking to justify himself asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
The lawyer did not ask because he was unsure. He was justifying his failure to obey God’s commands. He understood the law. He chose not to obey it!
Arguing and disputing the law was the lawyers business. He could defend criminals or prosecute debtors with equal zeal. He could not argue his way into the kingdom of God. He could not defend himself before the Lord. He was determined to try!
The world is full of people justifying their behavior by arguing and disputing with the Word of God. Some of us are familiar with the scriptures and hold other people to account for their disobedience but justify our own. I have done it. So have you!
Who is your neighbor? Why should you even care?
Our neighbors are not just the people who live next door to us. They are not just the people who look and act like us. They are not just the people we like and who like us.
Our neighbors are people of different colors races and ethnic groups. They are people who speak different languages than us. Some of them hate us for our relationship with Christ. Some of them hate us because of our color race and ethnicity.
We should care about our neighbors because Jesus does. The lawyer in this story is going to argue and dispute his way into hell. We can follow Jesus into eternal life!
We cannot save the world. We can love our neighbors. We can do that by loving Jesus!
How can you inherit eternal life? Surrender your heart and mind to the Word of God. You will sin you will make mistakes. We all do. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love the Lord God with all of your heart soul strength and mind, and your neighbor as yourself!
But He knows the way that I take, When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold. Job 23:10 NKJV
Job wished He could find God. He wanted to come before the Lord to plead his innocence. He was confident in God’s great mercy. Have you found God? Do you make a habit of pleading your case before Him? Are you confident in God’s great mercy?
God’s angels and Satan presented themselves before God. The Lord asked Satan where he was coming from. Satan said; “From going to and fro on the earth, and walking back and forth on it.” The devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour!
God said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
Satan accused Job of serving God for selfish reasons. He said if God removed His hedge of protection and took away his blessing Job would curse the Lord to His face. God told Satan, “Behold all that he has is in your power, only do not lay a hand on his person.”
The devil killed Job’s children and destroyed his resources. Job fell to the ground and worshiped God!
A similar event occurred in heaven. God gave Satan permission to inflict Job with a painful illness. The devil brought division into Job’s relationship with his wife, friends and neighbors.
Job believed God was cursing him but could not understand why. There was nothing in his experience or theology that could help him make sense of what was happening to him. Job put his trust in what he did know. He knew the Lord!
Job knew God is good. He knew God is righteous and holy. He knew God is worthy of praise honor and glory. Job knew God is worthy of worship. Job believed God knew how he would respond in every circumstance.
Job knew God was allowing him to be tested. He knew his faith in God would shine like gold refined in a fire. How did Job know that? He knew God would not give him a test he could not pass!
God knows how we will respond in every circumstance. He will not allow more hardship than our faith can endure. When our time of trial and testing has ended our faith in God will shine like gold refined in the cauldron of adversity!
You may be suffering through trials and hardship. Do not lose hope. God is using you to display His power over creation. Stand up and declare the goodness of God. He is righteous and holy. He is worth of praise honor and glory. He is worthy of your worship!
God wants you to play a role in His victory over evil! You are more than a conqueror through faith in Jesus Christ!
“You will declare a thing, And it will be established for you; So light will shine on your ways.” Job 22:28 NKJV
Eliphaz accuses Job of wickedness. He makes blasphemous statements and attributes them to Job. He urges Job to repent and says Job will be able to declare what He wants and God will grant it to Him.
Eliphaz and Job’s other friends are stuck in legalistic doctrine. Doctrine is vital to the child of God when it is correct. It is a pitfall to followers of Jesus when it is incorrect.
Job’s friends believe the righteous always prosper and the wicked always suffer. They believe the righteous can ask whatever they want of God and receive it. There are many professing Christians who believe these things today.
It is unrealistic and legalistic to believe only evil people suffer. It discourages people who are suffering. It can cause people to doubt their faith. People who believe this can be judgmental of people who do not appear to have the “blessing and anointing” of God on their lives.
It is incorrect to believe God will give us whatever we ask if we have enough faith. That would not be a blessing. It would be a curse. The bible does teach God will give us whatever we ask when we pray according to His will. That is not the same thing.
We should never stop praying. We do not always have to end our prayers with “If it is your will Lord.” We should always have that attitude when we pray. We do not need to speak the words for God to know what is in our hearts!
The book of Job clearly shows Godly people suffer. It teaches us we do not always see the answer to our prayers for healing and restoration right away.
It is God’s will for us to be healed from sickness. It is His will for everything we lost to be restored. Some of us will receive the ultimate healing in His presence. We will join our saved loved ones in the perfection of eternity.
God does bless the people He declares righteous through faith in Jesus. He blesses us with the true riches of His kingdom. The Lord will remove wickedness from the earth. Until then Jesus makes His mercy and grace available to us!
Seek God’s will when you pray. Do not lose heart if you don’t see the answer right away.
Faith is the substance of the things we hope for. It is the evidence of things we can’t yet see.
Take your stand of faith on the Word of God (Jesus)!
God hears the desire of your heart before you speak. You will see the Lord’s plan for you unroll like a heavenly scroll if you trust Jesus with your life!
“Is not God in the height of heaven? And see the highest stars, how lofty they are! And you say, What does God know? Can He judge through the deep darkness?” Job 22:12-13 NKJV
Eliphaz spoke the words in these verses. He attributed them to Job. A condemning and accusing tone turned to slander.
Eliphaz accused Job of gaining wealth by robbing the poor, withholding food and drink from hungry people, widows and orphans, mocking God and denying His power and authority. He accused Job of denying God’s ability to judge.
Eliphaz called on Job to acquaint himself with God and be at peace.
Job’s friends believed his calamity must have been the result of sin. They began with vague generalizations for why Job suffered great loss and pain. They moved on to hurling slanderous accusations with zeal borne of resentment and envy.
Job is described as a blameless and upright man, one who feared God and shunned evil. He was the greatest of all the people of the east. He took his role as high priest in his home very seriously. He was a leader in his community and respected by his peers.
A critical spirit springs forth from a critical eye!
The men who accused Job resented and envied him. A root of bitterness took hold. They began to despise Job. They gave full vent to their anger at Job’s success and standing in the community.
I have noticed a root of bitterness taking hold in my heart. Anger fear and frustration hardened my heart. I felt the temperature of my wrath reaching the boiling point. It happened to me. It can happen to you!
Job trusted the Lord with his whole heart at the beginning of this book. At the end of the book Job is a hero. He struggled to trust God at the height of his ordeal. Job trusted God and remained faithful to the Lord regardless of His circumstances.
I write about trusting God all the time. I’ve trusted Him through severe trials and heartbreaking hardships. I will trust Him with difficult circumstances in the future. That does not mean I don’t struggle to trust God at times. We all do!
When I take steps in the wrong direction God gets me back on the path of faith in Jesus!
You may be struggling today. You may have taken some steps in the wrong direction. God wants you to get back on the path of faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Don’t look back to the trials and hardships behind you. Don’t borrow trouble from tomorrow. Trust Jesus enough to follow Him today!
“Can anyone teach God knowledge, Since He judges those on High? Job 21:22 NKJV
Job wants his friends to listen to him patiently. He continues to argue that sometimes wicked people do prosper, even when they despise God.
There is only one who knows all things. No one can teach Him anything. Only God can judge the heavens and the earth, the living and the dead.
Some things in the bible may seem to contradict each other. They do not.
God is in control of all things but gives us freedom to make our own choices. The rain falls on the just and the unjust but God says evil men will not prosper. God promises to bless and protect people who live by faith in Him but godly people suffer pain and loss.
Who can discern where the sovereignty of God and free will intersect? Just how much will the Lord allow evil to prosper before He pours out His wrath? How much must the servants of God suffer before He brings healing and restoration into their lives?
There are some things only God knows. Perhaps one day He will share the mysteries of His kingdom with us. Until then we must rely on what we do know to fill in the gaps.
God is righteous and holy. He is all powerful and all knowing. His Spirit rests upon every area of creation. He is a God of love and mercy. His favor rests upon us!
God is merciful and longsuffering. He pours out His grace on everyone who calls out to Him. He forgives the undeserving. He blesses people who live by faith in Jesus. The Lord will bring an end to wickedness upon the earth. Only the Father knows when.
God loves us so much He chooses not bring an end to wickedness today. He is waiting for people who live as though He does not exist to turn to faith in Jesus. God is allowing evil to prosper for a season. It will not last forever!
The Lord wants us to see with our own eyes and feel with our own hearts the difference between the goodness of God and the wickedness of sin. God allows us the freedom to sin so we will reap the consequences of disobedience and learn from them!
Through faith in the finished work of Jesus we have the freedom not to live in sin. We have the freedom to bask in the Sonlight of God’s favor. We have the freedom to receive the full measure of God’s mercy grace and forgiveness!
There are many deep and mysterious things we do not know. We do know God is for us and not against us. We know God loves us. We know God does not judge His people according to the flesh. He judges us according to our faith in Jesus Christ!
The full measure of God’s judgment and wrath will be poured out upon the wicked one day. The full measure of His grace mercy and blessing will be poured out upon the faithful throughout eternity. You can choose which you receive. Choose wisely!
Yet, they say to God, Depart from us, For we do not desire the knowledge of your ways. Who is the Almighty that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him? Job 21:15-16 NKJV
In chapter twenty Zophar makes the case that evil people always suffer and their lives end in destruction. Job declares that sometimes the wicked prosper, even when they despise God.
Job’s statement begs the question, who are the wicked?
Most of us would say the wicked are people who harm others. We consider murderers, despotic leaders, child molesters, rapists and racists evil. I would even add drug dealers to the list. God has a different perspective than we do.
God calls people who reject His authority over creation evil. People who reject His love are evil. People who purposely and willfully rebel against God and lead others away from Christ are evil!
Charles Darwin was not always an atheist. His daughter died. He hardened his heart against the Lord. He set out to disprove God created life. He had a bias against God. He dedicated his life to leading people away from faith in Jesus.
God loves wicked people. It is one of the reasons they do not always suffer the way we think they should. Jesus is waiting for people who have committed all manner of evil to incline their hearts to Him.
Why should we serve God? That is the reason He created us. Jesus wants people who choose intimate relationship with Him to help other people make the same decision.
How does praying to God benefit us? Let your imagination run wild with the answer to this question. We can’t just ask for anything we want and expect God to give it to us. The Lord did say we can have anything we want when we pray according to His will.
God wants to give us more than we can even think to ask for. He wants to grant us the true riches of His kingdom. Jesus wants us to spend eternity with the people who blessed us. The Lord wants us to spend eternity with the people He blessed through us!
Who is this God who blesses the meek the humble and people enslaved by sin? His name is Jesus. He is the Creator of the Universe. He created us to live in intimate relationship with Him. He wants us to pray for other people to choose intimate relationship with Him!
Do not follow the pattern of this world. Ask the Lord to teach you His ways. Offer yourself to Jesus as a living sacrifice. Serve Jesus by praying for people who do not know Him!
The true riches of the Kingdom of God are to know Jesus and to make Him known!
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