“And now I am their taunting song; Yes, I am their byword.” Job 30:9 NKJV
“I cry out to You, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You regard me. But You have become cruel to me; With the strength of your hand You oppose me.” Job 30:20-21 NKJV
Job’s complains about his honor turning into extreme contempt and his prosperity into calamity.
Job suffered heartbreaking loss when his children were taken from him. His self-worth, position of respect and honor were lost along with his wealth. He was afflicted with a painful illness.
The deepest wound may have occurred when his wife chose not to stand with him in faith. The woman who was bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh tore herself away when she told him to curse God and die!
We need people to stand with us when we struggle through trials and hardships. We need people to support and encourage us. We need people to pray for us!
It sounds like Job is praying. He is not. He is ranting. He began by complaining about the way people were treating him. He moves on to complain about the way God is opposing him.
Job compares his present circumstances to his prosperous past. Job tries to convince everyone including God that he deserves better. He spends so much time judging God for his circumstances he forgets to pray!
When Job lost his children and wealth he fell to the ground and worshiped God. He said; “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Now Job is living in practical unbelief. He puts his trust and reliance on what he can do rather than trusting God for what the Lord can do. Job is not suffering because God has abandoned him. He is right where the Lord wants him to be.
The book of Job was written as an example to us. In times of pain and hardship, and we will all have them, we must remember the Lord!
Prayer is not just talking to God. It is worship. That is what God wanted from Job. The Lord was showing Satan Job’s heart belonged to Him. Prayer is listening to God. The Lord was showing the devil His children hear His voice and obey Him!
Do you belong to Jesus? If so, pray to Him. Listen for His voice. Give a living testimony to the great cloud of witnesses watching that you hear God’s voice and obey Him!
“But now they mock at me, men younger than I, Whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock.” Job 30:1-2 NKJV
Job has gone from honor among men to a scourge, from prosperity to calamity.
Job uses very descriptive words to say men who are so inferior to him that he would not have had time for them before his trial are mocking him.
We don’t know how people treated Job except for the few “friends” quoted in the book. We do get a clear understanding of Job’s attitude. He is hurt and angry. You and I would probably feel the same way. But the language he uses to make his point is very harsh!
Job talks about people mocking him as if their lives are worthless and meaningless. He had such disdain for their fathers he would not put them with his dogs. He calls them sons of fools and vile men who were scourged from the land. Job snubs his nose at them for not having nice places to live and good food to eat.
Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Job believed he was better than other people. He viewed the poor as the refuse of society.
Job was double minded at times even though he had a heart for the Lord. He was bitter towards people he thought deserved to suffer. He was resentful when people were insensitive to his suffering. Job could be vindictive in his desire to return evil for evil.
Job was haughty arrogant and prideful because he believed righteousness could be earned through religious acts and good deeds.
When I was young my mother owned a bakery. We distributed products to stores and restaurants. The employees took notice when I walked into the building. I felt important. I wasn’t very nice to some of them. Did I think I was better? I acted like it at times.
God revealed how double minded I can be even though I have a heart for Jesus. I have seen how bitter and resentful I can be towards other people. I struggle with the desire to return evil for evil.
When things are fun and easy, I can attribute them to good works and deeds. When I am overwhelmed with trials and hardship, I wonder what I am doing wrong.
People all around us are suffering. Some of them do not have nice places to live or good food to eat. Are they the outcasts of society? Are we better than them? The Lord will hold us accountable for our attitudes towards them!
Let the Word of God be a mirror before your eyes. Ask Jesus to open the eyes of your heart so you can see people as He does!
Do not return evil for evil when people mock or slander you. Examine your own heart. Let Jesus be the lifter of your head and the defender of your righteousness!
“Then I said, “I shall die in my nest, And multiply my days as the sand. My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch. My glory is fresh within me, And my bow is renewed in my hand.” Job 29:18-20 NKJV
Job expresses his discontent as he looks back to the days of prosperity. He is exaggerating his position and standing. Job is a rock star in the theater of his mind.
Job said, “I shall die in my nest.” That is like saying, “I will die in comfort and ease.” Did he really believe his end would be that peaceful and comfortable? I think he did. Job was the richest man in his corner of the world.
Job also said, “And multiply my days as the sand.” Did Job really believe he could increase the length of his life? It seems unlikely but he did speak the words, why? People with resources tend to live longer than people who do not have them.
A young man died of cancer without knowing he had it. He did not have medical insurance. He went to a hospital for help. They patched him up and sent him home. Sometimes poor people die from lack of medical attention.
Job said, “My root is spread out to the waters, And the dew lies all night on my branch.” He is speaking about the resources so readily available and how he took them for granted. He is also looking back on a life undisturbed, at rest and at ease.
Job says, “My glory is fresh within me, And my bow is renewed within my hand.” Job is glorifying his status and honor among his people before his trial. When he looks back to the good old days he sees himself as young and powerful.
Job was a very wealthy man of high standing among his people. His words clearly show he struggled with pride, arrogance and a haughty attitude.
Sin is not a respecter of persons. Anyone can give in to temptation at any time. Some of us have a particular sin we struggle with. How about you? Is there one particular sin you struggle with?
God did not leave Job to himself. He worked to change Job in the areas where he needed it the most. God allowed him to be afflicted for a reason. His suffering was not in vain. God blessed Job more at the end of his life than He did at the beginning of it.
Jesus will not leave you to yourself. He will work on the areas of your life that need the most work. If you need to be refined in the cauldron of adversity it will not be in vain.
Look at your trials as opportunity for growth. Trust Jesus to use the cauldron of adversity to boil away your imperfections!
“Then He saw wisdom and declared it; He prepared it, indeed, He searched it out. And to man He said, behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.” Job 28:27-28 NKJV
This chapter is Job’s discourse on wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God.
The Lord broke my heart today. It needed to be broken. It had been hardened by hardship and trial. It was hardened by pain disappointment and regret. It had already been broken. Like a bone that is not properly set God needed to break it again.
Job’s heart was broken by pain and loss. His heart grew callous and cold. He spoke of wicked people and their destruction as if he wanted them to suffer. God does not want us to be pleased when evil people suffer. He wants it to break our hearts!
Job knew God is wisdom just as much as He is love. The Lord gives wisdom freely to all who seek Him. The ultimate form of wisdom is the fear of God. People who turn their backs on evil have godly understanding.
I spoke to a man who said people practicing a socially acceptable sin are teaching the rest of us something we need to learn. I don’t hate him. I don’t hate people who choose that sinful lifestyle. I love them. It breaks my heart. It breaks God’s heart even more!
I have always been taught God is so holy He cannot tolerate sin. I think it is just as true to say He chooses not to tolerate sin. Jesus does not tolerate sin because of the heartache and destruction it brings to the people He loves!
The same person said some things are neither right nor wrong. That is the same as saying what is true for some people may not be true for others. I do not have the luxury of deciding for myself the difference between right and wrong. Neither do you.
I cannot decide for myself what is true and what is not. Neither should you. Only God has the wisdom and authority to make those decisions!
No being in the heavens above or on the earth below knows creation better than the Creator. Only Jesus has the authority and power to declare truth as it is without distortion or error!
Fear of God keeps us walking in the light of truth. Sin and evil impairs our judgment. Fear the Lord more than you desire the passing pleasures of sin. Walk away from sin so you can be a person of wisdom and understanding!
Sin is progressive. It is often pleasurable for a short season. Our lustful desires become stronger and stronger the more we feed our flesh until a grotesque monster is created. If we do not stop feeding the beast it will devour us!
Man should not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Feed your Spirit. Starve the beast. Trust everything else to Jesus!
As long as breath is in me, And the breath of God in my nostrils, My lips will not speak wickedness, Nor my tongue utter deceit. Job 27:3-4 NKJV
Chapter twenty-seven began with Job’s accusation that God is denying him justice and making his soul bitter. Now Job moves on to maintain his integrity and declare his sincerity.
Job maintained his integrity by continuing to be the man God described as blameless and upright. He continued to live by his moral principles. Job maintained his integrity because it was based on who God is. It was not based on his prosperity or good health.
Job could declare his sincerity because he continued to live as he always had. He was very careful not to offend the Lord. He demonstrated his love and commitment to God by the way he treated people. He made mistakes but stayed true to the Lord.
The pity party ended. Job had allowed his emotions to drive his thinking. Now he is fighting through his feelings. He is taking control of his thoughts. Job is not practicing the power of positive thinking. He is not claiming or speaking anything into creation.
Job is focusing on the desires of his heart. He is remembering who he is. Job is remembering the Lord.
We do not have to become victims of stinking thinking. Some people believe they have no control over how they think. That is a lie from the pit of hell!
Some of our thoughts come from external sources. The sin that so easily besets us is offered up in a variety of ways. We are not responsible for those external thoughts. We are responsible for what we do with them.
A person with a drinking problem could see a TV commercial for his favorite liquor. His first thought may be how great it would be to have a drink. That is why the commercial was produced. He can talk himself into having a drink or talk himself out of it.
A wise man looks to the end of the matter. A great way to avoid sin is to consider where it leads!
The bible tells us to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Romans 12:2 reads; And do not be conformed to the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
What we think determines how we live. Stinking thinking is not a terminal disease. We can change how we think by focusing on the truth. Truth is found in the Word of God!
Trust Jesus with your emotions. Trust the Lord enough to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ!
“As God lives, who has taken away my justice, And the Almighty who has made my soul bitter,” Job 27:2 NKJV
Job maintains his integrity and declares his sincerity in this chapter. That will come later. In verse two Job accuses God of stealing away his justice and making his soul bitter.
I was reminded of something a man I admired said years ago. He told me; “Trials and hardship will either make you bitter or better.” That was a very profound statement. Years later I watched him turn bitter and withdraw from fellowship.
My wife and I had a heated argument. We raised our voices against each other. Since then we went to a farmer’s market together. We ate dinner and bought some fresh fruit. She is making cookies as I type out this message. Am I a hypocrite? Was Job?
My friend says, “We are all a walking contradiction, partly fact and partly fiction.” We all struggle in our relationships. We all miss the mark of total submission to God. We sin, make mistakes, waiver and fail. Some of us do it more than others. That includes me.
The Lord hardened Pharaoh’s heart so he would not let the children of Israel leave Egypt. Was God the cause of Pharaoh’s disobedience? No He was not.
The Lord gave the king over to his evil desires. He raised Pharaoh up to a position of great authority to display His power and might. God used the king of Egypt, but Pharaoh had the freedom to choose. The mighty Pharaoh died in his sin!
Job is feeling sorry for himself. In the theater of his mind God has wronged him. Job is bitter and resentful. He blames the Lord for those feelings. But God will not leave him that way!
God called Job His servant. He called Job a blameless and upright man. The Lord knew Job better than he knew himself. God knew Job would make mistakes, waiver, sin and fail. Job is in with Jesus today!
We do not ever want to make excuses for our sin. We should not plan to fail. We must remember to take control of our thoughts so we do not waiver in our faith. It will happen to all of us at one time or another.
Our mistakes, failures and sins are opportunities to receive the grace of God afresh and anew. God will grant the desires of our hearts. The Lord gave us His Word as a promise and a guarantee.
You can maintain your integrity through faith in Jesus Christ! You can declare the sincerity of your heart before the Lord! You can choose to be a servant of Jesus Christ!
When trials and hardship come into your life you can choose to become bitter or better. Let Jesus make you better. Maintain the integrity of your heart through faith in Christ!
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 are absolute. That does not mean everything that happens is in accordance with God’s 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. God did not cause Job’s wife and friends to turn against Him. The Lord did give them the freedom to do so.
God also brought an end to Job’s suffering. He restored all that Job lost. The Lord 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.
Jesus brings 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 that of the Lord 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. Jesus guides and directs people who follow Him!
Do not judge the Lord 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? Job 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 Jesus 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. Jesus 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. The Lord 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. Jesus 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!
If even the moon does not shine, And the stars are not pure in His sight, How much less a man, who is a maggot, And a son of man who is a worm? Job 25:5-6 NKJV
Bildad asked, “How can man be righteous?” Then declares the sovereignty of God, before whom man cannot be justified.
Job’s friends spoke in turn, Job responded. They were determined to prove Job caused his suffering. They accused him of being a sinner. Job argued his innocence and the unjustness of his suffering. He wanted to prove evil can prosper and go unpunished.
Job and his friends were stuck in their positions. Neither convinced the other of anything. Their statements become harsher and more outrageous.
Bildad called people maggots and worms. He spoke in general terms but the implication is that he is talking about Job. They are supposed to be friends!
I watched a video of a man confronting a woman who had an offensive sticker on her car. He called her a filthy disgusting and sinful woman. He told her she was evil and going to hell. He videotaped it and posted it on facebook.
A controversy over his actions followed. Some accused him of being legalistic and judgmental. They said his actions were not Christ like. He said she needed to be confronted. He accused them of promoting greasy grace and seeker friendly Christianity.
Using dehumanizing terms for people makes it is easier to hurt them. Racists do it. Soldiers do it. We can do it to the people we love when we are angry. We can do it without even realizing it. I have done it more times than I can count. Have you?
Bildad was correct when he implied that no man is righteous on his own. He was wrong to describe people as maggots and worms. God does not see us that way. He created us in His image and likeness. He created us to be like Him. He created us to represent Him!
There was a time when I would have enjoyed what that lady had on her car. There are many people who would enjoy it today. Am I any better than them? Are you?
I am saved by the grace of God and thankful for it. The same God who loves me loves her. The same God who saved me wants to save her!
If we could see each other the way God does we would be very careful how we treat each other. If we could see ourselves through Jesus’ eyes it would change how we live!
This is a very short chapter in the book of Job. It speaks volumes about the sovereignty of God. No one can oppose Him and prevail. God is perfect and justified in all He does!
We can stand before God in the righteousness of Christ. We can share the perfect love of Jesus with imperfect people. We can serve Jesus just as if we had never sinned. Go out and commit a blatant act of kindness in Jesus name today!
“Dominion and fear belong to Him; He makes peace in His high places. Is there any number to His armies? Upon whom does His light not rise? How then can man be righteous before God? Or how can he be pure who is born of a woman?” Job 25:2-4 NKJV
Bildad asks, “How can man be righteous?”
In chapter twenty-four Job complains about the violence and corruption on the earth. He makes the case that sin often goes unpunished. He camps there too long!
Job’s motivation for his complaint against evil was to prove the unjustness of his suffering. Job points out the people he thinks should be suffering.
Bildad is insensitive to Job’s plight. He is convinced Job’s trial is the result of sin. He is also making a very good point. No one can claim righteousness before God on the basis of good behavior or works!
Years ago I attended a weekly prayer meeting at a church we attended. The leader spent most of the night pointing out evil in the world. He called upon God to judge people, governments and institutions for sin. He camped there too long!
I was uncomfortable at that prayer meeting. I felt we should have been praying for people in need and for the light of God’s love to be revealed. Not cursing the darkness.
I cannot judge my brother’s heart. I can ask the Lord to reveal mine. How often do I judge the sin of others and ask God to forgive mine? How often do I condemn people who need the Lord and harbor sin in my own heart? I camp there too long!
In the previous chapter Job declares the sovereignty of God. The Lord does not need us to bird dog sin. We cannot expose evil in anybody’s heart other than our own!
God is in control of all things. Nothing can prosper in opposition to Jesus. Evil will prosper for a season. The righteousness of God is eternal!
God sends rain on the just and the unjust. The sun shines on the sinner and the saint. God wants all people to know how much He loves us. He wants all of us to love Jesus!
There is a way to be declared righteous in the sight of God. We must admit our sin. To say we have no sin is to declare God a liar. Submit to the Lordship of Jesus. We can receive His righteousness and allow Him to live out the life of Christ through us.
If you have never asked Jesus to come into your life do it today. Ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Admit that you are a sinner. Ask the Lord to forgive you. Submit to His Lordship of your life!
Do not focus your attention on sin and evil. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus!
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