And Jabez called on the God of Israel saying, “Oh, that You would bless me indeed, and enlarge my territory, that Your hand would be with me, and that You would keep me from evil, that I may not cause pain!” So, God granted him what he requested. 1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV
Some of us were not raised in Christian homes. Our families did not teach us about Jesus. Jabez was raised among people that knew of God. There was something about Jabez that set him apart from his brothers and extended family members.
What set Jabez apart was a sincere desire to know God. Jabez wanted to be blessed by the Lord for the purposes of God. He had a burning desire to walk humbly and uprightly before the Lord. Jabez had the faith to ask for God’s blessing and the wisdom to know prosperity breeds temptation!
Jabez asked God to place limits on his authority. He called on God to take control of his life. Jabez called on the Lord to be his God in all ways and at all times!
There was a time when Christians all over the world were reading books on the prayer of Jabez. People were reciting the prayer of Jabez as if it was a magic formula that would move God to bless them. I had a copy of it in my office.
Jesus delivered me from the trials and temptations of living for the almighty dollar. Jesus brought me to a place of greater dependency on Him. What did I learn? There is no magic formula that moves God to bless us financially!
Gold does not always glitter. Everything that glitters is not of God. The blessings of Almighty God are eternal. The almighty dollar breeds temptation and sin!
Jesus can bless us in seasons of trial and hardship. He can bless us in times of financial crisis and collapse. The God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Jabez can bless us in ways we can’t see with our eyes.
Jabez is a good example of the attitude God wants us to have today. Jesus wants us to look to Him to bless our lives. He wants us to remember prosperity can bring temptation. Jesus wants to be our Lord in all things and at all times!
It was God who gave Jabez the heart to be more honorable than his brothers. Jabez was more honorable than his brothers because he desired God’s will for his life!
If you desire God’s will for your life you have the same honorable heart Jabez had. It does not matter if you come from a long life of faithful Christians or if you are the first follower of Jesus in your family.
Jesus will bless you in ways you cannot imagine if you honor Him with your life. The Lord will use you to bless other people if you trust Him with your life. God will grant your request if you call on Jesus to keep you from evil so you will not cause pain to others!
And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. Job 42:10 NKJV
Job performed his duty as the Lord’s servant by praying for his friends. God accepted Job and doubled his blessings.
Then all Job’s brothers, all his sisters, and all those who had been his acquaintances before, came to him and ate food with him in his house; and they consoled him and comforted him for all the adversity that the Lord had brought upon him. Each one gave him a piece of silver and each a ring of gold. Vs 11-12
God restored Job’s relationships. He restored Job’s standing in the community. People who accused Job consoled and comforted him. People who shunned Job blessed him. His family was at his side. What changed? God transformed their stony hearts into hearts of flesh.
When a man’s ways please the Lord God gives him peace all around!
God blessed Job more at the end of his life than He did at the beginning. The Lord gave Job greater wealth than he previously possessed. God gave Job seven sons and three beautiful daughters who received a share of his inheritance along with their brothers.
Job lived one hundred and forty years after the testing of his faith. It was long enough to hold his great-great-grandchildren in his lap. Old and full of years Job left behind a godly heritage for all who call upon the name of the Lord!
You may be struggling through a time of trial and hardship that tests your faith. It may seem to be more than you can endure at times. Remember the Lord!
When our ways please the Lord God gives us peace all around. The peace you long for may not come at a time of your choosing. It will come!
God will bless you more at the end of your life than He did at the beginning. That does not mean we will all be rich and famous. It does not mean life will be fun and easy all the time. It means God will bless you throughout eternity if you trust Him today!
We have all lost loved ones who have gone ahead of us to be with Jesus. We can be reunited with them if we trust God with our heartache and sorrow!
We can leave behind a godly inheritance for our children and our children’s children if we take a stand of faith today. They can see with their own eyes the Lord’s hand of blessing and protection upon His servants as we intercede for the people around us!
Stand tall in the face adversity. Humble yourself before the Lord’s mighty hand. Serve Almighty God with fear and trembling!
“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore, I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.” Job 42:5-6 NKJV
The last chapter of Job details his repentance, acceptance and restoration.
Job answered; “I know that You can do everything, And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You. You asked, “Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?” Therefore, I have uttered what I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Listen, please, and let me speak; You said; “I will question you, and you shall answer Me.”
It is one thing to know about God. It is quite another to know Jesus. Job has learned a lot about the Lord during His trial. He is about to learn even more.
Job made a lot of mistakes. He judged God through the lens of his circumstances. He accused the Lord of treating him unfairly. Job believed he deserved to be treated better. He was angry and bitter. Job held on to resentment against God. He refused to repent.
Job’s theology was faulty. Job believed the righteous always prosper and the ungodly always suffer. He thought God was punishing him for something he had not done. Righteous people do suffer. Evil often does prosper for a season. God used Job.
God said to Eliphaz “My wrath is aroused against you and your two friends, for you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has. Now therefore, take for yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, go to My servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and My servant Job shall pray for you. For I will accept him, lest I deal with you according to your folly; because you have not spoken of Me what is right, as My servant Job has.”
The book of Job ends the same way it began. With God calling Job His servant!
There is a reason God chose Job to serve Him. I cannot tell you why. Only the Lord knows. God saw Job as he would be before he was.
Jesus knew the good works He created Job to accomplish even before the foundations of the earth were put in place. God knew Job would pass the testing of his faith even before it began!
Do you know the Lord? If so you are His servant. Only God knows exactly why He chose you to serve Him. Jesus saw you as you would be before you were.
God chose the good works you will accomplish in Him even before the foundations of the earth were put in place. God will not allow a test of your faith you cannot pass!
When you fall short, and you will, repent, trust Jesus to accept and restore you!
No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me?
Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him! Everything under heaven is Mine. Job 41:10-11 NKJV
The power of Almighty God defies description!
God mentions the leviathan. Some say it is a great and mighty whale. Others say it is a fearsome crocodile. God describes the power and strength of the beast. He also points out the beauty and splendor of his beloved creature.
God asked if Job can catch the beast. Can he tame it. Would the mighty creature fear Job? Would it obey Him? Could he give it to his children to play with? Could job kill the leviathan and invite his friends over for a BBQ? Does Job even know anything about it?
God challenged Job to try laying his hand upon the great creature. If Job lived to tell about he would never try again. No one can defeat the leviathan on equal terms!
God created the mighty leviathan. He sees this creature in a way no human can. He sees it through loving eyes. God treats the beast with tender loving care. The Lord can do whatever He wants with His creation. The fearsome beast submits to His God!
God revealed His power and authority over creation. There is nothing outside of His dominion and rule. No creature great or small can defy Him. Only one would even try. Only man, the centerpiece of God’s creation is foolish enough to disobey the Lord!
There is no creature as crafty and skillful as man. We are the hunters of the great beasts of the earth. We tame them. We use them for food. That would all be well and good if we walked in God’s ways. We do not. Our sin covers the waters. It pollutes the dry land.
Job sinned but he was not a sinner. Job repented. God forgave him. God blessed Job!
God could destroy us with the breath of His nostrils. He does not. Jesus sees us through loving eyes. He treats us with tender loving care. He wants us to serve Him today!
God allowed Job to suffer heartache and hardship. He allowed Job to suffer pain and loss. God also used Job to display His power over heaven and earth. The Lord used Job to teach us what it means to be a servant of Almighty God!
Serving God does not make us immune to hardship and heartache. We will suffer pain and loss just like all people do. They are a part of life in a fallen world. Serving God does not make Him obligated to us. Jesus does not need to repay us for our service!
The tender loving care of God reaches to the heavens. It is there that we will receive our ultimate reward. We will bask in the Sonlight of God’s love forever. Jesus will be our reward. We will be His inheritance!
Creation submits to God, will you? Wild beasts obey Him, will you? Will you serve Jesus?
“Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, And array yourself with glory and beauty. Disperse the rage of your wrath; Look on everyone who is proud, and bring him low; Tread down the wicked in their place. Hide them in the dust together; bind their faces in hidden darkness. Then I will confess to you that your own right hand can save you.” Job 40:8-14 NKJV
God challenged Job with questions designed to bring him to repentance. They should cause us to repent!
Would you declare God’s judgment invalid? Would you condemn God’s actions to justify your own? People all over the world are doing just that right now!
Human beings are reward driven. We repeat actions that feed our flesh and stir our emotions. Pleasure based morality rules on planet earth!
It is a blessing that man does not have an arm like God’s. We would exist in a nightmarish reality if our voices could thunder like the Lord’s.
No man can adorn himself with majesty and splendor the way God can. No woman can adorn herself with glory and beauty the way God can. No one can stand in God’s presence and live. It would overwhelm our senses. Our bodies would shut down.
No human can disperse the rage of his or her wrath the way God can. He is longsuffering and merciful in a way no human can be. God’s patience knows no limits. His wisdom is beyond comprehension.
God looks deep into hearts and minds. He sees the pride and arrogance some contain. He extends mercy and grace to those who know Him and fear Him, those who shun evil.
God brings people low so He can lift them up in due time. No servant can serve two masters. The author and finisher of our faith gives us what we need when we need it to serve Him!
People who will not repent will be tread down in the place they chose. God will hide them in the dust of their preference. They will be bound in everlasting darkness. It may not happen before our eyes. It will happen.
People who refuse to humble themselves before God will have to step over the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the way to eternal separation from the Lord!
We are blessed with a perfect loving Heavenly Father. He sits on the throne only He could have created. Jesus looks down on the hearts and faces of His people with unmerited favor. The Lord is filled with compassion and love for us!
God’s judgment is perfect in every way. Do not condemn Him to justify yourself. The Lord may bring you low. It is for the purpose of raising you up at the perfect time. Receive the perfect love of your perfect Heavenly Father through faith in Jesus Christ!
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am vile; What shall I answer you? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once I have spoken, but I will not answer; Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.” Job 40:3-5 NKJV
God challenged Job to answer Him. Job did not, why? Job was humbled by the revelation of God’s power. Job was not yet repentant!
When God spoke to Job He said; “I will question you, and you shall answer Me.” The Lord questioned Job. Job refused to answer. He was defiant and disobedient!
Have you ever defied and disobeyed the Lord? I have. There are two times in particular that stick out in my memory.
Right after my wife and I were married. We had an argument. I walked to a park behind our house. The Lord spoke to me. He told me to go home. I went in a different direction.
I looked down as I walked. I saw my wife’s name written in the sidewalk. The O in her name was written in the shape of a heart. My heart softened. The anger was gone. My wife pulled up beside me in our car. We drove home together.
My new supervisor and I were driving in a bread truck. The Lord spoke to me. He said; “Tell him about Me.” God wanted me to share the gospel with my supervisor. I did not. I sat in silence.
The day my wife and I were married I asked the Lord to bless our marriage. We have been married for twenty-six years. God has been faithful to bless our marriage even though I have been defiant and disobedient in so many ways.
Every now and then I am reminded of the day God told me to share the gospel with my co-worker. The memory of my failure to obey God still stings. He uses the pain to humble me and bring me to repentance. God has chosen to forgive my sin.
God repeated His command to Job saying; “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.” He gave Job another opportunity to repent!
I have heard people say Jesus is a God of second chances. I believe He is the God of new beginnings!
We have all defied the Lord and failed to obey Jesus in one way or another. You may remember specific times when you sinned. Jesus has already forgiven you. The memory of our sin is evidence that Jesus is faithful when we are not!
Today is a new day. Jesus is giving you a new opportunity to serve Him. Jesus wants to bless you with His love.
Will you bless Jesus with your love and devotion? Will you serve Jesus? Will you obey Him? These are questions Jesus asks all of us. How will you answer the Lord?
Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said: “Shall the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him? He who rebukes God, let Him answer it.” Job 40:1-2 NKJV
Job will humble himself in this chapter, but let’s not get out ahead of ourselves.
In the last two chapters God revealed His omnipotence and total authority over creation. He also made sure Job understood exactly what he had done. Job contended or struggled with God. He attempted to correct the Almighty. Job rebuked the Lord!
The bible has much to say about people who contend or otherwise oppose God. They are evil and ungodly. It addresses people who attempt to correct the Almighty and rebuke Him. They are arrogant and proud of heart. They will not inherit the kingdom of God!
God referred to Job as His servant. He declared Job righteous. The Lord described Job as a man who fears God and shuns evil. How can that be? Job sinned against the Lord.
Godly people get angry with the Lord. We may get angry when we cry out to God but do not receive the answer we seek. We may get angry because we know God can answer our prayers and change our circumstances, but He does not.
It takes a measure of faith to get angry at God when He does not change our circumstances. Is it a sin? Yes, it is. It is not an unforgivable sin? No, it is not!
God had already forgiven Job.
God commanded Job to answer for his sin. He did not condemn Job. He gave Job an opportunity to repent. He gave Job an opportunity to humble himself. God gave Job an opportunity to recommit His life to the Lord!
Many of us struggle with God. We struggle to live according to His will for our lives. We struggle with letting God live out His life in us and through us. Some of us struggle with our sinful past. All of us struggle with the sovereignty of God at one time or another!
We may not want to forgive ourselves for past sins. We may not want to forgive other people for sinning against us. Some of us struggle with the memories of sinful living. We may have forgotten the pain it caused and glorify the momentary enjoyment of it!
Jesus knows our struggles. He custom designed many of them for us. The Lord does not want us to be victimized by our struggles. He wants us to be victorious over them!
Job was not perfect. He had character flaws. God approved and accepted Job. God loved Job!
Jesus knows you are not perfect. You have character flaws, we all do. The Lord loves and accepts you. If you have been contending with the Almighty repent. Humble yourself before the Lord. Recommit your life to Jesus. Do it today!
“Do you know the time when the mountain goats bear young? Or can you mark when the deer gives birth? Can you number the months that they fulfill? Or do you know the time when they bear young? Job 39:1-4 NKJV
The Lord is making Job aware of his ignorance and inability to judge God!
I was reminded of how little I really know of God’s Word. I know so little of God’s ways. I did not start writing because I know so much. I started writing because I was spending so much time with Jesus He gave me something to write about.
Enjoying a cup of coffee with Jesus in the morning is the most enriching thing I have ever done. Giving Him the first hour of the day changed my life!
Job was greatly blessed at the beginning of this book. He was righteous and blameless. Job lost his children and his fortune. His wife did not stand with him during his time of trial and suffering. His friends turned on him. Job walked away from intimacy with God!
Job did not lose his faith. He did not start worshiping idols or false gods. He did stop trusting God with his life. He may not even have had an intimate relationship with God before His trial. We do not know for sure. We do know that is about to change!
Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth is speaking directly to Job. He is teaching Job. God is ministering to Job. Do you find that hard to believe? Do you think it is strange? I do not!
God blessed Job more at the end of his life than He did at the beginning of his life!
The Lord gave Job more children. He gave Job a greater fortune than he had before. God blessed Job with a large extended family and friends. The Lords greatest gift to Job was a deeper understanding of God and his role as the Lord’s servant!
In the last chapter of this book Job said, “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear, But now my eye sees You. Therefore, I abhor myself, And repent in dust and ashes.”
What did Job have to repent for? Job did not know God the way he should have!
Job’s greatest blessing was intimacy with God!
God spoke to Job. Job answered the Lord. That initial conversation changed his life. Was it the last conversation they had? I do not think it was. I think Job spoke to the Lord on a regular basis after his trial and restoration!
God speaks to me. Not like He spoke to Job but in a way that I can write these messages. Jesus teaches me. Jesus ministers to me!
Intimacy with Jesus is the greatest blessing we can ever receive. Let Jesus speak into your life. Let Jesus minister to you!
“Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, Or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the great bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth?” Job 38:31-33 NKJV
God continues to unfold the revelation of His omnipotence to Job.
Job, his three friends and young Elihu had much to say. Thirty-five chapters or so are dedicated to their back and forth discourse. Now God speaks. Job listens in silence.
It has been said the world is loud but God whispers. Teachers, preachers, pastors and authors encourage us to listen for the still small voice of God, why? The world has become a noisy distraction vying for our attention and affection.
It is essential for us to spend time with the Lord before we go out into the world. Jesus charges our spiritual batteries. Our souls are nourished by His presence. Our minds are armed for battle. Jesus gives us a vision for godly living in an ungodly world.
God asked Job if He set the constellations in the sky. Can he move them around according to his will? Does Job understand the laws set in place to rule over the universe? Can Job influence the physical relationship between the earth, moon, sun and stars? Of course not, these are things only God can do, or are they?
I know the answer to that question, do you? God created the heavens (stars and planets), and the earth! Throughout the centuries many have tried to prove otherwise. No one ever has!
Scientists are still discovering areas of creation we did not know existed. They put forth ideas that contradict the sovereignty of God over creation. They use incomplete data to form theories and parade them as truth!
Carl Sagan claimed to understand the origins of the cosmos. He had a great following. People looked to him to explain the mysteries of life. He was a very intelligent and educated man. He is not God!
Jesus said; “Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no mean enter it.”
Jesus was saying we must be totally dependent on Him for wisdom and knowledge. We must trust Him to explain the mysteries of life.
Take time to sit in silence before Jesus. Let the Lord reveal His omnipotence to you!
“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know!” Job 38:4-5 NKJV
God challenged Job to answer Him. By declaring His mighty works the Lord convinced Job of his ignorance and human limitations.
Job was a blessed man before his trial, during his trial and after. God’s hand was upon Job throughout his lifetime. God used Job to reveal His sovereignty and power over creation to Satan, the host of heaven and us!
Most people do not believe God communicates directly with people. That goes for many Christians as well. I believe the Lord speaks to us in a variety of different ways. Why doesn’t God speak to everyone the way He spoke to Job?
Some people believe God picks and chooses who will and will not be saved. I do not. Jesus wants all people to be saved. The bible is very clear on that point.
God lives outside of time. He sees and knows all things past present and future. God knows who will repent and who will not. Jesus knows who will respond to the gospel and who will not.
God scolded Job for thinking he could determine the difference between good and evil. He corrected Job for believing God makes mistakes.
No one can oppose the Lord and prevail!
God knew He could use Job for His glory and honor. He knew how Job would respond to his trial before He allowed it. The Lord knew Job would know His voice before He spoke to Job. God also knew how Job would respond to the revelation God gave Him.
God reveals Himself to everyone. He is revealed in creation. He sent Jesus to reveal Himself to us. He gave us His written revelation, the bible. God reveals Himself through the circumstances of life.
The Lord is revealing Himself to me through the trials and hardships I face today. Jesus reveals Himself in a variety of different ways to people who are watching and listening for Him today.
There are people who would not respond in faith no matter what God did. Do not be one of them!
If you seek Jesus you will find Him. He may not speak directly to you. He will speak to you in ways that are as unique as you are. Jesus will speak to you in ways that are as special as your relationship with Him!
Do not be deceived. The God of the bible is all powerful all knowing and ever present throughout His creation today!
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