Friday, August 25, 2017

August 25: Job 16 – 19; Psalm 40:1-10; Proverbs 22:1; 1 Corinthians 16



Overview

            Job: Job answers Eliphaz. He says he has heard the same thing about what happens to the wicked. That doesn’t comfort him at all. He could also be longwinded and spout the same things or he could strengthen and help with his words. But his own words don’t help him.
            He goes on to tell how in God’s wrath he has been afflicted and God even hated him. God gives him up to ungodly people. Job is weeping but he has done no violence and his prayer is pure. He wants his witness in heaven to argue his case before God as he will certainly die in the future.
            He continues explaining how his spirit is broken and people mock him. He says God has closed their understanding and made him a byword. The upright are appalled and ae against the godless, they continue to be faithful and become stronger.
            But of his friends he says they are not wise.
            Job’s only hope is to die and go to the grave. But that is not really hope because no one can see his hope in the grave.
            Bildad answers Job. He asks how long Job will keep on making excuses and why does he think they are stupid just because he is angry. No, the wicked die young and his schemes overtake him. He has terror on all sides and will face calamity. He is wasted with diseases. His death ends in terrors. No one remembers him and even his progeny don’t survive where he lived.
            Job asks how long will they torment him with their words. Ten times they have criticized him. Aren’t they ashamed? They make themselves look good and him bad. It is God who has wronged him. He cries out for help but there is no answer and no justice. God is breaking him down. God has separated him from his brothers, relatives, and friends from him. His servants won’t even answer him. His wife thinks he stinks. Children avoid him. He is gaunt like a skeleton. He asks for his three friends to have mercy on him instead of pursuing him like God is doing.
            He wishes his words would be written down and kept forever. He knows his Redeemer lives and when he comes to the earth Job will see him with his own eyes even after his body has been destroyed. The thought makes his heart faint.
            He warns his friends that if they keep up their tirade against him saying that it is all his fault, then they should be afraid of judgment.
            Psalm: David is expressing his thankfulness for his spiritual restoration. He sings about it so that others will hear. He exalts in what the Lord has done and he will tell others. He realizes that God wants more than sacrifices; he wants people who will do his will. He provides a messianic glimpse of Jesus doing the Father’s will as it is written about him. David has not hidden what God has done for him from the congregation.
            Proverbs: It is better to have a respected name than to be rich. To have approval is better than being rich.
            1 Corinthians: Paul closes the letter to the Corinthians by explaining that they should set aside money each Sunday and store it so they won’t have to take a collection when he comes. He will make sure that those who take it to Jerusalem will have his letter crediting it to them whether he goes with it or not.
            He will visit when he passes through Macedonia and maybe stay the winter with them. He is looking for their help on his journey. But now he is going to Ephesus where he has an open door of for effective work and where he also has adversaries.
            When Timothy comes make it easy on him because he is doing the Lord’s work. Don’t hassle him but help him on his way in peace as he returns to Paul.
            He wanted Apollos to visit but he didn’t want to do that until later.
            They should be watchful, firm in faith, men, and strong. Do everything in love.
            They should be in subjection to the household of Stephanas and other like them who were the first converts in Achaia and devoted themselves to service. He was glad to have Stephanas, Fortunatus, and Achaicus visit him as they refreshed his spirit and theirs. They should recognize these men.

What Stood Out

            Job: “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself” (Job 19:25-27).           
            Psalm: “Sacrifice and offering you have not desired, but you have given me an open ear. Burnt offering and sin offering you have not required” (Ps 40:6).
            Proverbs: “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold” (Prov 22:1).
            1 Corinthians: “But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (1 Cor 16:8-9).

Insight

            Job: Though Job is suffering and he believes it is all from God and not a punishment for his sins, he has some very great insights that are revealed in these four chapters. The first comes in Job 16:19 and 21 where he knows he has a witness in heaven who is his advocate. His advocate is not like his friends who are accusing him. His advocate would intercede for him and speak to God on his behalf. Who would have thought that a non-Jew living in Abraham’s time would have had such insight to Jesus’ role as our advocate and intercessor in heaven?
            The next of Job’s insights is Job 17:13-15. While some would want to end it all and welcome death, his hope is not in death. He would not be a witness if he were to take his own life. No one would see the hope he has in that witness or his Redeemer if he ended it all.
            Then this reading ends with Job’s strong assurance of a future life where his Redeemer will be seen in the flesh by his own eyes after he has died and rotted (Job 19:25-27). This is an astounding declaration of faith in what we know to be the resurrection and the millennial reign of Christ on earth. This could only have been revealed to Job by the Holy Spirit. It should be highlighted in everyone’s Bible. It predates any other revelations of these biblical truths. It makes my heart faint as well when I see how God has revealed this so early in the Bible. It is something we can all bank on if we trust Jesus as our Advocate and Redeemer.
            Psalm: What did David do to get God’s blessing? It wasn’t by works of the law such as sacrifices. It was only as a gift. God gave him an open ear. As sinners, our ears are deaf to God’s call. We can’t discern his will or in any way please him. If an animal sacrifice or offering could gain our salvation then Jesus would not have had to become our sacrifice. If we were able to be good, that would not please God because we aren’t able. But if we could, then Jesus would not have had to die for we wouldn’t have sins. But that isn’t the case. Our desire to do God’s will can only happen when we have his law in our hearts (Ps 40:8). We don’t have his law in our hearts until God gives us a new heart. Then our ears will be open and we can say with David that he gave us a new song of praise to the Lord and we will trust in the Lord.
            Proverbs: What does it take to have a good name? The first thing I think of is integrity. You can count on a person with a good name to be honest at all times and in all ways. In private or in public a person with a good name acts the same. This should be more important to the person than getting rich. If they promise to do something, they will do it.
            1 Corinthians: I don’t think many of us would consider that we have an open door for ministry when we have many adversaries in the same location. However, that is the way Paul looked at things. He knew that where there was opposition to the gospel, there was also opportunity. If you look at Ephesians 6:10-20 you will see that his view encompassed the acknowledgement that his battles were not against people but against spiritual forces.
            Right now, many missionaries are being called to nations that are primarily Muslim and Hindu. You would think that these places would be the last on the list as Christian persecution is highest in these nations. Yet, this is where God is calling people.
            Perhaps it is time for us to reconsider where we should focus our missionary support. Are we trying to win our adversaries or are we heading in the opposite direction?

Application

             I am blown away by the assurance of our resurrection found in Job. God’s sovereignty in providing this so early in time through Job’s suffering gives confidence that difficulties in life are not his punishment. I can’t earn his grace and mercy but he has given it freely and that is reason to praise him.

No comments:

Post a Comment