Friday, September 1, 2017

September 1: Job 40 – 42; Psalm 45; Proverbs 22:14; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21


            Job: God asks Job if he can continue to find fault in him, if so, let him speak.
            Job answers that he is nothing and has no answer. He has already said too much.
            God continues to challenge Job. He asks if he would accuse him of doing wrong so that Job would be right? If he is so great then let him answer some more questions. Can Job make himself glorious, punish the proud? If so, then God will admit Job can save himself.
            He tells Job to look at Behemoth, God made him as well as Job, he is the first of God’s works and consider his size, strength, and he isn’t afraid of anything. No one can snare him. Or take Leviathan, can Job capture and tame him? If you try, you will remember the battle and not do it again. God made Leviathan so who thinks he can stand against God? Who has given to God that God should repay him?
            God continues to describe Leviathan with armored skin, teeth, flaming breath, with a heart of stone. Mighty men are afraid when he rouses himself up. Man’s weapons can’t harm him.
            Job answered and acknowledged that God can do everything and no one can oppose him. He admits his counsel was without knowledge and he talked about things that were too wonderful. He admits he had asked God to make things known to him. Before he had heard of God but now he has seen him. He therefore repents knowing his sins.
            God then speaks to Eliphaz telling him that he is angry with him and his two friends because they had not spoken correctly about God as had Job. He tells them to bring animals and Job will sacrifice them on their behalf. Job will pray for them and God will accept the prayers and not punish them for their foolishness. The three did as the Lord commanded.
            The Lord then restored Job’s fortunes after he prayed for his friends. Job had twice as much as before. His relatives came and comforted Job for all the evil the Lord brought on him. Job also had seven sons and three daughters. He lived 140 more years.
            Psalm: The king is described as a very handsome man who is a mighty warrior for the causes of truth, meekness, and righteousness. Verses 6 and 7 are messianic as the Psalm turns toward God and not the king. It continues with a description of a wedding, instructions for the bride, description of the bride, and the bride’s entrance. The king’s future is described.
            Proverbs: The Lord uses immoral people to trap into immorality those with whom he is angry.
            2 Corinthians: Paul and his companions recognize that their ministry is a great responsibility. They perform it with sincerity and hard work. They are not trying to make themselves look good in the Corinthian’s eyes but they want the Corinthians to be able to recognize the difference between them and those with spectacular ministries who brag about it. Because Christ died for all, then all should be living for Christ and not themselves.
            They no longer look at people according to spectacular results, though at one time, they did that for Christ. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation and the old is gone. God did this by reconciling himself to the world through Jesus. He has now given the ministry of telling everyone about this reconciliation to Paul and his companions so they can tell others that God is not counting their sins against them. That means they are ambassadors for Christ making God’s appeal to others. They plead with the Corinthians to be reconciled to God. God made Jesus to be sin though he knew no sin so that we may become the righteousness of God

What Stood Out

            Job: “After the Lord had spoken these words to Job, the Lord said to Eliphaz the Temanite: ‘My anger burns against you and against your two friends, for you have not spoken of me what is right, as my servant Job has’” (Job 42:7).  
            Psalm: “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever. The scepter of your kingdom is a scepter of uprightness” (Ps 45:6).
            Proverbs: “The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it” (Prov 22:14).
            2 Corinthians: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor 5:21).


            Job: It is important to see that God didn’t condemn Job. Sure, he asked Job if he would condemn God to put himself in the right (Job 40:8). Rather, he makes Job realize that no one can argue with God. God does what he wants and, unlike men, he has the ability to do whatever he wants. After Job repents and admits that he really didn’t know what he was saying and that questioning God is foolishness, God turns his attention to Job’s three friends.
            God is actually angry with Job’s friends. He says that they didn’t speak correctly about God as Job had. It is just too much to go back and pick out what they said was wrong and what Job said was right. However, one of the key issues is that they said God always punishes evil in this life and therefore if anyone is suffering it is because of their sins. If they are prospering, it is because they are doing what is right in God’s sight. Job maintained that evil and righteous people both flourish and both perish and suffer. Sometimes it is God’s rewards or punishment and sometimes it isn’t. We can’t judge and determine why God is doing what in each situation. Job’s friends were promoting what we now call the prosperity gospel.
            To make sure Job’s friends remembered this, he had Job be an intercessor for them, They denied an intercessor could be found. Job didn’t have to offer any sacrifice for himself. In this (not his repentance), Job foreshadows Jesus. Jesus suffered, people mocked him, he died, but now he intercedes for us. It is good to know we have a redeemer who can identify with us and save us.
            As a side note, God doesn’t say anything to or about Elihu. He is still somewhat of a mystery though he echoed the same things as Job’s three friends.
            Psalm: Because God does live forever and ever, he is righteous, and hates wickedness, we can praise him forever along with all the nations. A lot of this Psalm relates to Jesus as our Messiah other parts relate to us as the bride of Christ. We can rejoice and be glad that we will be with Jesus forever.
            Proverbs: Immorality is a significant problem with people inside and out of the church. It is something that taints the halls of government as well as the offices of pastors. The proverb says that people who fall into it are those with whom the Lord is angry. While Christians fall into this trap, we know that he isn’t angry with them for destruction (1 Thess 5:9). We also know that God is angry with those who are not saved and are deep in sin (Isa 9:17) and it will eventually come upon those who reject him (Rev 14:9-11). So we should view this as a warning to avoid sexual immorality.
            2 Corinthians: Paul addresses several subjects in this short passage. One is that God’s ministry through his people should not be measured bty spectacular results. Those results are not necessarily an indication of what is going on in the heart. Examples would be mega churches where there are great numbers of attenders every Sunday. My daughter went to one of those to visit on a Sunday. She was very disappointed to discover that the church didn’t have any evidence that it supported even one missionary. What does that say about the heart of the church?
            Another issue Paul addresses is our application to the fact that Christ died for all. We should live not for ourselves but for Jesus who died for us. Jesus didn’t go to the cross and die so we could have fun filled lives enjoying whatever we want. He died for us so we would be able to do what he wants.
            Jesus died to reconcile us to God. Since we are reconciled to God, one of the things he wants us to do is to tell others that they also can be reconciled to God. We should all have a business card that list our title as “Ambassador to the King of kings, Jesus Christ.”
            Then we also should understand the Great Exchange. This is where the sinless Christ became sin (took on our sin) so we could have God’s righteousness. We don’t become righteous but we are brought into God and his righteousness replaces ours. We can’t refer to our righteous anymore because we would then be self-righteous. We are now God-righteous.


             I’m thankful that Jesus intercedes for me like Job interceded for his friends. I’m thankful that I’ve been reconciled to God. That means I need to be an ambassador for Jesus, just as Paul said.

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