I am a woman who has been changed by the Word of God! This is my 20th year of reading through The Bible, and I simply desire to encourage others who have, and others who might, join me on this daily journey! It is indeed THE JOURNEY OF A LIFETIME!
I have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams! I have an amazing husband of nearly 36 years, three beautiful adult children who have married spouses who love Jesus as much as they do, and three precious grand babies with one on the way! I am a Worship Leader (for over 35 years now) and Women’s Ministry Director/Bible Teacher. Teaching and sharing God’s Word and leading people into the very Presence of a Holy God is my great joy and privilege!
Hearing the rest of the story…concluding the Book of Job
I have to be honest with you. I had begun to post this early this morning, and God said, “No. Not yet.” He took me in a different direction than I had originally planned…and I am so grateful!
“Then Job answered the Lord, “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth…I spoke once, but have no answer—twice, but I will say no more.”
Next to this verse in my Bible, I have written these words…
”Job finally gets it!”
But honestly, does He?
The more I study this passage, I don’t think he “gets it” quite yet.
It isn’t until he hears the “REST OF THE STORY…”
It isn’t until he hears ALL of what God has to say that he FINALLY GETS IT. (As God continues to speak powerfully in chapters 40 and 41.)
Once we have been confronted by the ALL-POWERFUL, ALL-KNOWING, HOLY, SOVEREIGN, ALMIGHTY GOD…we can never be the same. The more we recognize God’s Holiness, the more we see our sin.
We can know a lot ABOUT God and think we understand Him and His ways. But it isn’t until we we come face to face with God, and REALLY SEE HIM, in all of His glory, that we are broken before Him. We see our sin and are humbled at the mere thought of Him even taking a moment to hear our pleas.
We are CHANGED! Our lives are TRANSFORMED once we finally SEE GOD IN ALL OF HIS GLORY in the midst of our pain. He becomes MORE REAL and PERSONAL and we are, as young people say today… “SHOOK!”
“My ears had heard of you, but now MY EYES HAVE SEEN YOU! Therefore, I despise myself and REPENT in dust and ashes.”
I am weeping as I type those words. I am weeping because I see my sin. I see my pride. I see how completely broken I am…and what a MESS I AM apart from God’s mending! Apart from God’s Grace!
“My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you. Therefore, I despise myself and REPENT in dust and ashes.”
This truth leads me to worship…
“All that thrills my soul is Jesus! He is more than life to me. And the fairest of ten thousand In His blessed life I see!”
So, as we come to the end of this great story and book, we can’t help but ask… “So what was Job’s sin? Why did he then need to confess and repent?”
As we know, Job had done nothing wrong to “deserve” all that he was going through. He did not experience all of this pain because of some specific sin, as his three friends kept trying to convey. On the contrary, Job was a righteous man and God was proud of Job. Remember, God allowed Satan to tempt and test him, saying “Have you considered my servant, Job? There is no one on earth like him. He is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
God had “allowed” all of this to happen to Job.
So what, then, was Job’s sin as he repented?
First of all, we all sin every single day—knowingly or unknowingly. So surely he had sin to confess.
But I believe Job was ultimately confessing the sin of PRIDE. He also was questioning God’s integrity and justice.
Look at Job 40:8 where God asks Job, “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?”
This was the flaw. This is where he stepped over the line.
However, we see Job’s righteousness as he ultimately REPENTS and humbles himself before Almighty, Sovereign, Holy, Powerful, Perfect God.
God then restores EVERYTHING TO JOB and then some!!
“The Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
“The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first.” Job 42:12
I love how God sets the records straight with Job’s three friends. God says, “I am angry with you because you have not spoken of me what is right as my servant Job has.” Do you just LOVE IT?! Job was right all along in reference to these so-called “friends!”
He then tells them to sacrifice a burnt offering and he has Job pray for them! Talk about humbling!
This incredible BOOK and story concludes with these beautiful words…
“After this, Job lived 140 years and saw his children and their children down to the 4th generation!! And so he died, old and full of years!”
The LORD speaks… “Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm!”
Get ready, Job! God is about to tell you a thing or two…and you are going to sit there and LISTEN!
I don’t know about you; but when I get to this part, my heart always pounds a little harder and faster!
Can you just hear the deep resounding, almost deafening VOICE OF GOD…
“WHO IS THIS THAT DARKENS MY COUNSEL WITH WORDS WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE?”
“BRACE YOURSELF LIKE A MAN; I WILL QUESTION YOU AND YOU SHALL ANSWER ME!”
You SHALL answer me!
Get ready, Job! Here it comes!
But before we hear what God is going to say to Job, let’s remember this: While God is a God of LOVE, He is also a God of WRATH and JUDGEMENT. He is a God of JUSTICE!
I think we rather like to think of God in a lopsided way. We only want to see His love and mercy and grace. We don’t like to think of His Judgement and Wrath. Well, that just isn’t “warm and fuzzy” enough for us. That makes us a little uncomfortable.
Yes, God is indeed a God of love and compassion, filled with mercy and grace that we do not deserve. Yet because of His perfect Holiness, God is also a God of Justice and Wrath and Judgement. Let’s not ever forget that!
There is an “ENOUGH” with God!
Think about The Flood! God said, “ENOUGH!” and destroyed the world because of the wickedness that He saw over the entire face of the earth.
Think about Sodom and Gomorrah. God said, “ENOUGH” as He destroyed that wicked city even destroying Lot’s wife because she looked back longing for that city that had become so “dear” to her.
Don’t ever think that you or I can walk in sin and wickedness unscathed:
“Beware, your sins will find you out!” Numbers 32:23
“Do not be deceived! God is not mocked! Whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap!”
But guess what?
Ultimately, we should be grateful for those verses! We should want to be “found out” so God can sweep in and rescue us! There is a purpose in God’s discipline. He is always preserving a remnant. He wants to DRAW US CLOSE. He always wants what’s best for us. As my sweet daddy always says, “God reserves THE BEST to those who leave the choice to Him.” Oh yes! So true!!
We need to see God in the beauty of ALL of His MANY attributes and characteristics. In them, we find His complete PERFECTION!
Now, on to what God has to say to Job…and I just LOVE IT!!
Do you hear the sarcasm in God’s “VOICE?”
I can hardly stand it! I love it! Keep going, God! I want to hear more!!
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundations? Tell me if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?”
Listen as God continues…
“Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn it’s place?” Job 38:12
“Have you entered the storehouses of snow, or seen the storehouse of hail?” Job 38:22
“Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, “Here we are?”Job 38:35
“Who provides food for the raven when it’s young cry out to God and wander for lack of food?” Job 38:41
Don’t you just love it?!
God goes on to ask questions about the wild animals and birds that He knows so intimately, and Job obviously knows nothing about!
Then God concludes with this earth- shaking question:
“WILL THE ONE WHO CONTENDS WITH THE ALMIGHTY CORRECT HIM? LET HIM WHO ACCUSES GOD ANSWER HIM!”
Note the exclamation points!! They are not mine. They are GOD’s!
I don’t know about you; but I don’t EVER want to hear those words directed at me!
However, while the power in that question evokes a bit of fear; to be honest, it is also comforting. I NEED a God like that! I’m grateful for a God who will “pull me up by my bootstraps” and set me straight, lest I go too far!
I have often asked God to “keep me on a short leash.”
I know me! I know how desperately I NEED God’s direction and guidance and wisdom in my life every single moment of every single day.
While Elihu speaks, in essence to “defend God,” he also proclaims many incredible and gloriousattributes of our omnipotent God.”
Wow! I am so thankful for Elihu! His words are indeed full of truth and power, and are like a healing ointment that covers a wound, especially after hearing from Job’s other “friends” for so many days.
“Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God’s behalf.”
I love that Elihu is defending God!
You are a great DEFENSE ATTORNEY, Elihu, and we are so thankful for you!
“Men cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. But no one says, “Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night.”
I love this verse! God has been so precious to GIVE ME SONGS IN THE NIGHT when I was struggling several years ago. It is something I will never forget! He graciously and tenderly sang songs over me because He knew I needed it. Oh what a compassionate, loving Father!
“He is wooing you from the jaws of distress to a spacious place free from restriction…to the comfort of your table laden with choice food.”
Do you again see the tenderness of our God? Elihu is, in one moment, showing us God’s compassion, and then the next, His power! Listen to all of these truths!
“God is mighty, but does not despise men. He is mighty and firm in His purpose. He does not take His eyes off the righteous.” Job 36:5-7
“God is exalted in power! Who is a teacher like him? Who has prescribed his ways for him or said to him, “You have done wrong!” Remember to extol His work which men have praised in song. All mankind has seen it; men gaze on it from a far. How great is God – – beyond our understanding! The number of His years is past finding out.”
“Who can understand how He spreads out the clouds, how He thunders from his pavilion? See how He scatters his lightning about Him. He fills His hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark. His thunder announces the coming storm. When His voice resounds, He holds nothing back. God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways; He does great things beyond our understanding!”
Do you hear the crescendo in Elihu’s voice! It’s almost like we needed a drum roll to begin as he concludes his closing statements and introduces us to GOD!!
“Listen to this Job: stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash? Do you know how the clouds hang poised, does wonders of him who is perfect and knowledge?”
“Out of the north he comes in golden splendor; God comes in awesome majesty! The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power; in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress. Therefore, men revere Him, for does He not have regard for all the wise in heart?” Job 37:22-24
Cue the orchestra! Drum roll please… Stand to your feet! Stand in AWE as the MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH BEGINS TO SPEAK…
Astounding truths from Job’s youngest and wisest friend, Elihu, along with a beautiful picture of God—our Abba Father—from Psalm 18! “He stoops down to make me great!” He is both Mighty Warrior & Abba, Daddy!
Job 32—The young & wise Elihu begins tospeak.
As we look at today’s passage in Job, we find the young and wise Elihu, speaking. He actually begins in chapter 32. He is angry with Job for justifying himself rather than God. He says that he has waited silently before speaking—
“Age should speak first; advanced years should teach wisdom. But it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty, that gives him understanding.”
Yes, Elihu! So true!!
This wise young man has a lot to say and it is worth hearing!
He refutes what Job says and makes a great case!
“You have said in my hearing that you are pure and without sin….but I tell you this is not right, for God is greater than man! God DOES speak!”
I just LOVE Elihu’s boldness!!
“Pay attention, Job! And listen to me! Be silent and I will speak!”
I love that Elihu goes on to defend God!!
We are going to see this truth come from God’s own lips as he later rebukes Job Himself!
“Far be it from God to do evil; from the Almighty to do wrong. It is unthinkable that God would do wrong, that the Almighty would pervert justice. Who appointed him over the earth? Who put him in charge of the whole world?”
Elihu concludes with this statement:
“Job speaks without knowledge; his words lack insight. Oh that Job might be tested to the utmost for answering like a wicked man!” Job 34:35-36
Wow! Such boldness from a young man! Righteous indignation for sure! I love it!
We will hear more from Elihu tomorrow.
But just you wait!
In a couple of days…[Cue the music…LOUD & THUNDEROUS…]
GOD is going to speak!
“Then THE LORD answered Job out of the storm!”
I love it!!
But I’m getting ahead of myself. That’s not for a couple of days. When we get there, you will LOVE IT, too!
Psalm 18—I just cannot keep silent!
I want to conclude by sharing from today’s reading in Psalms.
I know that in my daily sharing, I am focusing on the Old Testament, and not as much from the passages in the New Testament and Psalms or Proverbs. There is simply so much in each of these passages each day, that I God has led me to keep it shorter and concentrate most of my sharing on the Old Testament.
However, as I read Psalm 18, I feel a little like Elihu, and just cannot keep silent!
It is JUST TOO GOOD!!
“As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle.”
Oh how I love this passage!
But it is the final verse that grabbed my heart many years ago when I read it for the first time…
“He stoops down to make me great!”
Do you hear that?
HE STOOPS DOWN TO MAKE ME GREAT!
I remember the first time I ever read that, it blew my mind! Wait! What?!
The God of the Universe stoops down to make ME great?
But isn’t that just like God?
He is our protector! He is our RESCUER! He is our strength and shield!
I also see a picture of a father kneeling down to talk tenderly to his baby girl or little boy.
The father kneels low and picks up that precious toddler in his arms and lifts him high!
Can you see it?
I know this Psalm is focusing on how God arms us for battle. However, while I know my God is MIGHTY TO SAVE; and a MIGHTY WARRIOR…He is also my ABBA…my DADDY who stoops down to pick me up! He is FOR ME and not against me! He is Mighty Warrior dressed for battle…and Tender Father, humble enough to kneel down to lift me up!
Job continues to defend himself and perhaps goes too far! When Job begins to say he is BLAMELESS, and pretty much “picks a fight” with God, well, I’m going to stand back, lest the lightning of God’s wrath fall on me as well!
Since I really couldn’t find a great image for today’s chapters in the Book of Job, I decided to take a picture of the room where I meet with The Lord every morning.
This has been my “sanctuary” for nearly 26 years. The sweet corner fireplace is new—a precious Christmas gift from my husband! I am grateful for our home!
Job, who is finally allowed to speak without being interrupted by his “friends,” pours out the depths of his soul. Sometimes it gets a little dicey; and in the end, he goes too far!
He begins by lamenting how he is now mocked by men who used to look up to him.
“And now their sons mock me in song; I have become a byword among them. They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face. Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me, they throw off restraint in my presence.”
Then you can hear his DEEP DESPAIR as he says…
“I cry out to You, O God, but You do not answer. I stand up, but You merely look at me!” Job 30:20-21
“My harp is tuned to mourning; and my flute to the sound of wailing.” Job 30:31
Have you been there? A place of desperation where you felt God had abandoned you? I’m pretty sure none of us have been to a place as desperate as Job; but I’m guessing it sure has felt like it.
A broken marriage. The loss of a spouse, or child, or loved one. The loss of a job, or other issues that led to what felt like financial ruin. Painful, unending health realities that never seem to subside. All of these and more can make anyone feel desperately alone.
Job goes too far…
Job had all of these and more at the same time! So we can understand when he questions God. We can even give him a pass for trying to defend himself. But, when Job begins to say he is BLAMELESS, and pretty much “picks a fight” with God, we’ll, I’m going to stand back, lest the lightning of God’s wrath fall on me as well!
Yep, Job goes too far!
He begins by defending himself with specific scenarios:
“I made a covenant with my eyes not to look lustfully at a girl…” Job 31:1
This, by the way, is even more honorable than it appears. Job wants to flee the very appearance of evil!
“If my heart has been enticed by a woman, or I have lurked at my neighbors door, then may my wife grind another man’s grain and it may another man sleep with her.” Job 31:9-10
“Does God not see my ways and count my every step?” Job 31:4
“If I have walked in falsehood or my foot has hurried after deceit, let God weigh me in honest scales and He will know that I am BLAMELESS!” Job 31:5-6
I don’t think so, Job!!
Job then concludes with many “If-Then” statements that, in the end, and escalate and culminate with this statement that GOES WAY TOO FAR!
“Oh that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense—let the ALMIGHTY answer me!” (YIKES!) “Let my accuser put his indictment in writing!”
Did you catch that?! He is standing back and saying, “Okay, I ‘rest my case!’ Now, God, it’s your turn! I want to hear what YOU have to say!” (Again, WOW! And YIKES!)
Well, Job, just you wait! Your “accuser” has quite a lot to say to you! But before He speaks, you are going to hear from a wise young man named Elihu, who has been listening to all of this, and is just waiting in the wings to tell you what he really thinks!
This is the last chapter where Job’s “friends” willspeak. Job becomes more introspective as he is finally allowed to pour out his soul. Oh how I love the truths we discover in the pages of God’s Word!
This is the last time you will hear from Job’s friends!
However, in a couple of chapters you will be introduced to a younger, wiser friend who will have a lot to say!
Bildad speaks and he’s the last of the three friends to do so. It appears that his friends can no longer argue with Job. Either they can find no way to refute what he is saying, or they are just exhausted from the debate.
I love what Bildad says in his final words…
“Dominion and awe belong to God; He establishes order in the heights of the heavens. Can His forces be numbered? Upon whom does His light not rise?”
While I have not enjoyed the way these “friends” have wrongly attacked Job—saying that all this has happened to him because of his sin—I do love the great truths about God they often proclaim.
Job speaks again…and finally has the time to pour out his soul!
Then Job speaks, and he begins a lengthy discourse. It’s kind of like he was never really given a chance to talk before, so now that his friends are silent, he can pour out his soul!
I love these confident words of Job. It is almost like he is making a vow…
“As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not speak wickedness, and my tongue will utter no deceit.”
I love his boldness even in his great agony!
I also happen to love Job’s sarcasm in Chapter 26…
“How you have helped the powerless! How you have saved the arm that is feeble. What advice you have offered to one without wisdom! And what insight you have displayed!”
I typically do not like sarcasm; but I have to admit, I rather enjoy hearing it from Job at this point. I think it’s warranted and I think I would do the same! Go get ‘em, Job!!
Job becomes more introspective…
Then, in chapter 28 something shifts.
Job, the debater; Job the fighter; Job, a man filled with righteous indignation, becomes calm in his spirit as he pens something much more pensive and introspective.
“There is mine for silver and a place where gold is refined….But where can wisdom be found? Where does understanding dwell? Man does not comprehend its worth; it cannot be found in the land of the living.”
Job 28:1 & 12-13
Then in Job 28:23 , Job utters this great truth—“God understands the way to it and He alone knows where it dwells.”
Then he concludes…
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding.”
I understand Job.
One minute I can be filled with righteous indignation, desiring to speak truth and fight for justice! Then another minute I quickly see my flaws and look inward and wonder where that fight came from.
I see you Job!
I don’t know the depth of your pain; but I think I understand your personality!
Job begins to do something “dangerous.”
In chapter 29, Job begins to do something “dangerous.” He looks back longingly.
I get it! I would probably do the same…
“How I long for the months gone by; for the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone upon my head. Oh for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house; when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me.”
God taught me something several years ago—
I am not to look back. I am only to look forward and see the glorious unfolding of all God has for me in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.
He led me to these two verses, seeking to do more than just memorize them. He asked me to focus on them and live them, applying them to my daily life!
“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
This has been my hope and stay!
As I read the opening verses of Job 28, I was reminded of this great chorus—“More Precious Than Silver.”
“Lord you are more precious than silver. Lord you are more costly than God. Lord you are more beautiful than diamonds; and nothing I desire compares with you!”
Praise changes our perspective!
So no matter what we are going through, when we simply began to praise God for who He is and for all the many things He has done for us, we will be amazed at how everything suddenly becomes clear and the weightiness of those problems begin to lift as we shift our focus to the ONE who can take care of it all!
Job’s emotions swing between Hope and Deep Depression as he wrestles with all that is happening to him. One moment we see a glimmer of hope, but then the pendulum of darkness quickly returns. Job learns that even when he doesn’t FEEL God…He is there!
CONGRATULATIONS!! I hope you hear the APPLAUSE OF HEAVEN!
Before I share what God has placed on my heart in regard to these passages, I wanted to STOP for a moment and CONGRATULATE YOU!!
You have just completed an ENTIRE MONTH in God’s Word! (Maybe this isn’t your first year; but I wanted to encourage you as well!)
I hope you hear the APPLAUSE OF HEAVEN right now!!
Don’t you know that God is looking down and is so pleased! I can almost hear Him saying, “Look at them! They are getting excited about My WORD! They are DRAWING NEAR! They are going to be filled with GREAT JOY as they continue on this journey to know US more and therefore choose paths of LIFE instead of DEATH. Paths of JOY instead of PAIN!
“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love.”
Nuggets of truth found in the messages from Job’s friends…
While Job’s “friends” have the wrong concept about Job—they think that all of this has happened to Job because of his sin—they do NOT always have the wrong concept about God. In reading this Book, I try to find “nuggets of truth” even in the “ramblings” of Job’s friends.
Here are a few nuggets of truth tucked inside these pages…
“Accept instruction from His mouth and lay up His words in your heart.”
“Surely you will find delight in the Almighty, and will lift your face to God. You will pray to Him and He will hear you!”
Job 23—Job speaks
Can you hear the depth of his depression? The dark cloud that has enveloped him? The fog of darkness that has completely blinded him?
“If only I knew where to find Him? If only I could go to His dwelling.” Job 23:3
“But if I go to the East, He is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find Him. When He is at work in the north, I do not see Him. When He turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of Him.”
This breaks my heart every single time I read it!
HOPE is RESTORED…for a moment…
“But He knows the way I take! When He has tested me, I will come forth as gold! My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of His lips. I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread.”
BUT THEN THE PENDULUM OF DARKNESS QUICKLY RETURNS…
“He carries out His decree against me, and many such plans He still has in store. That is why I am terrified before Him; when I think of all this I fear Him. God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me. Yet I am silenced by the darkness, by the thick darkness that covers my face.”
Do you hear the darkness? The deep depression?
Have you been there?
God has just done something incredible in your life, and you REJOICE! Then…in a single moment…it feels like the world crumbles beneath your feet! It can be devastating. It can feel so DARK!
Satan would love for us to stay there! He would love for us to believe his lies—that God has abandoned us!
We have something that Job didn’t have. We have all of GOD’S WORD! We have the TRUTH just waiting there right in front of us! Run to Him there!
We have this incredible Psalm 139:8-14 that says…
“If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day; for darkness is as light to you.”
Here is a TRUTH God taught me many years ago…when I went to KENYA and did not FEEL His Presence one night as I cried out to Him…
GOD IS THERE EVEN WHEN WE DON’T FEEL LIKE HE’S THERE!
He is there even when we do not FEEL HIS PRESENCE!
God made us a promise, and because of His perfect, sinless nature, He cannot lie…
“I will never leave you, nor forsake you!!”
So, as we conclude these chapters today, let’s remember that we have a God who CANNOT LEAVE US or abandon us, no matter what it might FEEL LIKE at the time!
Cling to the Promises in God’s Word, and be thankful that we, unlike Job, have the entirety of God’s Word right at our fingertips!!
RUN TO HIM in these pages that bring LIFE and JOY and WISDOM and DIRECTION and PEACE and so much more!!
Job proclaims, “I know that my REDEEMER LIVES!” Undeniable and utter hopelessness turns to triumphant and victorious HOPE as Job TURNS HIS EYES and his thoughts once more to his REDEEMER!
This is one of the most GLORIOUS VERSES in the entire Bible…
“I KNOW THAT MY REDEEMER LIVES, and that in the end HE WILL STAND UPON THE EARTH!”
Don’t you just LOVE IT?!
Yes indeed! Undeniable and utter hopelessness…turns to triumphant and victorious HOPE as Job TURNS HIS EYES and his thoughts once more to his REDEEMER!
Job gives all of us HOPE with this confident proclamation!
Job, if YOU can go through all of this and still know that “Your Redeemer Lives” and confidently acknowledge that you WILL SEE GOD once more, then WE can do the same!
Right before Job proclaims this incredible truth, he says…
“Oh that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever!”
I hope you didn’t just miss this great truth…
Yes, Job! Your words WERE recorded on a scroll and we are reading them TODAY!! And our lives have been changed because you spoke them!
Oh, my heart is about to burst!
Thank you, Job!!
God’s Word is Alive and active and breathing! Sharper than any two-edged sword! God speaks to us every single day through His Word if we will just stop long enough to read it and hear what He is longing to say to us!
I know this is what YOU are doing and I know that God is pleased! He wants you to know of His GREAT PLANS FOR YOU as you continue to seek Him with all your heart and walk in obedience to where he sends and what He says.
Job then continues…
“And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I WILL SEE GOD! I myself will see Him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
Do you see it? Job continues to express HOPE in the midst of his devastating and painful reality! It all began with him remembering that the God he knows is ALIVE and a God who is true to His promises! A Sovereign, perfect God!
As I read today’s passages, so many songs were running through my mind. I’m quite sure you thought of a few as well.
One that came to my mind is actually an old hymn I haven’t thought about in years…
“I Know That My Redeemer Liveth”
“I know that my Redeemer liveth, And on the earth again shall stand; I know eternal life He giveth, That grace and power are in His hand.
I know, I know that Jesus liveth, And on the earth again shall stand; I know, I know that life He giveth, That grace and power are in His hand.
I know His promise never faileth, The word He speaks, it cannot die; Tho’ cruel death my flesh assaileth, Yet I shall see Him by and by.
I know, I know that Jesus liveth, And on the earth again shall stand; I know, I know that life He giveth, That grace and power are in His hand.”
Then, of course, the great contemporary Christian song by Nicole C Mullen…
Who taught the sun Where to stand in the morning And who taught the ocean You can only come this far And who showed the moon Where to hide till evening Whose words alone can Catch a falling star
[Chorus 1] Well I know my Redeemer lives I know my Redeemer lives All of creation testifies This life within me cries I know my Redeemer lives
[Verse 2] The very same God That spins things in orbit Runs to the weary The worn and the weak And the same gentle hands That hold me when I’m broken They conquer death to bring me victory
Now I know my Redeemer lives I know my Redeemer lives Let all creation testify Let this life within me cry I know my Redeemer
[Bridge] He lives to take away my shame And He lives forever I’ll proclaim That the payment for my sin Was the precious life He gave But now He’s alive and there’s an empty grave
[Chorus 3] And I know my Redeemer, He lives I know my Redeemer lives Let all creation testify Let this life within me cry I know my Redeemer lives
I spoke with Him this morning! (This is my favorite line in the entire song!)
And finally, one last song that just happens to also be a great hymn…
The Solid Rock
My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; And I dare not trust the sweetest frame But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand All other ground is sinking sand
When darkness seems to hide His face I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale My anchor holds within the veil
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand All other ground is sinking sand Yeah – spoken
His oath – spoken His oath, his covenant, His blood Support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way He then is all my hope and stay
On Christ, the solid rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand All other ground is sinking sand
Job’s “friends” erroneously say that Job is in this “mess” because of his sin.
Job’s “friends,” Eliphaz and Bildad continue to speak to Job in his misery and pain. However, instead of comforting him, they continue to bring accusations against him and essentially say: “You are in this mess because of your sin!”
They are dead WRONG!!
“Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty. Your own mouth condemns you, not mine; your own lips testify against you.”
I LOVE Job’s bold response—
“Miserable comforters are you all! Will your long-winded speeches never end? What ails you that you keep on arguing? I also could speak like you, if you were in my place! I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.”
Then we see the depths of Job’s mental anguish along with his physical pain…
“God has turned me over to evil men and thrown me into the clutches of the wicked. All was well with me, but He shattered me; He seized me by the neck and crushed me! He made me his target, his archers surround me!” Job 16:11-13
Do hear the pain? Do you feel the hopelessness?! Have you been there?
“My face is red with weeping, deep shadows ring my eyes; yet my hands have been free of violence, and my prayer is pure.” Job 16:16-17
Then something BEAUTIFUL happens that blesses me and jumps off the page!! I just LOVE IT!!
Job begins to look up!
Job remembers that he has someONE who “sticks closer than a brother.” He begins to turn his eyes UPWARD to the ONE who is watching…to the ONE who KNOWS THE TRUTH…and He will plead Job’s case for him!
“Even now, my Witness is in heaven; my Advocate is on high! My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend!”
Don’t you just love it? Glimpses of hope in the midst of pain!
This reminds me so much of David in many of the Psalms. One minute he is so “downcast in his soul;” and the next he is reminded of the GREATNESS of His God and worships with abandon!
Do you see what changes?
They begin to look UPWARD. They begin to look, not at their circumstances, or the enemies surrounding them; but to the ONE who can bring JOY in the midst of their deep pain! The ONE who is their RESCUER, their ADVOCATE, their PERFECT, HOLY, RIGHTEOUS, MERCIFUL, SOVEREIGN GOD, who is also their FRIEND!
This is what Job did! While it was fleeting…it was there!
Aren’t we just like Job! We know where to run. We know WHO to look to in our pain. Yet we can sometimes look at the darkness that we feel and see all around us, instead of at the LIGHT that is there just waiting to BREAK THROUGH if we will only stop and LOOK!
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace!”
Oh precious, marvelous, glorious Savior! We fix our eyes on YOU!
“Let is fix our eyes on JESUS, the Author and Finisher of our faith! Who for the the joy set before Him, endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God the Father!!”