Job

Tuesday Devotional: Job 21

Read Job 21 bible

Does it really matter if a person believes in Jesus?  Can’t someone simply do good, live in peace with others and have a good life?  The answer to the second question is, absolutely yes.  There are many people who do not profess faith in Jesus Christ that are nice people, helpful people, loving people.  If only the self-professing Christians did good deeds, we would have an even darker world on our hands than we do now.

However, the initial question of Jesus does in fact matter.  Professing the name of Christ does not guarantee decent and loving character.  As there are many loving non-Christians, there are also many inconsiderate and selfish Christians.  Sincere and authentic faith in Jesus Christ matters in this world to all people because of security.  Regardless of where a person comes from, everyone in this world attempts to find security in something.  We all do.  We all seek something that allows us to find rest at night.  We all seek something that gives us the permission to find confidence in a world that so often leaves us feeling helpless.

All people have the ability to do good and love others because we were designed for righteousness and love.  On the contrary, all people seek to find something to hold onto in the storm because all people were created to exist in the presence and care of an almighty God but now find themselves alienated and trying to get back what was lost.  The manner in which we pursue security in worldly things gives us a clue about our origins and our Creator.  A person who believes and professes faith in Jesus Christ no longer scrambles to find security in this world.  A person who takes Jesus Christ at His words no longer fears death and what comes next.  Christianity obliterates the fear of death, the fear of failure and the fear of loss.  In the loving arms of Jesus Christ we can finally find the peace we’ve longed for.  We no longer have to live a life of self-preservation and self-vindication.  In Christ we are given the gift that we all seek.  We are given the gift of perfect and everlasting love.  Does it really matter if a person believes in Jesus?  To be a nice person?  The answer is, no.  To find peace and enjoy in what we have without fear and trembling of eventually losing it?  The answer is forever yes.

ASK: Job 28-29

This update is from last week’s meeting of ASK Daegu. Each member contributed something to the message that follows. We pray that our group encourages you in the same way that it encouraged all of us. We’ll have this week’s ASK recap up tomorrow.

(via)

The metaphor in Job of a man digging deeper and deeper into the recesses of the earth to find something of worth, all the while finding nothing of true value, offers wonderful insight into the heart of mankind. Sure, treasures found as a result of exploration and tiring physical labor are beautiful and impressive. However, as the man reaches the end of his search, dangling dangerously in the dark, alone, with only the cold rock and oppressive darkness to offer him company, he understands that what he is truly searching for, the world itself cannot offer him. He discovers that his hunger for something the world ultimately could not provide him is not a trick or a mistake. He comes to learn that his craving that seems to stretch beyond the limitations of this world is a craving that only something free from the limitations of this world can offer him. God.

As the man turns to God and looks to Him alone for his fulfillment and value, the darkness is suddenly replaced by the all-encompassing light of the creator God. The man realizes that all of his desperation and toil in the darkness was not a result of God’s punishment or absence. His time in the darkness was a result of his own absence from God and his desire to find value in life apart from Him.

Through the encounter with the living God the man discovers wisdom and understands that wisdom is a gift and the truest treasure we have in this life. It is wisdom that not only transforms the man; once a slave to self-validation and worship through works and ability, to a man remade in the image of God, who receives the light of God and then blesses those around him with that same light.

We all are seeking, but few of us are finding. The reason for this is not that there is nothing to find. The truth is that we are burdening ourselves searching where there is no light. God offers us light through Jesus Christ and it is our choice whether or not to be graced with the light of his wisdom and life and be changed.

 

 

 

Tuesday Devotional: Job 2

bibleOn another day the angels[a] came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them to present himself before him. And the Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”

Then the Lord said to Satan, “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. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”

“Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life. But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.”

So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes.
His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”

10 He replied, “You are talking like a foolish[b] woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”
In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

11 When Job’s three friends, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite, heard about all the troubles that had come upon him, they set out from their homes and met together by agreement to go and sympathize with him and comfort him. 12 When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. 13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.

 

God allows suffering and we experience varying degrees of it on a daily basis.  How we respond to suffering quickly reveals who God is to us.  If our response to suffering is that God has either not cared enough to prevent it or has not done enough to stop it, we view God as not entirely good, not entirely loving and not entirely capable.  This approach to God will only nurture a bitter and resentful view of Him.  On the other hand, the God of the Bible repeatedly reminds his people that He can use even the most difficult trial that we face to bring about more blessing than we could ever possibly have imagined.  Bitterness toward God produced by suffering comes from an inflated view of ourselves and a near absolute distrust of God as he presents Himself to be.  Suffering that results in bitterness declares “God is there only to give me what I want and nothing else.”  However, a relationship with the living God necessitates the understanding that all we have is His.  When we know His character, the way in which he chooses to use our environment and particular circumstances is entirely up to Him.  And while we might not always understand his methods, we can remain confident that the intent is always good and the final product will always be good, because He is always good.