August 23

Job 8:1–11:20

Up next – Bildad the Shuhite. He has the same errant theology as his predecessors. He believes Job and his children were terrible sinners. He straight-out tells Job that if his children had repented of their sin, they would still be alive today (Job 8:4-8). What a horrible thing to tell a parent whose child has passed.

Warren Wiersbe on Job 8:8-10, “Bildad was a devoted traditionalist who called his witnesses from the past. There is nothing wrong with our learning from the past, provided it does not turn the present into a museum and the future into a cemetery. Someone has said, “Tradition is the living face of dead people, while traditionalism is the dead face of living people.” Is the past encouraging you or embalming you?”

Bildad accuses Job of forgetting God – he calls Job a hypocrite (Job 8:13). Bildad elaborates on all the terrible things that will happen to those who (like Job) live in sin.

One of the ironies is that Bildad believes that what happened to Job could not possibly happen to anyone who is “blameless.” We read his words in:

Job 8:20 (NKJV) “Behold, God will not cast away the blameless, nor will He uphold the evildoers.

And yet, God Himself referred to Job as blameless (Job 1:8; 2:3). Job’s “friends” were completely wrong. 

There are some today in Christendom who have the same theology as Job’s friends. They’re called “Prosperity Teachers.” They teach that if you’re a Christian, you should be “Healthy, Wealthy, and Prosperous.” They say if you’re not healthy, wealthy, and prosperous it’s because you don’t have enough faith of you’re in sin. This is errant theology. Jesus Himself was poor, having nowhere to lay His head. Paul the Apostle was not a healthy man who asked for healing, but God said no – His grace was sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9). Sometimes (as is the case of Job) our health issues are the direct result of a Satanic attack. Other times, it’ simply because we live in a fallen/broken world…it’s something that God allows and God can use to deepen our faith (John 16:33; Acts 14:22).

Job goes on to speak of the power and sovereignty of God. Who can stop Him? No one! Job does wonder how God can do this to him – but acknowledges the fact that God’s not a mere man that he can take to court (Job 10:32). Job hoped for a mediator (Job 10:33). Jesus would one day be that Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5).

In the meantime, Job believes it’s okay to freely share the burdens of his heart (Job 10:1). He didn’t understand how God who had intricately fashioned him would allow such a thing to happen. God had preserved him but he believed that now God was pulverizing him. 

Job goes back to wishing he were dead – that he’d been stillborn. He asks God to leave him alone.

Job’s third friend Zophar speaks up with the same sentiments of the other miserable comforters before him. Zophar takes it even a step further:

Job 11:6b (NKJV) “Know therefore that God exacts from you less than your iniquity deserves.

Zophar tells Job, “Yes, you’ve been hit hard, but Job, you need to know that you actually deserve worse.”

Now, in a general sense this statement is true. But it’s not fitting for his friend Job. Job was NOT being punished for his disobedience, he was being tested and refined because of his obedience.

Zophar goes not to tell Job that if he repented God would bless him, his life would be brighter (Job 11:15-18) but if he didn’t repent, he was destined to die (Job 11:20).

It would have been so much better if Job’s friends simply listened to him, or prayed for him in an non-condemning fashion. I like what Warren Wiersbe said, “God is not found at the end of an argument, but He is near to those who call on Him.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-28

Some have called 1 Corinthians 15 the most important chapter in the Bible. I’m not sure about that – if there is such a chapter for the church, but I will say that this is an epic chapter!

First, we have the Gospel. Did you catch that in verses 1-4? Paul explicitly calls it the Gospel, explaining that Christ died for our sins, was buried, He rose on the third day, and if we believe in Him we’re saved.

Paul goes on to list the eyewitnesses of the Resurrection, people who saw Jesus alive after He had died. He mentions Peter, the Apostles, five hundred people at one time (and most of them were still alive when Paul wrote the letter), James (Jesus’ brother), and then Paul Himself. You can’t get any better evidence than an eyewitness, and if you have over five hundred of them, there’s no judge or jury in the world who would deny the validity of their testimony. Jesus is alive! He appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, which is why Paul, by the grace of God, labored so hard to get the gospel out.

Sadly, there were some “among” them who denied the resurrection of Christ. How foolish that anyone would think they could be Christians without the resurrection. Paul goes on to explain that the resurrection is the capstone of Christianity, if Christ didn’t rise, we’re still in our sins. But Christ did rise, and is therefore the “first fruits,” in the sense that He’s the first of many others who will rise from the dead after Him…all of us who have placed our faith in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 15:22 (NKJV) “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”

In 1 Corinthians 15:23-28 Paul glosses over the Second Coming of Christ, the Millennial Kingdom (when Jesus reigns for 1,000 years on planet earth and we Christians will reign under Him), and then the new heavens and the new earth (Revelation 21:1). Yes, yes, and a thousand times yes, there is life after death, there is a resurrection of the dead. And one day everything will be restored to it’s proper order where the Father will rule in the Kingdom of God.

Psalm 38:1-22

We don’t know the precise circumstances of David’s life at this point, but it appears that he’s experiencing God’s discipline for his sin, and then his enemies rush in to try and capitalize on it, to seize the moment.

But David prays, he even sings (that’s what the Psalms are – Israel’s hymnal).

David also comes clean, he confesses his sin in anguish:

Psalm 38:18 (NKJV) “For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin.”

That’s all God wants. For me to come clean, confess and forsake the sins that separate me from Him and are trying to ruin my life. Later we’ll read in:

Psalms 86:5 (NKJV) “For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.”

I couldn’t help but think of the Covid pandemic when reading David’s words in:

Psalm 38:11 (NLT) “My loved ones and friends stay away, fearing my disease. Even my own family stands at a distance.”

I can’t even begin to imagine the loneliness of such a place, and the spiritual warfare David involved, our hearts go out to those who’ve been there, who are there now. But David shows us what to do if were ever anywhere near this place — — pray.

Psalm 38:21–22 (NKJV) “Do not forsake me, O LORD; O my God, be not far from me! 22 Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!”

Proverbs 21:28-29

Proverbs 21:28 (NKJV) “A false witness shall perish, but the man who hears him will speak endlessly.”

Even if the liar dies, the lie doesn’t. Those who hear that lie just pass it on and on and on. It may have been a casual conversation on the couch, in a solemn courtroom, or even in the university class. Those lies, go on and on, and some people talk more than others.

They say a lie can circle the globe before the truth puts its shoes on.

Lies move fast and last.

He died on April 19, 1882, but Charles Darwin’s lie on the origin of the species, continues today, the lie of evolution.

Proverbs 21:29 (NKJV) “A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, he establishes his way.”

The wicked man is not open, he’s stubborn; but the upright gives some thought to his way.

The New Living Translation says it like this:

Proverbs 21:29 (NLT) “The wicked bluff their way through, but the virtuous think before they act.”

If you have any questions or comments on today’s reading, or you’d like to share something the Lord showed you, feel free to leave a reply below. I’d love to hear from you as we grow forward in 2021.

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