August 22

Job 4:1–7:21

In the previous chapter Job poured out his heart in front of his “friends.” He was being honest, he was losing the will to live, but he would never even think of taking his own life. Maybe you’ve been there or you know someone who has. Their pain was so severe a person just doesn’t want to go on. Tragically this is actually very common nowadays.

We read back in Job 2:11 that his “friends” had come to mourn with him and to comfort him. Unfortunately they decided to confront and accuse him instead. Job’s “friend” Eliphaz told him that Gd would never cut-off the innocent (Job 4:7). It was a subtle way of saying that God killed Job’s children because they were guilty, they deserved it. He accused Job of sowing sin and reaping the consequences. But wait a minute – didn’t God say Job was blameless and upright? Eliphas was wrong. These tragedies Job was experiencing was not because he was doing something wrong, it was actually because he was doing something right.

But Eliphaz accused Job of deserving this judgment. He saw it as God’s correction. Eliphaz words are true of others, but not of Job.

Job 5:17–18 (NKJV) “Behold, happy is the man whom God corrects; therefore do not despise the chastening of the Almighty. 18 For He bruises, but He binds up; He wounds, but His hands make whole.”

Job was grieving, he was weighed down in pain, he admits he spoke rashly (Job 6:3) but he knows what Eliphaz is accusing him of is not true. Job calls out his “friend.”

Job 6:14 (NKJV) “To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty.”

We’ll see in the end that Job was not forsaking the Almighty, but he was questioning, crying, and in terrible pain. Shouldn’t his friend show at least sliver of compassion and kindness? It’s terrible when people judge others, thinking that God is after them, “getting” them, when in all reality they’ve done nothing to deserve it. Blameless believers have been the target of persecution throughout the history.

At the Nicene Council (an important church meeting in the 4th century A.D.) 318 men attended as delegates; of those 318 men 306 of them had lost an eye, or a hand, or walked in with a limp, having suffered torture for their faith. What we find is that suffering and salvation, go hand in hand.

Job challenges Eliphaz to teach him something true, to prove his point (Job 6:24). Of course he can’t, he doesn’t have the truth on his side.

Job continues to grieve, mourn, and pour out his heart. Months had gone by (Job 7:3). It would be almost impossible to sleep if covered with boils from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head (Job 7:4). His flesh was caked with worms and dust.

Adam Clarke commented on Job 7:4, “This is perhaps…literally true: the miserably ulcerated state of his body, exposed to the open air, and in a state of great destitution, was favorable to those insects that sought such places in which to deposit their ova, which might have produced the worms in question…the figure is too horrid to be further illustrated.”

Job was starting to entertain the thought that his eyes would never again see good (Job 7:7).

Job didn’t understand what was going on. He didn’t have the first two chapters like we do. He didn’t know that his life was a sort of “battleground” between God and the Devil. He didn’t know that the generations to come would read his story and find hope. All he knew was the pain he was in, and it felt as if God was honing in on him…God actually was, but in a good way.

Job questioned:

Job 7:17–18 (NKJV) “What is man, that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him, 18 That You should visit him every morning, and test him every moment?”

Job asks a good question. God You’re so glorious and grand, You fill the universe, and our planet is just  speck in space, what is man that You would pay any attention to him, even exalt him, and set Your heart on him? What are we Lord, that You would care enough to test us?

It’s a good question. God has exalted us, but why? He pays close attention to us in detail, and tests us (refines us), but why? Because we’re made in His image. Because He loves is using us to help others, and is making us more and more…like Him.

One of my favorite songs is a song called Questions, by Steven Curtis Chapman. He wrote it after his little girl was run over by a car his son was driving. I can’t even begin to imagine the pain from such a tragedy. In the song Steven Curtis Chapman has many questions for God, but he never loses faith. He holds on to that counsel that is good for all Christians to know, “Whenever I come across something I don’t understand, I fall back on what I do understand.” God is sovereign and God is loving…that’s all I need to know.

1 Corinthians 14:18-40 

Paul had the gift of tongues (1 Corinthians 14:18). In private he prayed in tongues and was edified personally, but publicly the gift of tongues is only to be spoken if there is an interpreter (1 Corinthians 14:28) that the rest may be edified (1 Corinthians 14:5). If there IS an interpreter, Paul says, let there be tow or at the most three tongues spoken in a public service, but no more than that.

The Corinthians had become childish in using their gifts for vanity (1 Corinthians 14:20).

When Paul calls tongues a sign for the unbeliever (1 Corinthians 14:22) he’s referring to the proper use of tongues. 

Prophecy (Spiritually inspired teaching) on the other hand, is powerful. When God begins to move in such a way people will be blessed and often say, “How did you know I was going through that?” Or, “I felt like you were talking to me.” 

God is not the author of confusion, gifts are to be used but not abused, women are not to teach men, and when it comes to Spiritual gifts, at the end of the day, we are to “Let all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40). I like that passage because we are to let “ALL” things be done, in other words, let’s use all the gifts of the Holy Spirit obediently and faithfully, but let this be done decently and in order – not out of order. The gifts of the Spirit must be exercised Biblically.

1 Corinthians 14:26b (NKJV) “Let all things be done for edification.”

Warren Wiersbe, “A key word in this chapter is edification (vv. 3–5, 12, 17, 26), which means “building up.” A worship service should lift up the Lord and build up the saints, not puff up the participants.”

Psalm 37:30-40

David continues to teach us that although the wicked (our enemies) seek to stop us and even slay us (Psalm 37:32) they themselves will be cut off.  The LORD will save us, strengthen us, help us, and deliver us, as we simply trust in Him (Psalm 37:40).

We are to wait on the LORD and to keep His way (Psalm 37:34) keep His Word. As a matter of fact, because God’s Word is in our hearts (Psalm 37:31) out of the mouth of the righteous will flow words of wisdom and justice (Psalm 37:30; Luke 6:45). It’s interesting to me that throughout the entire ordeal in which David struggled with King Saul, David never spoke an ill word about the king.

Not that we have a vendetta, but God promises through David that the righteous will see it when the wicked are cut off (Psalm 37:34). David himself had seen it with his own eyes (Psalm 37:35-36).

Perhaps the Psalm can be summarized in:

Psalm 37:37–38 (NKJV) “Mark the blameless man, and observe the upright; for the future of that man is peace. 38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.”

O Lord, please help me to be blameless, and trust You to deliver me from my enemies.

Proverbs 21:27

Proverbs 21:27 (NKJV) “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he brings it with wicked intent!”

This is a double-bogey. Earlier in Proverbs 21:3 we read that to do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.

Sadly, there are some people who believe that sacrifices are sufficient, but here we read that the wicked person brings the sacrifice with wicked intentions.

I’m reminded of Ananias and Sapphira who brought their sacrifice in order to make themselves look good to others. Maybe they wanted the accolades or some type of promotion. We read their story in Act chapter 5, it didn’t end well. They were both struck dead by God, who used them as an illustration of how He feels about that type of “sacrifice.”

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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