Job is beyond disappointed at the counsel of his “friends.” Job sarcastically tells them, “Wisdom will die with you!” (Job 12:2). They thought they were so smart, convinced they were right, when in all reality they were so far off, that in the end God would command Job to pray for his friends in order for them to be forgiven.
Job was hurting, and yes he was venting, but he actually had a healthy concept of God. He knew he could pour out his heart to the LORD, to tell Him how he really felt, deep, deep down inside. It’s good for us to be honest with God. Job also knew that God was completely sovereign. He determines the mountains and valleys, permits the good and the “bad,” not only for people, even for countries! We read in:
Job 12:23 (NKJV) “He makes nations great, and destroys them; He enlarges nations, and guides them.”
I pray our nation would take this passage to heart. It’s not us, it’s God, may we return to Him.
Job desperately wanted to have an audience with the LORD. He was tired of the conversation with his “friends.”
Job 13:4 (NKJV) “But you forgers of lies, you are all worthless physicians.”
Job’s words do seem to vacillate, but his faith was rooted and real. One of my favorite passages in all the Bible is:
Job 13:15a (NKJV) “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”
No matter what happens in life, I know God is good, loving, and on the throne…we can trust Him through everything!
Going back to Job’s desire to talk to God…have you ever been there? I know I have. “Lord, if only You would speak audibly, guide me, show me.” Job wanted to have that heart-to-heart with God (Job 13:22). What sin had he committed? (Job 13:23). Job knew his life was in God’s hands, that God determines how many years, months, and days we will live (Job 14:5).
One of the things you’ll find is that life-after-death is not as clearly articulated in the Old Testament as it is in the New. It’s not as clear to Job as it was to Paul the Apostle who knew that the moment we die we are in the presence of the Lord, and that death’s door leads to a far better place than anywhere on earth (2 Corinthians 5:8; Philippians 1:21). At times, Job asks those questions, “If a man dies, shall he live again?” But then later he makes a bold and beautiful statement:
Job 19:26 (NKJV) “And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, that in my flesh I shall see God,”
Unfortunately Eliphaz and the rest of the guys did not really hear the heart and wisdom of Job. He tells his friends:
Job 13:5 (NKJV) “Oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom!”
Eliphaz speaks for the second time, accusing Job of unreasonable and unprofitable talk. He tells Job there is no way that he’s pure (Job 15:14) and accuses Job of defiance and stubbornness against God. He tells Job that his riches, wealth, and possessions could not continue, that he would remain in darkness, and flames, and be banished by God, because he was a hypocrite.
Wow! Those words are harsh and completely untrue.
God help us to be so careful not to judge unjustly – beware of the heart of “frenemies.”
1 Corinthians 15:29-58
Paul alludes to the pagan practice they had in Corinth of baptism for the dead (1 Corinthians 15:29). He didn’t validate their practice, he simply pointed out the fact that even they know that life does go on; the Bible says that God has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
This is why Paul labored so hard, it’s why his life was in jeopardy, it’s why he fought with beasts (most likely a reference to demons), because there is a heaven and there is a hell, there is a resurrection. One day we will receive our new bodies, incorruptible, powerful, and spiritual. One day we will bear the image of the heavenly Man (1 Corinthians 15:49). But first the seed must die – UNLESS – we are that generation that is raptured. 1 Corinthians 15:51 speaks of the fact that not all will sleep (die), but there will be those who are raptured, and transformed in the twinkling of any eye (1/11 of a second – see also 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17). So, let’s thank God for our victory in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57) in light of the certainty of eternity and reality of the resurrection, let’s be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:58)
David was once again in a very life-threatening situation. Was it a result of his sin? We read his prayer in:
Psalm 39:8 (NKJV) “Deliver me from all my transgressions; do not make me the reproach of the foolish.”
David disciplined himself (he actually talked to himself) to be EXTREMELY careful with his ways and his words (good advice for all of us):
Psalm 39:1 (NKJV) “I said, ‘I will guard my ways, lest I sin with my tongue; I will restrain my mouth with a muzzle, while the wicked are before me.”
David was asking God to protect him, to spare his life; he prayed, he wept, he went through a season when it seemed God was silent, even absent…but he never gave up. I have a hunch that part of the reason David was allowed to go through all the valleys he went through, was for us – that we might learn to keep praying, and never lose heart (Luke 18:1). When you’re there, you can offer up this prayer of David and make it your own.
Psalm 39:12–13 (NKJV) “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; do not be silent at my tears; for I am a stranger with You, a sojourner, as all my fathers were. 13 Remove Your gaze from me, that I may regain strength, before I go away and am no more.”
Proverbs 21:30 (NKJV) “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord.”
It doesn’t matter how many there are how or how “wise” they may be, no one will ever win in their opposition to God.
Isaiah says something similar.
Isaiah 8:9-10 (NKJV) “Be shattered, O you peoples, and be broken in pieces! Give ear, all you from far countries. Gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces; gird yourselves, but be broken in pieces. Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; speak the word, but it will not stand, for God is with us.”
(This is the promise to the church – Matthew 16:18; 28:18-20; Acts 5:39; Romans 8:31)
Proverbs 21:31 (NKJV) “The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord.”
This is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. We get the horse ready, we care for it, feed it, ride it, train it…but in that day of battle (there will be those days, seasons, and even years) just know that deliverance is of the Lord.
Preparation is our job; Salvation is God’s job.
We do the possible, and God does the impossible.
D.L. Moody once said, “Pray as if it all depends on God, and work as if it all depends on you.”
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.