August 29

Job 31:1–33:33

As we read the final defense of Job, he ends with a series of “Ifs…”  If Job was guilty of lust, or adultery, or injustice then he would be worthy of judgment. If Job was guilty of mistreating his employees, orphans, or widows then he’d be worthy of judgment. If he made gold his hope, or wealth, or the world his god…

Job 31:28a (NKJV) “This also would be an iniquity deserving of judgment.”

If Job had rejoiced at the pain of others, if he’d cursed his enemies or had any secret sins he held on to, then he’d be worthy of judgment.

Now, I do need to say this, that in one sense we all deserve judgment, no matter how “good” we are. But Job’s case is unique in that here were people indicting him for his sin, when that was NOT the case for Job. Job was going through these trials due to his obedience, not his disobedience.

I don’t want to miss the chance to highlight Job 31:1 – a verse I’ve memorized and used over the years:

Job 31:1 (NKJV) “I have made a covenant with my eyes; why then should I look upon a young woman?”

They say it’s “Every man’s battle.” It’s good to make a covenant with our eyes – with our God, that we will not look upon a woman with lustful eyes. When we’re tempted in this area, let’s swing this Sword of the Spirit, let’s quote this passage, and live this truth. I’m sure this can be applied to the sisters as well.

In the end, Job’s wish would come to pass…God would share with Job some heavy words he needed to hear.

But before God speaks, we have one last “friend,” named Elihu who has waited to speak. Elihu is the youngest, which is the reason he waited. He was upset at Job for not taking the fall, and he’s upset with Job’s friends for not winning the argument. It’s a bit amusing how Elihu spends the majority of time telling Job that he has something to say. When Elihu’s argument finally kicks in, it’s not any different.

He heard Job declare his innocence (Job 33:9) but he simply says that Job is being chastened (Job 33:19).

For a young guy, Elihu probably thought too highly of himself…notice what he says to Job:

Job 33:33 (NKJV) “If not, listen to me; hold your peace, and I will teach you wisdom.”

2 Corinthians 3:1-18

Paul didn’t need letters of commendation (recommendations). The people in Corinth were his “letters,” they were his credentials, they were the evidence that God had done a supernatural work in Corinth – and indeed Paul was an Apostle. The letters were written on their hearts, not on tables of stone. Everyone could see, just look at the fruit!

Paul explains in 2 Corinthians 3:5, that it’s not that there’s anything special about him, in-and-of himself, but his sufficiency comes from God (and God gets all the glory). Indeed, Paul had been chosen to be a minister of the New Covenant…and what a glorious covenant that was!

Paul goes on to list some of the contrasts between the Old and New Covenant.

Old Covenant/New Covenant

Of the Letter/Of the Spirit

The Letter Kills/The Spirit gives Life

Ministry of Death/Ministry of the Spirit

Engraved on Stones/Written in our Hearts

Ministry of Condemnation/Ministry of Righteousness

Passing away/Remaining always

No Glory (in comparison)/Excelling Glory

Paul truly wanted the Corinthians to realize the glory of the New Covenant, in comparison to the Old. He brings up the fact that Moses wore a veil to cover his face, so that the people wouldn’t see the way the glory faded – and here’s where it gets super interesting – for our glory never, ever has to fade. We can be like Jesus, we can shine with His love and truth, and it never has to fade away.

The reason the Jews (and all unbelievers) aren’t saved is because they’re blind. A veil lies over their eyes and heart when they read (or hear) the Bible. But when one turns to Christ the veil is taken away. I still remember reading the Bible before I was saved, and I didn’t understand it – it was just a bunch of stories to me. But when I was born-again, the veil was lifted, and the Word came alive. I understood it, endeavored to live it, and it (God and His Word) changed me, He set me free.

So, now when we read the Bible, we can see Jesus, and Paul closes with that truth in 1 Corinthians 3:18, how we see Christ, and are being changed into His image, transformed, from glory to glory, little by little, more and more like Him. That’s my prayer.

Psalm 43:1-5

It’s one thing to have a man against you, but it’s another thing to have a nation against you (Psalm 43:1).

The Psalmist was in the middle of a war and he felt that God was far from him.

Pastor Chuck Smith said, “Today when we feel stressed or overwhelmed, we might say, ‘Why am I so depressed or anxious?’ Usually we feel that way because we’ve lost sight of God, or we’ve removed Him from the equation. We’re trying to figure out a solution apart from him. But David has the answer, ‘Hope in God…the help of my countenance.’”

It’s okay to talk to yourself, to ask those questions, to search your heart, but make sure to end the conversation by encouraging or strengthening yourself in the LORD (1 Samuel 30:6).

Psalm 43:2a (NKJV) “For You are the God of my strength…”

Psalm 43:5 (NKJV) “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”

Proverbs 22:8-9

Proverbs 22:8 (NKJV) “He who sows iniquity will reap sorrow, and the rod of his anger will fail.”

Because of the fact that sin’s consequence don’t come immediately, we have a tendency to sin carelessly and frequently. 

We forget this Proverb…but we can’t say we weren’t warned.

Our sin will find us out (Numbers 32:23).

If we sow iniquity we will reap sorrow.

It takes time, but it’s God’s universal law, for us all, we reap what we’ve sown. *Galatians 6:7-9

All of us are the product of a lifetime of decisions. I’ve probably mentioned a million times that in many ways, “We make our decisions, and then our decisions make us.”

Proverbs 22:9 (NKJV) “He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gives of his bread to the poor.”

A generous EYE? Looking with open eyes, an open heart, open hands…who can I give to? We usually wait for people to ask, or help if we stumble on a need, but here’s someone searching for the hungry to help.

I’m reminded of Cornelius:

Acts 10:1-2 (NKJV) “There was a certain man in Caesarea called Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Regiment, a devout man and one who feared God with all his household, who gave alms generously to the people, and prayed to God always.”

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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