The Blessed Man

In today’s reading (Job 42:1-Psalm 7:17) we finish Job and enter the Psalms.  Psalm 1 introduces the Psalter (the hymnal of the Old Testament) and presents  the contrasting themes of the blessed man and the wicked.  Each are described as to their lifestyles and their final destiny.  If this were all we had in the Bible, we would despair for no one qualifies as the truly blessed man.  No one, that is, but the Lord Jesus Christ.  Praise God that in Him we are made new (2 Corinthians 5:17).  Paul prayed for the church in Colossae many centuries later:

11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:11-14

We, who believe in Jesus Christ, have been transferred from the kingdom of the wicked and into the kingdom of God’s Son.  In Him, we are blessed, as blessed as the man of Psalm 1.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Weekend readings June 11-12, 2016

Here are our scheduled readings for the weekend.

Saturday, June 11 – Job 32:1-37:24 Remember to Extol His Work

Sunday, June 12  – Job 38:1-41:34 Sanctification: It’s a Process

See you on Monday!

For more on these passages see Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days available on Amazon in either Kindle ($4.99) or print format ($12.99).

First Rays of Light

Today’s reading (Job 26:1-31:50) begins to take us to the truth as Job focuses on God’s greatness.  Things will start to get more clear as we move toward the resolution of this drama.

Perhaps you identify with Job at some level.  Your suffering is inexplicable and seemingly endless.  Do you need to re-focus on God’s character?

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

God’s Purpose in Suffering

Job goes through unspeakable pain. He often expresses his anguish and despair as he tries to understand what is happening to him.  But in today’s reading (Job 22:1-25:6) he has a moment of real clarity.  He may not know all the intricacies of God’s wisdom in sending suffering but he is confident of the ultimate purpose (Job 23:10).

Can you rest in God’s ultimate good  purpose for your suffering?  Job did.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Job:True Confidence or Naive Denial?

In today’s reading (Job 19:1-21:34), Zophar, argues that Job’s sufferings prove his guilt.  Job retorts that wicked people often prosper so why should suffering always indicate guilt?  Who’s right?  Keep reading and we will find out in a few days.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Who’s the Smartest?

Arguments and debates often degenerate into character attacks or the demeaning of persons rather than the substantive issue originally being discussed.  This happened in the case of Job and his friends in today’s reading (Job 15:1-18:21).

The term “ad hominem” has come to mean  “marked by or being an attack on an opponent’s character rather than by an answer to the contentions made” (click here).   The ad hominem argument  is current in our discourse, but it is not new.  Let us avoid this type of interaction.  It didn’t help Job and his friends. It won’t help us either.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

 

Unswerving Hope

How immovable is your hope?  Can circumstances destroy it?  In today’s reading (Job 11:1-14:22) we find out that Job’s hope was in God no matter what.  Those who, like Job,  trust in the God who spoke to us in His Word have a firm foundation to keep on believing and hoping come what may.

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

Weekend readings June 4-5, 2016

Here are our scheduled readings for the weekend.

Saturday, June 4 – Job 4:1-7:21 Eliphaz’ Error

Sunday, June 5  — Job 8:1-10:22 Bildad’s Faulty Solution

See you on Monday!

For more on these passages see Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 Days available on Amazon in either Kindle ($4.99) or print format ($12.99).

God’s Purposes in Evil

As we finish Esther and begin the book of Job, we get a unique view of how God allows evil but turns it into a good result.  May you find comfort for your trials and sorrows.

Today’s reading: Esther 9:18-Job 3:26

[For more reflections on this passage see the corresponding reading in my book Cover to Cover: Through the Bible in 365 days].

The People God Uses

Today’s reading: Job 40-42; Acts 15:22-41

9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went and did what the Lord had told them, and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer. 10 And the Lord restored the fortunes of Job, when he had prayed for his friends. And the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before.                                                                      Job 42:9-10

Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.             Acts 15:39b-41

God works in and through people who are imperfect to accomplish His purposes and plans perfectly.

The focus in this book has been on Job and how he suffered as evidence to Satan of how a redeemed man serves God whether he prospers or suffers. Job stood the test and we can all cheer at the end when God reveals Himself to the poor afflicted man. God is vindicated by Job whose mouth is shut in humility. Job has been in our focus, but the three friends of Job were also under God’s watchful eye. They were in line for some discipline. They had spoken foolishly and ignorantly. Job was exonerated, and they were rebuked. God told Eliphaz to make an offering for their sin and promised to hear Job’s prayer on their behalf. Eliphaz obeyed and he, Zophar, and Bildad were restored to the Lord.

Paul and Barnabas left Jerusalem unified, preached and taught the congregation in Antioch, but then split up over their disagreement about taking John Mark on a second missionary journey. They went in different directions and both seemed to have fruitful ministries. Paul, we learn later, seems to have had a change of heart about John Mark (Colossians 4:10; Philemon 24; 2 Timothy 4:11). Indeed, Peter later would refer to Mark as “his son” (I Peter 5:13).

God used Job, Paul, Barnabas, and Mark despite their imperfections. Others, named and unnamed, were blessed by their prayers, preaching, teaching and other service for God’s glory. Can God use you? Yes. He uses all of His people for small and great purposes. Be alert to the service He has for you today.