What do you do when things are going in the wrong direction?


Do you attack the problem? Do you attack the situation? Do you attack others? Do you attack God? Do you play the blame game? How do you respond?

Today’s reading starts off in Job 3. And we see Job cursing the day he was born, things have gotten so bad that he feels he would have been better off never to have been born due to the pain and the suffering. And after pouring it all out, his friend jumps in starting in Job 4. Eliphaz calls out Job because in the past Job was the one who instructed, strengthened, supported and now he was discouraged and dismayed. He calls him out asking “Is not your piety your confidence, the integrity of your ways your hope?” And then bring up an idea to reflect on:

7Reflect now: Who, being innocent, ever perished? And where were the upright destroyed?
8As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow harm, reap them.
9By the breath of God they perish; by the blast of His anger they vanish.
10The lion may roar and the cub growl, but the teeth of young lions are broken.
11The mighty lion perishes for lack of prey and the lioness’ cubs are scattered.
–from Job 4

Job 4 continues telling us about an accusing spirit interjecting and spoke to Eliphaz in a dream and he created an entire theology which he then wrongfully applies to Job. He took what this spirit – ghost – angel – demon said and tried to apply it to Job’s situation. It wasn’t a spirit from God! Checkout the eeriness, the spookiness about how it all came to be.

12Now a word was secretly brought to me, and my ear caught a whisper of it.
13Amid unsettling visions in the night, when a deep sleep falls on men,
14dread and trembling seized me, and made my bones shake.
15Then a spirit brushed over my face, and the hair of my flesh stood on end.
16It stood still, but I could not recognize its appearance, A form was before my eyes and I heard a murmur, a voice:
17‘Can a mortal be righteous before God; or a man pure before his Creator?
18If He puts no trust in His servants and accuses His angels of error,
19how much more those who dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust, who are crushed before the moth?
20From morning until evening they are beaten into pieces— unnoticed, they perish forever.
21Is not their tent cord pulled out, so that they die without wisdom.’”
–from Job 4

So need to be very careful when we hear or learn things. We need to compare them with God’s Word! We need to also consider the source of what is being told and what is being taught. We need to go to God and get his perspective and allow Him and His Word to speak truth and hope and love! We need God to help us to have the faith to believe Him at His Word! We need God to help us to be able to receive His Word as truth and move forward! We need God’s help that we will grab a hold of it understanding the authority He has over all creation so that when He says it, we can receive it as truth and accept that it is done!

Today’s reading continues into Luke 7. Help me Lord to have the faith like this. We hear about the faith of the centurion which Jesus hadn’t run into previously…The centurion sent people to ask Jesus for help. Jesus started to come and when He wasn’t far from the house, the centurion sent friends to give Jesus this message “Master, do not trouble Yourself, for I’m not worthy for You to come under my roof. That is why I didn’t consider myself worthy to come to You. But say the word and let my servant be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.” He realize the power and the authority that Jesus had. He realized that if Jesus would just speak it, command it, it would be done! And when the people who had gone got home, they found the slave in good health. Glory be to God!

Luke 7 continues and we see that as Jesus and the group were walking they came across a funeral procession. It was the dead body of a widow. Jesus had compassion on her and took a step that was outside of the norm (as touching a dead body would make people “unclean”) and spoke to the mother “Don’t cry.” before touching the coffin as the pallbearers stopped and He commanded “Young man! I tell you get up!” and the dead man sat up and began speaking. So Jesus took him and gave him back to his mother.

Imagine the feeling that would have gone around the viewers of this miracle? Imagine the excitement. Imagine the fear. Imagine the energy. How would you respond? We see in today’s reading

16Fear took hold of them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has appeared among us, and God has visited His people.”
17This report concerning Him spread throughout all Judea and the surrounding region.
–from Luke 7

We see that John the Baptist was in prison as the time and was hearing about Jesus. He sent disciples to ask Jesus “Are you the One who is to come, or should we look for another?” He responded telling them to give John a testimony of what was being done…the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin disease are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor receive the good news proclaimed to them.

As they left, Jesus tells the rest of the crowd how John was the one who had been prophesied about so long ago in Malachi 3:1 – “Behold, I send My messenger before You, who will prepare Your way before You.” This created a mix response because of the diversity of the crowd…

28I say to you, there is no one greater than John among those born of women; yet the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”
29And when all the people heard, even the tax collectors, they affirmed God’s justice, because they had been immersed with John’s immersion.
30But the Pharisees and Torah lawyers, not having been immersed by John, declared God’s purpose invalid for themselves.
31“So then, to what shall I compare the people of this generation? What are they like?
32They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to each other, saying, ‘We played the flute for you, and you didn’t dance. We sang a dirge, and you didn’t weep.’
33“For John the Immerser has come not eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’
34The Son of Man has come eating and drinking. and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
35Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”
–from Luke 7

What is your response? Do you realize it matters? We see in the conclusion to Luke 7 the difference between the homeowner and an unwelcomed woman.

36Now one of the Pharisees was asking Yeshua if He would eat with him. Upon entering the Pharisee’s home, He reclined at the table.
37And behold, a woman in the town who was a sinner, when she discovered that Yeshua was reclining at the Pharisee’s home, brought an alabaster jar of perfume.
38As she stood behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to drench His feet with tears and kept wiping them with her head of hair. Then she was kissing His feet and anointing them with perfume.
39Now when the Pharisee who invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this were a prophet, He would know what sort of woman is touching Him—that she’s a sinner.”
40And answering, Yeshua said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he said, “Say it, Teacher!”
41“A moneylender had two debtors. One owed him five hundred denarii, but the other fifty.
42When neither could repay him, he canceled both debts. So which of them will love him more?”
43Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt canceled.” “You have judged correctly,” Yeshua said.
44Turning toward the woman, He said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered into your house, and you didn’t give Me water for My feet. But she has drenched My feet with tears and wiped them with her hair.
45You didn’t greet Me with a kiss; but from the time she entered, she has not stopped kissing My feet.
46You didn’t anoint My head with oil, but she has anointed My feet with perfume.
47For this reason I tell you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven—for she loved much. But the one who is forgiven little, loves little.
48He then said to her, “Your sins have been forgiven.”
49But those who were reclining at table with Him began to say to one another, “Who is this, who even forgives sins?”
50Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in shalom.”
–from Luke 7

Do you come with humility or with pride? Do you come with a repentant heart or like you have it all together? Do you realize your approach, your stance, and your heart make a difference?

Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 5. We see that John is witnessing the revealing of 7 scrolls and that it requires someone special to be able to open them – Jesus. Jesus the name above all names. Jesus, the Lord of lords. Jesus, the one who everyone will bow before, everyone will confess is Lord. Jesus our redeemer – who paid the price once for all – every tribe, every tongue, every people, and every nation. Imagine the incredible experience of hearing the heavenlies chanting “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” and everyone in heaven and on earth chanting “To the One seated on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and power forever and ever!”.

So let’s allow our lives to be a living sacrifice to God! Let’s allow our lives point others to Jesus! Let’s allow our lives to speak the yes and amen to God’s Word, God’s will, and God’s plan in Jesus’ name.

 

 

 

 

 

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