Ever had something happen to you and wonder what was going on? Ever been going through something and wondering why is it happening? Ever needed to stop and lean in harder on God in hopes to get clarity, wisdom, and insight into what’s going on and what you are supposed to do about it? Ever had people who try to help and yet it doesn’t feel like help to you? Ever had people who try to give you advice or what they think and yet it doesn’t seem to make any difference?
A new week is beginning. The latest time is coming to an end. And yet there is more.
Could a week of prayer focus help? Could a week of fasting help? To clear my head. To create focus. To reignite purpose. To reenergize and reinvigorate me.
Could a week with a focus on discovering Jesus help? Could a week with a focus on growing the community help? Could a week with a focus on finding purpose help? Could a week with a focus on changing the world help? Could a week with a focus on mission help? What if it all could start today? We all have free will and we all get to decide. Choose wisely!
Let’s grab hold of how fasting helped Jesus and prepared Him for what was about to happen. Let’s allow the time of fasting to help us break free from the bondage of the devil’s lies and tricks and from sin and shame. Let’s reject and resist the devil and his lies and attempts to make us believe in what we tried before and can’t break it! Let’s reject and resist the devil and his lies and attempts to make us believe sin that we don’t want to do this, but can’t help it! Let’s reject and resist the devil and his lies and attempts to make us believe about sin that we need an answer, but can’t find it! Satan is a liar and a thief, from the garden till now he is trying to keep us from being who God created and purposed us to be and uses shame to try and hold us back and keep us from becoming the people God desires for us to be.
- Job 10
- Job 11
- Job 12
- Job 13
What skeletons are in your closet? Will you take your case up to God? Job takes his plea to God.
- God knows and so we can trust Him, even when we don’t understand.
- ‘“I am disgusted with my life. Let me complain freely. My bitter soul must complain. I will say to God, ‘Don’t simply condemn me— tell me the charge you are bringing against me. What do you gain by oppressing me? Why do you reject me, the work of your own hands, while smiling on the schemes of the wicked? Are your eyes like those of a human? Do you see things only as people see them? Is your lifetime only as long as ours? Is your life so short that you must quickly probe for my guilt and search for my sin? Although you know I am not guilty, no one can rescue me from your hands. “‘You formed me with your hands; you made me, yet now you completely destroy me. Remember that you made me from dust— will you turn me back to dust so soon? You guided my conception and formed me in the womb. You clothed me with skin and flesh, and you knit my bones and sinews together. You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love. My life was preserved by your care. “‘Yet your real motive— your true intent— was to watch me, and if I sinned, you would not forgive my guilt. If I am guilty, too bad for me; and even if I’m innocent, I can’t hold my head high, because I am filled with shame and misery. And if I hold my head high, you hunt me like a lion and display your awesome power against me. Again and again you witness against me. You pour out your growing anger on me and bring fresh armies against me. “‘Why, then, did you deliver me from my mother’s womb? Why didn’t you let me die at birth? It would be as though I had never existed, going directly from the womb to the grave. I have only a few days left, so leave me alone, that I may have a moment of comfort before I leave—never to return— for the land of darkness and utter gloom. It is a land as dark as midnight, a land of gloom and confusion, where even the light is dark as midnight.’”’ Job 10:1-22
Zophar gets his first chance to respond to Job.
- The truth or just words? Reality or just considerations? Claims or answers? Reality or accusations?
- ‘Then Zophar the Naamathite replied to Job: “Shouldn’t someone answer this torrent of words? Is a person proved innocent just by a lot of talking? Should I remain silent while you babble on? When you mock God, shouldn’t someone make you ashamed? You claim, ‘My beliefs are pure,’ and ‘I am clean in the sight of God.’ If only God would speak; if only he would tell you what he thinks! If only he would tell you the secrets of wisdom, for true wisdom is not a simple matter. Listen! God is doubtless punishing you far less than you deserve! “Can you solve the mysteries of God? Can you discover everything about the Almighty? Such knowledge is higher than the heavens— and who are you? It is deeper than the underworld — what do you know? It is broader than the earth and wider than the sea. If God comes and puts a person in prison or calls the court to order, who can stop him? For he knows those who are false, and he takes note of all their sins. An empty-headed person won’t become wise any more than a wild donkey can bear a human child. “If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer! Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten with innocence. You will be strong and free of fear. You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away. Your life will be brighter than the noonday. Even darkness will be as bright as morning. Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help. But the wicked will be blinded. They will have no escape. Their only hope is death.”’ Job 11:1-20
Listening to understand vs listening to speak. Speaking to help vs to be heard.
- Job speaks and responds to Zophar
- ‘Then Job spoke again: “You people really know everything, don’t you? And when you die, wisdom will die with you! Well, I know a few things myself— and you’re no better than I am. Who doesn’t know these things you’ve been saying? Yet my friends laugh at me, for I call on God and expect an answer. I am a just and blameless man, yet they laugh at me. People who are at ease mock those in trouble. They give a push to people who are stumbling. But robbers are left in peace, and those who provoke God live in safety— though God keeps them in his power. “Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you. Speak to the earth, and it will instruct you. Let the fish in the sea speak to you. For they all know that my disaster has come from the hand of the Lord . For the life of every living thing is in his hand, and the breath of every human being. The ear tests the words it hears just as the mouth distinguishes between foods. Wisdom belongs to the aged, and understanding to the old. “But true wisdom and power are found in God; counsel and understanding are his. What he destroys cannot be rebuilt. When he puts someone in prison, there is no escape. If he holds back the rain, the earth becomes a desert. If he releases the waters, they flood the earth. Yes, strength and wisdom are his; deceivers and deceived are both in his power. He leads counselors away, stripped of good judgment; wise judges become fools. He removes the royal robe of kings. They are led away with ropes around their waist. He leads priests away, stripped of status; he overthrows those with long years in power. He silences the trusted adviser and removes the insight of the elders. He pours disgrace upon princes and disarms the strong. “He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; he brings light to the deepest gloom. He builds up nations, and he destroys them. He expands nations, and he abandons them. He strips kings of understanding and leaves them wandering in a pathless wasteland. They grope in the darkness without a light. He makes them stagger like drunkards.’ Job 12:1-25
Are you ready to take your case to God? Are you ready to cast your cares on Him because you know that He cares for you? Job is seeking understanding.
- Job wants to take his case and concerns to God rather than his friends and their thoughts.
- ‘“Look, I have seen all this with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears, and now I understand. I know as much as you do. You are no better than I am. As for me, I would speak directly to the Almighty. I want to argue my case with God himself. As for you, you smear me with lies. As physicians, you are worthless quacks. If only you could be silent! That’s the wisest thing you could do. Listen to my charge; pay attention to my arguments. “Are you defending God with lies? Do you make your dishonest arguments for his sake? Will you slant your testimony in his favor? Will you argue God’s case for him? What will happen when he finds out what you are doing? Can you fool him as easily as you fool people? No, you will be in trouble with him if you secretly slant your testimony in his favor. Doesn’t his majesty terrify you? Doesn’t your fear of him overwhelm you? Your platitudes are as valuable as ashes. Your defense is as fragile as a clay pot. “Be silent now and leave me alone. Let me speak, and I will face the consequences. Why should I put myself in mortal danger and take my life in my own hands? God might kill me, but I have no other hope. I am going to argue my case with him. But this is what will save me—I am not godless. If I were, I could not stand before him. “Listen closely to what I am about to say. Hear me out. I have prepared my case; I will be proved innocent. Who can argue with me over this? And if you prove me wrong, I will remain silent and die. ‘ Job 13:1-19
- Job is looking to understand what he did wrong, how he has sinned.
- ‘“O God, grant me these two things, and then I will be able to face you. Remove your heavy hand from me, and don’t terrify me with your awesome presence. Now summon me, and I will answer! Or let me speak to you, and you reply. Tell me, what have I done wrong? Show me my rebellion and my sin. Why do you turn away from me? Why do you treat me as your enemy? Would you terrify a leaf blown by the wind? Would you chase dry straw? “You write bitter accusations against me and bring up all the sins of my youth. You put my feet in stocks. You examine all my paths. You trace all my footprints. I waste away like rotting wood, like a moth-eaten coat.’ Job 13:20-28
For 2023 I am returning to the pattern of reading through the Bible in a Year and as such will use it as my source for the upcoming year of BeTheDads.com devotionals.
Did you read something today that felt like a new revelation? Would you be willing to leave a comment or question? Are you walking your life with God? Have you made the decision to invite Jesus into your life so that you can have the divide covered? Have you invited Jesus to be Your Lord and Savior, paying the ultimate price to cover the original sin for we have all missed the mark, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and we all need Jesus, our Lord and Savior to help us be forgiven and reconciled back to God! Could today be your day? Let’s pray: