I remember over 20 years ago when the aha moment came when I realized it wasn’t about rituals or routines but rather it was about having a relationship with Jesus. I had gone through the processes and never even heard about the reality of a relationship with Jesus. It was never expressed nor taught, so it took me into my 30s before the truth of who Jesus is and that rather than what I can do or am doing, it was about who Jesus is and what He has already done. We are saved by grace through faith in Jesus so that nobody can boast. From the overflow of our faith comes the fruit of the Spirit and our good works, not the other way around. Our works and the fruit of the Spirit aren’t to get to heaven but the overflow of God’s saving grace in our lives.
So as we start today, let’s pause to pray from God’s Word:
So as we begin today, let’s pray for the Lord to open the eyes of the unbelievers that you know, that they may see Jesus. Let’s pray for an increase in people coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s pray that we would discover a fresh vision of the Lord that will transform our lives in the coming year!
- Job 14
- Job 15
- Job 16
- Job 17
Born again – if we die we will live again – we get a choice of where we will spend eternity based on our decision to receive Jesus or not – will you spend eternity with God or apart from God?
- In this world, we will have troubles! Life is but a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. So let’s take heart because Jesus has overcome the world! Let’s make the most of our time here so as to glorify God!
- ‘“How frail is humanity! How short is life, how full of trouble! We blossom like a flower and then wither. Like a passing shadow, we quickly disappear. Must you keep an eye on such a frail creature and demand an accounting from me? Who can bring purity out of an impure person? No one! You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live, and we are not given a minute longer. So leave us alone and let us rest! We are like hired hands, so let us finish our work in peace. “Even a tree has more hope! If it is cut down, it will sprout again and grow new branches. Though its roots have grown old in the earth and its stump decays, at the scent of water it will bud and sprout again like a new seedling. “But when people die, their strength is gone. They breathe their last, and then where are they? As water evaporates from a lake and a river disappears in drought, people are laid to rest and do not rise again. Until the heavens are no more, they will not wake up nor be roused from their sleep. “I wish you would hide me in the grave and forget me there until your anger has passed. But mark your calendar to think of me again! Can the dead live again? If so, this would give me hope through all my years of struggle, and I would eagerly await the release of death. You would call and I would answer, and you would yearn for me, your handiwork. For then you would guard my steps, instead of watching for my sins. My sins would be sealed in a pouch, and you would cover my guilt. “But instead, as mountains fall and crumble and as rocks fall from a cliff, as water wears away the stones and floods wash away the soil, so you destroy people’s hope. You always overpower them, and they pass from the scene. You disfigure them in death and send them away. They never know if their children grow up in honor or sink to insignificance. They suffer painfully; their life is full of trouble.”’ Job 14:1-22
We need to think before we speak to make sure that what we are saying is truthful, helpful, inspiring, necessary, and kind!
- Eliphaz gives a second response that looks to attack Job for trivializing religion.
- ‘Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied: “A wise man wouldn’t answer with such empty talk! You are nothing but a windbag. The wise don’t engage in empty chatter. What good are such words? Have you no fear of God, no reverence for him? Your sins are telling your mouth what to say. Your words are based on clever deception. Your own mouth condemns you, not I. Your own lips testify against you. “Were you the first person ever born? Were you born before the hills were made? Were you listening at God’s secret council? Do you have a monopoly on wisdom? What do you know that we don’t? What do you understand that we do not? On our side are aged, gray-haired men much older than your father! “Is God’s comfort too little for you? Is his gentle word not enough? What has taken away your reason? What has weakened your vision, that you turn against God and say all these evil things? Can any mortal be pure? Can anyone born of a woman be just? Look, God does not even trust the angels. Even the heavens are not absolutely pure in his sight. How much less pure is a corrupt and sinful person with a thirst for wickedness! “If you will listen, I will show you. I will answer you from my own experience. And it is confirmed by the reports of wise men who have heard the same thing from their fathers— from those to whom the land was given long before any foreigners arrived. “The wicked writhe in pain throughout their lives. Years of trouble are stored up for the ruthless. The sound of terror rings in their ears, and even on good days they fear the attack of the destroyer. They dare not go out into the darkness for fear they will be murdered. They wander around, saying, ‘Where can I find bread?’ They know their day of destruction is near. That dark day terrifies them. They live in distress and anguish, like a king preparing for battle. For they shake their fists at God, defying the Almighty. Holding their strong shields, they defiantly charge against him. “These wicked people are heavy and prosperous; their waists bulge with fat. But their cities will be ruined. They will live in abandoned houses that are ready to tumble down. Their riches will not last, and their wealth will not endure. Their possessions will no longer spread across the horizon. “They will not escape the darkness. The burning sun will wither their shoots, and the breath of God will destroy them. Let them no longer fool themselves by trusting in empty riches, for emptiness will be their only reward. They will be cut down in the prime of life; their branches will never again be green. They will be like a vine whose grapes are harvested too early, like an olive tree that loses its blossoms before the fruit can form. For the godless are barren. Their homes, enriched through bribery, will burn. They conceive trouble and give birth to evil. Their womb produces deceit.”’ Job 15:1-35
Ever been falsely accused? Ever been challenged? How did you respond? How would you respond? Would you try to support and encourage? Would you accuse and tear down?
- Job defends himself in response to Eliphaz and questions how he would respond if Eliphaz was in Job’s shoes.
- ‘Then Job spoke again: “I have heard all this before. What miserable comforters you are! Won’t you ever stop blowing hot air? What makes you keep on talking? I could say the same things if you were in my place. I could spout off criticism and shake my head at you. But if it were me, I would encourage you. I would try to take away your grief. Instead, I suffer if I defend myself, and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak. “O God, you have ground me down and devastated my family. As if to prove I have sinned, you’ve reduced me to skin and bones. My gaunt flesh testifies against me. God hates me and angrily tears me apart. He snaps his teeth at me and pierces me with his eyes. People jeer and laugh at me. They slap my cheek in contempt. A mob gathers against me. God has handed me over to sinners. He has tossed me into the hands of the wicked. “I was living quietly until he shattered me. He took me by the neck and broke me in pieces. Then he set me up as his target, and now his archers surround me. His arrows pierce me without mercy. The ground is wet with my blood. Again and again he smashes against me, charging at me like a warrior. I wear burlap to show my grief. My pride lies in the dust. My eyes are red with weeping; dark shadows circle my eyes. Yet I have done no wrong, and my prayer is pure. “O earth, do not conceal my blood. Let it cry out on my behalf. Even now my witness is in heaven. My advocate is there on high. My friends scorn me, but I pour out my tears to God. I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends. For soon I must go down that road from which I will never return.’ Job 16:1-22
Only God knows why. In a fallen world, bad things happen to good people. In a sinful world, good people can find themselves troubled and tested. God is our hope!
- Job continues to defend his innocence to his “friends”
- ‘“My spirit is crushed, and my life is nearly snuffed out. The grave is ready to receive me. I am surrounded by mockers. I watch how bitterly they taunt me. “You must defend my innocence, O God, since no one else will stand up for me. You have closed their minds to understanding, but do not let them triumph. They betray their friends for their own advantage, so let their children faint with hunger. “God has made a mockery of me among the people; they spit in my face. My eyes are swollen with weeping, and I am but a shadow of my former self. The virtuous are horrified when they see me. The innocent rise up against the ungodly. The righteous keep moving forward, and those with clean hands become stronger and stronger. “As for all of you, come back with a better argument, though I still won’t find a wise man among you. My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart’s desires are broken. These men say that night is day; they claim that the darkness is light. What if I go to the grave and make my bed in darkness? What if I call the grave my father, and the maggot my mother or my sister? Where then is my hope? Can anyone find it? No, my hope will go down with me to the grave. We will rest together in the dust!”’ Job 17:1-16
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: