On Thanksgiving-eve, can you be thankful?


THE STORY OF JOB. – DAY 15

What if you had lost your possessions? What if you had lost your monetary worth? What if you had lost your children? What if you had lost your health? Could you still find a way to be thankful?

What if your friends started to judge you? What if your friends started to accuse you? What if your friends started to attack you? What if your friends started to try and shame you? What if your friends blamed you for something you didn’t do? Could you still find a way to be thankful?

Can you find hope in the midst of troubles? Can you find joy in the midst of trials? Can be thankful FOR THE things God has done in and through you? Can you be thankful EVEN THOUGH things haven’t always been easy? Can you be thankful BECAUSE OF the trials and tests and troubles, knowing that they will all work together for God because of your faith and trust in God?


Today’s reading of Job from God’s Word comes from Job 11:


‘Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said, “Shall a multitude of words not be answered? And should a talkative man [making such a long-winded defense] be acquitted? Should your boasts and babble silence men? And shall you scoff and no one put you to shame? For you have said, ‘My teaching (doctrine) [that God knowingly afflicts the righteous] is pure, And I am innocent in your eyes.’ But oh, that God would speak, And open His lips [to speak] against you, And [that He would] show you the secrets of wisdom! For sound wisdom has two sides. Know therefore that God forgets a part of your wickedness and guilt. “Can you discover the depths of God? Can you [by searching] discover the limits of the Almighty [ascend to His heights, extend to His widths, and comprehend His infinite perfection]? His wisdom is as high as the heights of heaven. What can you do? It is deeper than Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead). What can you know? It is longer in measure [and scope] than the earth, And broader than the sea. If God passes by or arrests, Or calls an assembly [of judgment], who can restrain Him? [If He is against a man, who can call Him to account for it?] For He recognizes and knows false and worthless men, And He sees wickedness, will He not consider it? But a hollow (empty-headed) man will become intelligent and wise [Only] when the colt of a wild donkey is born as a man. “If you direct your heart [on the right path] And stretch out your hands to Him, If sin is in your hand, put it far away [from you], And do not let wrongdoing dwell in your tents; Then, indeed, you could lift up your face [to Him] without moral defect, And you would be firmly established and secure and not fear. For you would forget your trouble; You would remember it as waters that have passed by. And your life would be brighter than the noonday; Darkness [then] would be like the morning. Then you would trust [with confidence], because there is hope; You would look around you and rest securely. You would lie down with no one to frighten you, And many would entreat and seek your favor. But the eyes of the wicked will fail, And they will not escape [the justice of God]; And their hope is to breathe their last [and die].”’

Job 11

Today’s study comes from these two sources:


Study Notes:

We see another one of Job’s friends step in today and look for an audience with God too, but unfortunately Zophah was wanted the audience in order for God to speak to Job’s iniquity and need to repent. We see how another close friend of Job decides to accuse Job that what he has been going through must be in retaliation to something he had done wrong. As with Job’s other friend who spoke, Zophah is trying to get Job to repent without realizing the reality of the situation. Just as the disciples ask Jesus who sinned to make the man blind from birth, Job’s friends are assuming guilt because of the struggles Job has been going through. Zophah gets started with rebuke · reprimand · reproach · admonishment · admonition · reproval · remonstration · disapproval · disapprobation · criticism · censure · blame · condemnation · fault-finding · telling-off · rap over the knuckles · slap on the wrist · dressing down · blast · ticking off · wigging · serve · rating · reprehension and censure · criticism · castigation · stricture · denunciation · damnation · vilification · opprobrium · reproof · disapproval · disapprobation · flak · a bad press · reprobation · arraignment · excoriation · objurgation. We know from the Bible that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. We also know that God convicts us out of love unlike Satan who condemns in order to destroy. Zophah starts out with the assumption that for all this to have happened that Job is guilty. Zophah then goes on to name call Job a talker, a liar, and a mocker. Zophah takes Job’s claim of integrity and twists it by going to the extreme that Job was really saying he was sinless and then Zophah attacked him for it. Zophah wouldn’t stop there, he alleges that not only was Job guilty and unrepentant but also an empty talker, with all that hot air he was spouting off about his innocence and God’s apparent injustice was enough that Zophah would have to speak up and take a stand. Even though Job had earlier acknowledged his sin while maintaining his innocence, Zophah had to respond and retaliate.

As I consider this and ponder this, the words “vengeance is mine says the Lord” come to mind in that we shouldn’t and don’t need to be judging others about things we don’t know and we don’t understand because God won’t be fooled nor mocked and He is able to take care of things himself without our need to judge and accuse. Let’s not fall into the first response being to accuse or assume, let’s make our first response to turn to God for wisdom and discernment how He would choose to use us in the midst of a friends troubles and trials? We need to be considering how when we point at someone there are other fingers pointing back at ourselves and we need to be checking our own lives and hearts and take responsibility and accountability for our own lives. We need to be looking in the mirror and considering what do we need to be doing about our own lives to get more aligned with God’s will and purpose and plan. Receiving Jesus gives us salvation, but God’s plan is that we will have life and life more abundantly and so we need to be move forward from that starting point in alignment with His purpose, plan, and will in order to walk into all the good He has planned for our lives, even in the midst of the trials and troubles.

As we get to verse 5 and following, we learn in today’s study how the words being spoken by Zophah to Job were not helpful but hurtful, they would be helpful if it had been a self-reflection to himself, but in the position Job was in the words brought little to no value.

Verses 5-6: Pastor and scholar Andrew W. Blackwood wrote about this passage, “Such a remark might have considerable value if spoken while looking into the mirror. But from a man who is not suffering, to a man who is suffering, this remark is cruel and utterly without any value at all.”

Job 11:5 “But oh that God would speak, and open his lips against thee;” Plead with thee according to thy desire: he would soon put thee to silence. We are commonly ready, with great assurance, to interest God in our quarrels. But they are not always in the right who are most forward to appeal to his judgment, and prejudge it against their antagonists.

Job 11:6 “And that he would show thee the secrets of wisdom, that [they are] double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee [less] than thine iniquity [deserveth].” “Secrets of wisdom”: Job would have been much wiser if he had only known the unknowable secret of God; in this case the scene in heaven between God and Satan would have clarified everything. But Job couldn’t know the secret wisdom of God (verses 7-9). Zophar should have applied his point to himself. If God’s wisdom was so deep, high, long and broad, how was it that he could understand it and have all the answers? Like his friends, Zophar thought he understood God and reverted to the same law of retaliation, the sowing and reaping principle, to again indict Job. He implied that Job was wicked (verses 10-11), and thought he was wise, thought actually he was out of control as if he were a “wild donkey” (verse 12). As terrible as the attack of Satan had been on Job, Zophar felt that it was not enough for the sins of Job. Zophar wanted God to speak out loud and condemn Job, where they could all hear it. In God is all Wisdom and Truth. Zophar was saying to Job, that he had no wisdom. He thought if Job had been wise, he would have repented of his sins by now.

Job 11:7 “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Literally, can you attain to the searching out of God? Can you suppose, that is, that whatever your wisdom, learning, subtlety, sagacity, power of insight, you will be able to search out and fully know the character, attributes, modes of thought and actions of the Most High? No. In one sense, all men do well to profess themselves “Agnostics”. Not that they can know nothing of God, but that they can never know him fully and never exhaust the knowledge of him. As the apostle says, “O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God”! “how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been his counsellor?” (Rom. 11:33-34). “Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” Rather. Can you attain to the perfection of the Almighty? Understand, i.e., his inconceivable perfectness. He was asking Job if he thought that he really could know God? He was saying that the wisdom and knowledge of Job would not help him to know God. He was telling Job, that in no way could he measure up to the expectations of the Almighty God. Zophar was a tormenter, not a comforter.

Job 11:8 “[It is] as high as heaven; what canst thou do? Deeper than hell; what canst thou know?” Literally, the heights of the heavens; what can you do? But the meaning is probably that expressed in the Authorized Version. God’s perfectness is unattainable by man’s thought, as the heights of the heavens are by his feet. Deeper than hell; literally, than Sheol, or the receptacle of the dead (see comment on Job 10:21). Paul speaks of the “deep things,” or rather, “the depths” of God (see 1 Cor. 2:10). “What canst thou know? How small a part of the Divine nature can any man thoroughly comprehend and know!

Job 11:9 “The measure thereof [is] longer than the earth, and broader than the sea.” Length is generally ascribed to the earth, and width to the sea. The ends of the earth are used for a great distance, and the sea is called the great and wide sea (see Psalm 72:1). But God and his perfections, particularly his wisdom and understanding, are infinite (Psalm 147:5). And will admit of no dimensions; as his love, so his wisdom, has a height which cannot be reached, a depth that cannot be fathomed, and a length and breadth immeasurable (see Eph. 3:18). From hence it appears that God is omniscient, omnipresent, and incomprehensible; and since he is to be found in Christ, and in him only, it is in vain for us to seek for him elsewhere. Next the sovereignty of God is spoken of. This was speaking of the perfection of the Almighty filling the earth and the seas. The following Scripture says it best.

Job Chapter 11 Study

Ever had someone throw your words back in your face and use them in the totally opposite way? We see starting in Job 11:10 how Zophah does just that.

Verses 10-12: In his rhetorical question in 9:12, Job had compared his own cries to the braying of a wild donkey (6:5). Here, Zophar echoes his question but draws the opposite conclusion and accuses Job of being foolish and “empty-headed” (Psalms 10:14: 39:5).

Job 11:10 “If he cut off, and shut up, or gather together, then who can hinder him?” Namely, a person or family. “And shut up”: In prison, or in the hands of an enemy, or in the net of affliction and trouble (Psalm 66:11). “Or gather together”: Make our condition straight and narrow, as some interpret it. Or, gather together as tares to the fire, or gather to himself man’s breath and spirit (Job 34:14). “Then who can hinder him? From doing what he pleases with his creatures? Who can either block the sentence, or oppose the execution? Who can control his power or arraign his wisdom and justice? If he, who made all out of nothing, thinks fit to reduce all to nothing; if he that separated between light and darkness, dry land and sea at first, is pleased to gather them together again. If he that made, think proper to unmake, who can turn him; alter his mind, or stay his hand, or impede or impeach his proceedings? The answer of course, was no one, not even Satan. We must keep remembering that God gave Satan permission to do this to Job. This was in no way a punishment on Job for sins. This was a proving to Satan and to the on-looking angels that Job was truly a righteous man, and that nothing Satan could do to him would change that.

Job 11:11 “For he knoweth vain men: he seeth wickedness also; will he not then consider [it]?” Though men know but little of God, and therefore are very unfit judges of his counsels and actions, yet God knows man exactly. He knows that every man in the world is guilty of much vanity and folly, and therefore sees sufficient reason for his severity against the best men. “He seeth wickedness also”: He perceives the wickedness of evil men, though it be covered with the veil of religion. “Will he not then consider it?” Shall he only see it as an idle spectator, and not observe it as a judge to punish it? The worst of this was that Zophar was accusing Job of being vain in his own conceit. He was saying that Job had been pretending to be a Godly man, but was not faithful to God in his heart.

Job 11:12 “For vain man would be wise, though man be born [like] a wild ass’s colt.” Man, who since the fall is void of all true wisdom, pretends to be wise, and able to pass a censure upon all God’s ways and works. “Born like a wild ass’s colt”: Ignorant, dull, and stupid, as to divine things, and yet heady and untraceable. Such is man by his birth; this evil is now natural and hereditary, and therefore common to all men. Of consequence it is not strange, if Job partake of the common distemper. Zophar believed that the troubles which had come to Job was because he was vain and puffed up with pride. Zophar believed they came on Job to cause him to repent.

Job Chapter 11 Study

With Zophah’s assumption of Job being a sinner, He points to God’s power of forgiveness if Job will be willing to confess his sin and repent. We learn how Zophah seemed to believe God worked on a tit for tat type of a system or that you get something from God because you first gave God something. But the earth is the Lord’s and everything it, there is nothing we can give God that He doesn’t already have.

We know that isn’t how God’s economy works. We know that isn’t how God works. We know that even simply through the example of Jesus who while we were yet sinners, He died for us. God didn’t wait for us to be good enough, clean enough, smart enough, … He knew that the only way to make a way was to take things into His own hands and hence the ultimate sacrifice, once for all, made a way when there didn’t seem to be a way.

We learn as we start in verse 13 how Zophah continues with the message to Job with the conclusion that his sin would lead to his death.

Verses 13-20: Zophar continues to assume that Job is a sinner but reminds him that God will forgive his sin upon his confession and repentance. Zophar asserted that God operates on the basis of “You give Me something, and I will give you something.” But God does not operate this way. His creation has nothing to give Him that is worth any value (Isa. 64:6).

Verses 13-14: Zophar started out this section speaking directly to Job, “If thou prepare …” and concluded speaking proverbially, “But the “eyes of the wicked …”. In so doing Zophar avoided directly calling Job wicked, but succeeded with ever greater force by being indirect. In the end, he told Job that his sin would bring about his death.

Job 11:13 “If thou prepare thine heart, and stretch out thine hands toward him;” Thy business, O Job, is not to quarrel with thy Maker, or his works. But to address thyself to him by prayer and supplication, sincerely repenting of all your hard speeches, and other sins against God, and seeking him with a pure and upright heart; without which your prayers will be in vain. “Stretch out thine hands”: I.e. pray, which is here described by its usual gesture (as Job 15:25; Psalm 88:9). “Towards him”: I.e. to God, as appears both from the nature of the thing, and from the context.

Job 11:14 “If iniquity [be] in thine hand, put it far away, and let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles.” If you have in your hand, or possession, any goods gotten by injustice or oppression, as it seems they supposed he had. Or, he means more generally, if you allow yourself in any sinful practices, the hand being put for action, whereof it is the instrument. “Put it far away”: Keep yourself at a great distance, not only from such actions, but also from the very occasions and appearances of them. “Let not wickedness dwell in thy tabernacles”: That is, in thy habitation, either in thyself or in thy family. Whose sins Job was obliged, as far as he could, to prevent or reform, as it seems he had done (Job 1:5). He said, tabernacles, because anciently the habitations of great men consisted of several tents or tabernacles. He was giving Job advice here. He wanted Job to put his wickedness far from him, so that God would hear his plea for forgiveness.

Job 11:15 “For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea, thou shalt be steadfast, and shalt not fear:” With cheerfulness and holy boldness. “Without spot”: Having a clear and unspotted conscience. “Yea, thou shalt be steadfast”: Shall have a strong and comfortable assurance of God’s favor, and shalt be settled, without any fear of losing thy happiness. After Job had driven his iniquity out of his life, then he could look to heaven and to God for help. He reminded Job that if he was steadfast in the LORD, he had nothing to fear.

Job 11:16 “Because thou shalt forget [thy] misery, [and] remember [it] as waters [that] pass away:” Thy happiness shall be so great that it shall blot out the remembrance of thy past miseries. “And remember it as waters that pass away”: Remember it no more than men remember either a land-flood, which, as it comes, so it goes away suddenly and leaves few or no marks or memorials behind it. Or the waters of a river, which pass by in constant succession. Zophar believed that if Job would repent, his troubles would go away and he would remember them no more. It would be gone as the water passes away.

Job 11:17 “And [thine] age shall be clearer than the noonday; thou shalt shine forth, thou shalt be as the morning.” Literally, shall arise above the noonday; i.e. “exceed it in splendor.” Instead of the “thick darkness” to which Job is looking forward (Job 10:21-22). He shall bask in a light brighter than that of the sun at noon. “Thou shalt shine forth”: The Hebrew cannot possibly bear this meaning. The uncommon word used is allied with “obscurity”, and if a verb should mean “thou shalt be obscure,” rather than “thou shalt shine forth.” But it is perhaps a substantive, meaning “darkness;” and the translation of the Revised Version is perhaps correct: “Though there be darkness.” “Thou shalt be as the morning”: “Thy light,” as Professor Lee explains, “shall gradually rise and expand itself far and wide.” It shall dispel the darkness, and take its place,” shining more and more unto the perfect day” (Proverbs 4:18). Zophar was saying if Job would do as he had suggested, he would not face the darkness of the grave and hell. He would bask in the Light of the LORD which was greater than the noonday sun. He would be renewed in the LORD.

Job 11:18 “And thou shalt be secure, because there is hope; yea, thou shalt dig [about thee, and] thou shalt take thy rest in safety.” From coming into like darkness, difficulties, and distress again, and from every evil and enemy. Nothing shall come nigh to disturb and hurt, nothing to be feared from any quarter, all around: or “shalt be confident”. Have a strong faith and full assurance of it, in the love of God, in the living Redeemer, and in the promises which respect the life that now is, and that which is to come. “Because there is hope”: Of the mercy of God, of salvation by Christ, and of eternal glory and happiness, as well as of a continuance of outward prosperity. Faith and hope mutually assist each other. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, and hope of better and future things on a good foundation encourages faith and confidence. “Yea, thou shalt dig about thee”: To let in stakes for the pitching and fixing of tents to dwell in, and for more commodious pasturage. Or for wells of water, for the supply both of the family and the flocks. Or rather, for ditches and trenches to secure from thieves and robbers, or for drains to carry off floods of water. “And thou shalt take thy rest in safety”: Lie down on the bed and sleep in the night season in peace and quietness, having nothing to fear. Being well entrenched, and secure from plundering and flooding. And, more especially, being hedged about and protected by the power and providence of God (see Psalm 3:5). The Targum is, “thou shall prepare a grave, and lie down, and sleep secure.” Zophar was saying something that really would happen to Job after he was restored. It was not something that Zophar really wanted for Job however. He said this to remind Job of the wonders of how it used to be. Job’s hope was not in what Zophar had said, or not said, but in the LORD.

Job 11:19 “Also thou shalt lie down, and none shall make [thee] afraid; yea, many shall make suit unto thee.” Either lie down on his bed, as before, or by his flocks, and where they lie down, and none should disturb him or them. Not thieves and robbers, such as the Chaldeans and Sabeans had been to him, nor lions, bears, or wolves. “Yea, many shall make suit unto thee”: Make their supplications, present their requests and petitions for relief under necessitous circumstances, or for protection from the injuries and insults of others. As the poor and needy, the widow and fatherless, had done to him in times past, when in his prosperity, and when he was a friend unto them, and the father of them (see Prov. 19:6). Or, “the great ones shall make suit to thee”; to have his favor and friendship, his counsel and advice, his company and conversation. He should be applied unto and courted by men of all sorts, which would be no small honor to him (see Psalm 45:12). When Job was restored, there would be no warring parties from his neighbors. Instead of stealing from Job, they would be bringing things to him. Again, this was not what Zophar wished for Job, but it was what would happen.

Job 11:20 “But the eyes of the wicked shall fail, and they shall not escape, and their hope [shall be as] the giving up of the ghost.” Or be consumed. Either with grief and fears for their sore calamities; or with long looking for what they shall never attain, as this phrase is taken (Psalm 69:3; Jer. 14:6; Lam. 4:17). And this shall be thy condition; O Job, if thou persist in thine impiety. “They shall not escape”: They shall never obtain deliverance out of their distresses, but shall perish in them. “As the giving up of the ghost”: I.e. shall be as vain and desperate as the hope of life is in a man, when he is at the very point of death. Or, as a puff of breath, which is gone in a moment without all hopes of recovery. Zophar was speaking this, as if it was the fate of Job. In reality, he was speaking of himself and what would come to him, because he had spoken evil of Job. He was saying that Job had no other hope, but death. He would be needing the prayers of Job to save himself from the fate he just spoke of Job.

Job Chapter 11 Study

So where are you at today? Are you ready to lean into all that God has for you? Are you ready to persevere and trust and have your faith built up? My hope and prayer is that You will ask Jesus into your heart so that I will get to spend eternity in God’s presence with you. Are you ready for forgiveness and peace? Are you ready for a hope and a future? Are you ready for a transformation where the old is gone and the new has come? Are you ready to being the journey of knowing right from wrong? Then let’s pray together to invite Jesus into your heart and your life so that His peace which surpasses all understanding can guide you and comfort you, protect your heart and mind in Christ Jesus. If this is the first time you have prayed to invite Jesus into your heart, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If this is a re commitment to Jesus, leave me a comment so that I can rejoice with the angels in Heaven. If you are still questioning or seeking, don’t go it alone, feel free to leave me a comment so we can discuss it.

Let’s pray:

^^^^^^^^^^^Will you be willing to put your name there today?

Partial obedience isn’t obedience at all!


Can you be partially obedient? Or is that being disobedient? What part of obedience can be ignored and not make it disobedience? How could you do part of the request and not the other part and think that is good enough? Do you realize that partial obedience isn’t obedience at all? Partial obedience is disobedience!

Ever tried to hide it but then something happened to give it away? Be it a sound? Be it a smell? Be it a visual? Hiding the part that you didn’t obey doesn’t mean you obeyed! How will you handle getting caught? Will you admit to it right away and ask for forgiveness? Will you try to dig a deeper hole to fall into and lie? Partial obedience is still disobedience!

Today’s reading starts with such a subject where God commanded Saul to destroy everything but they only destroyed the worthless and feeble. God commanded Saul to destroy everyone but they kept the king alive…Partial obedience isn’t obedience at all!

Saul Spares Agag of Amalek

1Then Samuel said to Saul, “Adonai sent me to anoint you as king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, listen to the voice of the words of Adonai! 2Thus says Adonai-Tzva’ot: ‘I remember what Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him on the way while he was coming up from Egypt. 3Now go and strike down Amalek and put all he has under the ban of destruction—so have no pity on him; but kill both men and women, children and nursing infants, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” 4So Saul summoned the troops and numbered them in Telaim: 200,000 foot soldiers and 10,000 men of Judah. 5Saul advanced to the city of Amalek and lay in wait in the valley. 6Then Saul said to the Kenites, “Go, depart, get down from among the Amalekites, or else I may destroy you with them—for you showed kindness to all Bnei-Yisrael when they came up from Egypt.” So the Kenites withdrew from among the Amalekites. 7Then Saul struck down the Amalekites from Havilah until you come to Shur, which is close to Egypt. 8He captured King Agag of Amalek alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword. 9But Saul and the people spared Agag as well as the best of the sheep, the cattle, even the fatlings and the lambs, and all that was good, since they were not willing to utterly destroy them; everything that was worthless and feeble, they destroyed completely. 10Then the word of Adonai came to Samuel saying: 11“I regret that I made Saul king, for he has turned back from following Me and has not carried out My commands.” So Samuel was troubled and cried out to Adonai all night long. 12Then Samuel rose early in the morning to confront Saul. But it was reported to Samuel saying, “Saul went to Carmel—for some reason, he erected a monument for himself. Then he turned and went down to Gilgal.” 13Now when Samuel reached Saul, Saul said to him, “Blessed are you of Adonai! I have carried out Adonai’s command.” 14But Samuel said, “Then what is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen that I hear?” 15“They brought them from the Amalekites,” Saul replied, “for the people spared the best of the sheep and oxen to sacrifice to Adonai your God—but the rest we have utterly destroyed.” 16“Stop!” Samuel said to Saul. “Let me tell you what Adonai said to me last night.” “Say on,” he said. 17Then Samuel said, “Isn’t it true, though you were insignificant in your own eyes, that you were made head of the tribes of Israel? Adonai anointed you king over Israel! 18Then Adonai sent you on a mission and said: ‘Go and utterly destroy the Amalekites, the sinners, and wage war against them until you annihilate them.’ 19Why then did you not obey the voice of Adonai, but rushed greedily onto the spoil—doing what was evil in Adonai’s eyes?” 20“But I did obey the voice of Adonai,” Saul said to Samuel. “I went on the mission on which Adonai sent me, and brought back Agag the king of Amalek—and utterly destroyed the Amalekites. 21But the people took some of the spoil, sheep and oxen—the best of what was under the ban of destruction— to sacrifice to Adonai your God in Gilgal.” 22Samuel said: “Does Adonai delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as in obeying the voice of Adonai? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, to pay heed than the fat of rams. 23For rebellion is like the sin of divination and stubbornness is like iniquity and idolatry. Since you have rejected Adonai’s word, He has also rejected you as king.” 24Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned! For I have transgressed against the word of Adonai and your words—because I feared the people and listened to their voice. 25So now, please pardon my sin and return with me, that I may worship Adonai.” 26But Samuel said to Saul, “I will not return with you, for you have rejected the word of Adonai, and Adonai has rejected you as king over Israel.” 27As Samuel turned about to go, Saul seized the edge of his robe, and it tore. 28Then Samuel said to him, “Adonai has torn the kingship over Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor who is better than you. 29Moreover, the Eternal Glory of Israel does not lie or change His mind. For He is not human that He should change His mind.” 30Then Saul said, “I have sinned! But please, honor me now before the elders of my people and before Israel, and return with me until I bow in worship to Adonai your God.” 31So Samuel returned after Saul, and Saul bowed in worship to Adonai. 32Then Samuel said, “Bring me Agag the king of Amalek.” Agag approached him in chains, thinking, “Surely bitter death has turned back.” 33Then Samuel said, “As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women.” Then Samuel cut Agag into pieces before Adonai in Gilgal. 34Samuel then went to Ramah, while Saul went up to his house in Gibeah of Saul. 35Samuel never did see Saul again until the day of his death. Yet Samuel mourned over Saul, while Adonai regretted that He had made Saul king over Israel.

–from 1 Samuel 15

God desires obedience over sacrifice! Will you reject the Word of God? Will you run that risk? So let’s hear what God is saying to us and let’s get it done! God’s character is perfect! He says what He will do and He keeps His promises! You can trust Him at His Word! You can live aligned with Him and know that you have nothing to worry about because He is faithful!

Success can be your hardest challenge if you aren’t able to stay humble and submit to God! Success can be your hardest challenge if you start to believe it happened because of you!
Success can be your hardest challenge if you start to think you can do the rest on your own!

If you abuse it, you will lose it! Consider how Saul lost it and it was given over to David! God’s not interested in your appearance! God’s not interested in your strength! God’s not interested in how smart you are! God’s interested on what’s on the inside – what’s in your heart! God’s desire that you have a heart after His own plans, desires, purposes, and heart. Will you allow the Holy Spirit of God to rule your life? Will you ask the Holy Spirit to come in and lead and guide your every step? Will you ask the Holy Spirit to grant you wisdom and discernment so that you will walk in the ways of God? Imagine what God can do or could do with someone who would align with and have a heart after God! Would you ever want to lose that and have to live without the peace of God that goes beyond all understanding? Would you ever give up that peace for the tormenting that is the alternative?

Let’s continue as David comes into the picture…

Samuel Anoints David

1Now Adonai said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse the Beth-lehemite, for I have selected for Myself a king among his sons.” 2But Samuel replied, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” Adonai said, “Take a heifer with you and say: ‘I have come to sacrifice to Adonai.’ 3Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will let you know what you are to do. You will anoint for Me whom I tell you.” 4So Samuel did what Adonai said and went to Beth-lehem. The elders of the town came out to meet him trembling, and asked, “Do you come in shalom?” 5“In shalom,” he said. “I have come to sacrifice to Adonai. Consecrate yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” He also consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice. 6Upon their arrival, he saw Eliab and thought, “Surely, Adonai’s anointed one is before Him.” 7But Adonai said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or his stature, because I have already refused him. For He does not see a man as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but Adonai looks into the heart.” 8Then Jesse called Abinadab and made him pass before Samuel. But he said, “Neither has Adonai chosen this one.” 9Then Jesse made Shammah pass by and again he said, “Neither has Adonai chosen this one.” 10Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. But Samuel said to Jesse, “Adonai has not chosen any of these.” 11Then Samuel asked Jesse, “Are these all the boys you have?” “There’s still the youngest,” he replied. But right now, he’s tending the sheep.” “Send and bring him,” Samuel said to Jesse, “for we will not sit down until he comes here.” 12So he sent word and had him come. Now he was ruddy-cheeked, with beautiful eyes and a handsome appearance. Then Adonai said, “Arise, anoint him, for this is the one.” 13So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. From that day on Ruach Adonai came mightily upon David. Then Samuel rose up and went to Ramah.

David Soothes Saul’s Torment

14Now the Ruach Adonai had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from Adonai terrified him. 15So Saul’s courtiers said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16Let our lord now command your courtiers in your service to search for a man who is a skillful player on the harp. Then whenever the evil spirit from God comes on you, he will play with his instrument and you will feel better.” 17So Saul said to his courtiers, “Find me someone who can play well and bring him to me.” 18One of the young men answered and said, “I have seen a son of Jesse the Beth-lehemite who is skillful in playing music. He is a mighty man of valor, a warrior, prudent in speech, a handsome man, and Adonai is with him.” 19So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is with the flock.” 20So Jesse took a donkey, loaded it with bread, a bottle of wine and a young goat, and sent them with his son David to Saul. 21Then David came to Saul and became one of his attendants. Saul loved him greatly, so David became his armor-bearer. 22Then Saul sent word to Jesse saying, “Let David now keep attending me, for he has found favor in my eyes.” 23It came to pass, whenever the spirit from God came upon Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand. So Saul would find relief and feel better, as the evil spirit departed from him.

–from 1 Samuel 16

So, do you trust Him? Do you really trust Him? Do your words point to the fact that you trust Him? Do your actions point to the fact that you trust Him? Does your life speak to the truth of your trust in Him? How is your life difference because you are able to trust Him? Does it make you live in a way that others are able to tell there is a difference? Put your trust in God! Live it out with Him! Can you live outside the ways of man where you have to see it to believe it? Can you believe God’s Word and God’s character without seeing it? Can you live a God centered life rather than going the way of man? Can you live a life where God’s character isn’t in question but rather it is trusted to the point where it makes a difference in how you live your life? So many want to be able to define right and wrong for themselves. So many want to live life with what seems right in their own lives. Do you see the impact it is having on society? Let’s not lose hope! Let’s not lose faith! Let’s put our trust fully in God and try to allow others into the reality of God and His plans, purposes, and ways  for them in their lives! Let’s be God’s hands extended into this dark world! Let’s be the salt and the light that God has called us out to be! Let’s answer the call and share it with the world! That in and through it all, God will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Healing Those who Trust

1When He came down from the mountain, large crowds followed Him.
2And a man with tza’arat came to Him and bowed down before Him, saying, “Master, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”
3Yeshua stretched out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing. Be cleansed.” Immediately his tza’arat was cleansed.
4And Yeshua said to him, “See that you tell no one; but go show yourself to the kohen and offer the gift that Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
5Now when Yeshua came into Capernaum, a centurion came begging for help.
6“Master,” he said, “my servant is lying at home paralyzed, horribly tormented.”
7Yeshua said to him, “I’ll come and heal him.”
8But the centurion said, “Master, I’m not worthy to have You come under my roof. But just say the word and my servant will be healed.
9For 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.”
10Now when Yeshua heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Amen, I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith!
11Moreover, I tell you that many will come from the east and the west, and they will recline at table with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.
12But the sons of the kingdom will be driven out into the outer darkness; in that place will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13Then Yeshua said to the centurion, “Go. As you have believed, let it be done for you.” And the servant was healed in that same hour.
14And when Yeshua came into Peter’s house, He saw Peter’s mother-in-law lying down, sick with a fever.
15Yeshua touched her hand, and the fever left her. Then she got up and began to take care of Him.
16When evening came, the people brought to Him many who were afflicted by demons. He forced out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.
17So was fulfilled what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet, saying, “He Himself took our sicknesses and carried away our diseases.”

Following the Call

18Now when Yeshua saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to go to the other side of the sea.
19Then a Torah scholar came to Him and said, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.”
20Yeshua tells him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
21Then another of the disciples said, “Master, first let me go and bury my father.”
22But Yeshua tells him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”

Master of the Storm

23As He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him.
24Suddenly a great storm arose on the sea, so that the boat was being covered by the waves. But Yeshua kept on sleeping.
25So they came and woke Him up, saying, “Master, save us! We’re perishing!”
26He said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became totally calm.
27The men were amazed, saying, “What kind of person is this? Even the winds and the sea obey Him!”

Freedom from Demons

28When He came to the other side, into the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-plagued men coming from the graveyard met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass by that way.
29And they screamed, “What’s between You and us, Ben-Elohim? Have You come here to torment us, before the appointed time?”
30Now a large herd of pigs was feeding some distance away from them.
31The demons kept begging Him, “If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”
32And He told them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the cliff into the sea and drowned.
33The herdsmen ran away, went into the town, and told everything, including what had happened to the demon-plagued men.
34The whole town came out to meet Yeshua. And when they saw him, they begged Him to leave their region.

–from Matthew 8

 

 

 

What will you do with the talents God has given you?


Talents has two meanings. One is a measure of gold and the other is a natural aptitude or skill. You’ve been given talents because you were created on purpose, for a purpose! The big question is that when Jesus comes back, what will He find has become of the talents you were given? Will you have multiplied them? 5x or even 10x the original amount? Will you just take what you have and not improve or multiply it? Are there areas you can improve? Are there things you would do that would increase your talents? How will you live in order to multiply what you were given and glorify God? Or are you willing to risk losing even what you had because you didn’t bother trying to increase and improve? Will you be a good and faithful servant who takes what you have been given and multiply it? You don’t want to risk the consequences do you?

How will you increase the talents God has given you?

Today’s reading starts with a parable from Jesus’ on this subject…

The Parable of the Gold Coins

(Matthew 25.14-30)
11While the people were listening to this, Jesus continued and told them a parable. He was now almost at Jerusalem, and they supposed that the Kingdom of God was just about to appear. 12So he said, “There was once a man of high rank who was going to a country far away to be made king, after which he planned to come back home. 13Before he left, he called his ten servants and gave them each a gold coin and told them, ‘See what you can earn with this while I am gone.’ 14Now, his own people hated him, and so they sent messengers after him to say, ‘We don’t want this man to be our king.’ 15“The man was made king and came back. At once he ordered his servants to appear before him, in order to find out how much they had earned. 16The first one came and said, ‘Sir, I have earned ten gold coins with the one you gave me.’ 17‘Well done,’ he said; ‘you are a good servant! Since you were faithful in small matters, I will put you in charge of ten cities.’ 18The second servant came and said, ‘Sir, I have earned five gold coins with the one you gave me.’ 19To this one he said, ‘You will be in charge of five cities.’ 20Another servant came and said, ‘Sir, here is your gold coin; I kept it hidden in a handkerchief. 21I was afraid of you, because you are a hard man. You take what is not yours and reap what you did not plant.’ 22He said to him, ‘You bad servant! I will use your own words to condemn you! You know that I am a hard man, taking what is not mine and reaping what I have not planted. 23Well, then, why didn’t you put my money in the bank? Then I would have received it back with interest when I returned.’ 24Then he said to those who were standing there, ‘Take the gold coin away from him and give it to the servant who has ten coins.’ 25But they said to him, ‘Sir, he already has ten coins!’ 26‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘that to those who have something, even more will be given; but those who have nothing, even the little that they have will be taken away from them. 27Now, as for those enemies of mine who did not want me to be their king, bring them here and kill them in my presence!’” –from Luke 19

How will you live? Will you live in a way that is glorifying to God? Will live a life that points to the truth? Will you be a good example to others? Will you point people to the truth, the way, and the life that God so desires for them? Today’s reading continues into Titus 2 on this topic…

Sound Doctrine

1But you must teach what agrees with sound doctrine. 2Instruct the older men to be sober, sensible, and self-controlled; to be sound in their faith, love, and endurance. 3In the same way instruct the older women to behave as women should who live a holy life. They must not be slanderers or slaves to wine. They must teach what is good, 4in order to train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, and to be good housewives who submit themselves to their husbands, so that no one will speak evil of the message that comes from God. 6In the same way urge the young men to be self-controlled. 7In all things you yourself must be an example of good behavior. Be sincere and serious in your teaching. 8Use sound words that cannot be criticized, so that your enemies may be put to shame by not having anything bad to say about us. 9Slaves are to submit themselves to their masters and please them in all things. They must not talk back to them 10or steal from them. Instead, they must show that they are always good and faithful, so as to bring credit to the teaching about God our Savior in all they do.
–from Titus 2

What do people learn from watching you? What do people learn from hearing you? What do you say even when you don’t speak? What do you say in the words that you choose to speak? Where does it point people? What do they receive? As servant leaders we are to serve! Let’s lead by example! God sees all, there is nothing hidden from Him. So let’s live lives that will point people to Jesus and the hope that comes from Him that is within us.

1A gentle answer quiets anger, but a harsh one stirs it up. 2When wise people speak, they make knowledge attractive, but stupid people spout nonsense. 3The Lord sees what happens everywhere; he is watching us, whether we do good or evil. 4Kind words bring life, but cruel words crush your spirit. 5It is foolish to ignore what your parents taught you; it is wise to accept their correction. 6Righteous people keep their wealth, but the wicked lose theirs when hard times come. 7Knowledge is spread by people who are wise, not by fools. 8The Lord is pleased when good people pray, but hates the sacrifices that the wicked bring him. 9The Lord hates the ways of evil people, but loves those who do what is right. 10If you do what is wrong, you will be severely punished; you will die if you do not let yourself be corrected. 11Not even the world of the dead can keep the Lord from knowing what is there; how then can we hide our thoughts from God? 12Conceited people do not like to be corrected; they never ask for advice from those who are wiser. 13When people are happy, they smile, but when they are sad, they look depressed. 14Intelligent people want to learn, but stupid people are satisfied with ignorance. 15The life of the poor is a constant struggle, but happy people always enjoy life. 16Better to be poor and fear the Lord than to be rich and in trouble. 17Better to eat vegetables with people you love than to eat the finest meat where there is hate.
–from Proverbs 15