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Julie Ferwerda Christian Blog and Commentary

OYB August 21

  • Julie Ferwerda
    Julie Ferwerda
    Are you ready for change in 2009? Grab a One Year Bible (NLT), commit to reading it daily, and join Julie Ferwerda on an extraordinary adventure that will transform your life as you experience its relevance in a fresh, understandable way. In addition to 20+ years in Bible teaching ministry, Julie is a professional speaker and writer. Her works have appeared in publications such as Focus on the Family, Discipleship Journal, Christianity Today, Marriage Partnership, Brio, and Revolve Biblezines & Devotional Bible (for teens). She's also the author of "The Perfect Fit: Piecing Together True Love," and also the upcoming book, "One Million Arrows for God: Raising Your Children to Change the World." Learn more at www.JulieFerwerda.com.
  • 2009 Aug 21
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Today's One Year Bible Reading

Job

1:6 One day the [lit. sons of God] came to present themselves before the Lord, and the Accuser, Satan, came with them. Remember back in the days of Noah when the "sons of God" were having sex with the daughters of men, and making giant babies (Nephilim), and how God destroyed the earth? And remember how we studied that one possibility was that these sons of God were angels leaving their proper domain (Jude) and polluting the gene pool, possibly preventing the line of Messiah? Well, I compared "sons of God" in Hebrew in both Job and Genesis, and it appears to be the same "sons of God" in both places. I think this gives weight to our theory!

Before our recent studies on God's sovereignty, and understanding that all creatures are created by Him and for Him, including principalities and dominions (Colossians 1), this passage never made sense to me. I always wondered what Satan could possibly be doing in God's realm, having a seemingly amicable conversation, and God forbid, being used as a refiner's fire in Job's life. But I get this now. I used to think of Satan as being completely out of God's realm, somewhere "down there" living in flames while hatching plots to make mankind as miserable as himself. This chapter made no sense whatsoever!

This goes with what we learned in 2 Chronicles 18:18: "Therefore, hear the word of the LORD. I saw the LORD sitting on His throne, and all the host of heaven standing on His right and on His left. This is a direct reference to "good" and "bad" angels, because in the next few verses God chooses a lying spirit from among those with Him to deceive King Ahab. When you begin to piece it together, it makes perfect sense!

1:13-19 If you and I think we have bad days? This was a bad, bad day. I can't even imagine all of it coming at once! I find it endearing that Job did not tear his robe in sorrow over his "things." It wasn't until the pronouncement of his children that he was buried in grief. Knowing Job, I don't believe his heart was in his things, but his heart was bound up in his children for sure! What a heart though:

1:21 "I came naked from my mother's womb, and I will be naked when I leave. The Lord gave me what I had, and the Lord has taken it away. Praise the name of the Lord!"

2:6 "All right, do with him as you please," the Lord said to Satan. "But spare his life." What's interesting is that Satan had to spare Job's life, but not all his field hands and workers. So God does give Satan the ability to take human life. This is so much more fair when you realize it is only for a short duration in the working of His plan.

2:10 But Job replied, "You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. This is a good life lesson.

2:13 Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and nights. No one said a word to Job, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words. These bozos started out with the right intent, but it only goes downhill from here.

3:1-19 This lament of Job is a picture of the futility of mankind since the onset of sin, and before there was knowledge of a Savior. In short, this is our story before the hope brought to us through Christ. I see Job's journey as a journey to understanding this hopeless futile state where nothing and no one satisfies or can help us, and then recognizing our need for a Savior to rescue us from the death and destruction brought into our lives by the sin of Adam (and eventually our own sin, which is inherited). It is really a beautiful picture for us today, and in coming chapters Job even sets up mankind with the questions like: who will intercede for me? Who will plead my case before God?

3:17-19, 23 For in death the wicked cause no trouble, and the weary are at rest. Even captives are at ease in death, with no guards to curse them. Rich and poor are both there, and the slave is free from his master. ...They're filled with joy when they finally die, and rejoice when they find the grave. Wow, this really blows the theory that people are already suffering in the flames of hell immediately after death, such as the way people try to interpret the parable of Lazarus and the rich man (which is a Jewish parable with a logical Jewish interpretation, by the way)! If anything, the way Job puts this, it is God's mercy when He slays the wicked, and puts them out of their miserable lives.

1 Corinthians

14:3 But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation. Yesterday I had a conversation with a woman who explained to me that she works with a woman who is always over-spiritualizing things, saying "God told me..." Usually her "prophetic words" seem irrational and unfounded, and only make her look foolish (and annoying!). Reading this verse, I think that any personal revelations we think we have from God that are not edifying to others should be kept to ourselves. We should only use our prophetic utterances (hopefully authentic) when they are able to speak edification, exhortation, and consolation into the lives of others (a.k.a. they are not all about "me"). I believe that true prophetic words from God are typically a "universal hope," something that would bring edification and/or consolation for anyone in that situation! That is how prophetic words to us are often part of our testimony in later times. We share from the hope and comfort we received in time of need, and it becomes strength for others in the same situations!

Psalm

37:15 But their swords will stab their own hearts, and their bows will be broken. This is a good reminder when facing the unjust treatment of our enemies.

37:18 Jehovah knoweth the days of the perfect, And their inheritance is -- to the age (YLT). Remember this is about the INHERITANCE—the MK. The inheritance is different than the ultimate destination, which will be wonderful as well! Gotta keep the rewards separate from the gift.