June 15

Read Job 1 -- 4

In Today's Reading:

Job's wealth and godliness; Satan permitted to afflict Job; critical counsel by Job's wife and his three friends

Without the Holy Scriptures, we would never understand the reason for suffering. Job, the faithful servant of the Lord, was stripped of his family, possessions, reputation, and health. But his suffering was not misfortune or bad luck, nor was it punishment from God for sin as his friends mistakenly assumed. Our Creator, Who knows our innermost thoughts, declared that Job was blameless, that he feared God and avoided evil (Job 1:1).

Behind all the world's evil is Satan, going back and forth throughout the world (1:7) in his continuous effort to destroy all that is good. But Satan is under the constant surveillance of God and can do nothing without His permission.

Satan assumed that, like every self-serving person, Job was faithful only because God would reward him. During his intense suffering and testing, Job's wife even suggested that he denounce God, and commit suicide (2:9). She too had suffered loss, but it seems that her greatest loss was her faith in God. Job realized he was not the owner of all he possessed, not even of his children, but was merely the Lord's manager of things entrusted to his care. From there, it was just one more step of faith for Job to accept that God, in His infinite wisdom, had the right to reclaim His possessions anytime He chose. Job let all his friends know that everything he had owned was the result of God's blessings and that God had the right to remove them. Instead of denouncing God, he declared he would continue to worship the Lord (1:21).

Just as Satan used Job's "friends" to belittle and condemn him, Satan often uses someone close to you, such as family, friends, coworkers, and even fellow church members, to tempt you to be disloyal to the Lord. Satan, like a roaring lion, seeks to destroy your influence for Christ — either through sin or even through good activities which take time away from accomplishing the will of God (I Peter 5:8). The roar of a lion gets our attention, but he is all bluff. We can rest with the utmost confidence that our God, the Master Planner, is still in full control (Hebrews 13:8).

Christ Revealed:

In the conversation between Satan and God Almighty (Job 1:6-12). We can see the meaning of Christ's statement to Peter that Satan wanted to sift him as wheat (Luke 22:31). It is comforting to know that Satan cannot test us beyond the will of God.

Word Studies:

1:20 rent = tore; mantle = robe; 2:8 potsherd = piece of broken pottery; 3:16 untimely birth = stillborn; 3:24 roarings = cries, groanings; 4:2 assay = venture; 4:4 have upholden = helped.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Youth With A Mission/Richmond and Stanley Christy · The International Shortwave Radio Broadcast in memory of Jane McDonald Brooks · Government Officials: Rep. Richard Larsen (WA), Rep. Adam Smith (WA), and Rep. Todd Tiahrt (KS)· Country: French Guiana (168,000) on the northern coast of South America · Major Language: French · Religious freedom · 88% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray with great faith and the Lord will answer (Matthew 21:22).

Optional Reading: Galatians 4

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 3:17