Highlights In Today's Reading:
Job has faith that God will deal with the wicked in His way (chap. 21 & 24). Learn from Job's "friends" — don't be too quick to condemn and judge (chap. 22). Job has faith, he will come forth as gold (23:10).
In his final attempt to convince Job, Zophar said: The heaven shall reveal his (Job's) iniquity. . . . This is the portion of a wicked man (20:27,29). Zophar reasoned that wicked men are miserable; and, since Job was exceedingly miserable, he must be exceedingly wicked. But Job answered and said, Hear diligently my speech, and let this be your consolations (21:1-2). The Hebrew meaning of Hear diligently my speech is "Listen attentively to what I have to say to you." You came to me for the purpose of giving me consolations. You have wholly failed. All that you have said has only increased my sorrow. It will be some comfort if I am permitted to express my response without interruption. I will accept your silence as a proof of your kindness in an attempt to comfort me. Your open ears afford more comfort than your open mouths."
The verse is to be understood ironically: "I am now about to give you consolations similar to that which you have given me. Be so kind as to give me a patient hearing, and that shall pass for your consolation of me. This was Job's sarcastic response to Zophar and his friends.
Job reasoned that since God is faithful to His Word, He would be faithful to His servant: My foot hath held His steps, His way have I kept, and not declined. Neither have I gone back from the Commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food (23:11-12).
Job had the utmost confidence in the wisdom and love of God: Behold, I go forward, but . . . I cannot behold Him . . . But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold (23:8-10).
Job's faith did not rest in his feelings or circumstances but in the Word of God. He knew that he would come forth as gold. With faith like Job, we can thank God for sufferings and times of being misunderstood.
In every generation there are faithful Christians who have learned that only by reading all of the Word of God can they know His will in order to walk in His ways. They have the utmost confidence that His Word is their source of true strength and the answer to all critics.
It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt. 4:4).
Thought for Today:
Laying aside . . . all evil speakings . . . desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby (I Pet. 2:1-2).
Through Job's faithfulness to God throughout his suffering (Job 23:10-12). Christ's faithfulness to the Father is seen as He prayed for the Father's will to be done, not His own (Luke 22:42).
21:2 consolations = sympathy; 21:3 Suffer = Allow; 21:8 seed = children; 21:10 gendereth = breeds; casteth not = does not miscarry; 21:29 tokens = testimony and experience; 24:5 rising betimes for a prey = seeking diligently for food; 24:21 evil entreateth = cruelly takes advantage of.
Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Billy W. Jackson Sr. • Government Official: Rep. George Radanovich (CA) • Country: San Marino (25,000) inside north-central Italy • Major language: Italian • Religious freedom • 95% Roman Catholic; 5% atheist • Prayer Suggestion: Offer your gift of praise to God in prayer (I Pet. 2:5).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:13