Highlights In Today's Reading:
A quick replay: Satan challenges God: "Take away Your favor and watch Job curse You" (1:11). Job, hurting and confused, cries to God. God is silent. God speaks with an avalanche of questions no man can answer (chap. 38 — 40) reminding Job of man's limited knowledge and His infinite wisdom. Job stands silent before God (40:3-5)!
God challenged Job to consider the limits of his wisdom compared to the wisdom of God, who created the vast constellations and planets that are spread throughout the heavens: Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? Declare, if thou hast understanding. . . . Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart? Who can number the clouds in wisdom? . . . Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct Him? (38:4,31,36-37; 40:2).
Neither the wisest astronomer nor the most spiritual person can explain or change one star in the marvelous array of Pleiades — one of the most beautiful clusters of stars visible to the naked eye. The only true explanation of the arrangement of the universe is that which is recorded in the Bible. It happened on the fourth day of Creation (Gen. 1:14-19).
The answer of God revealed to Job how unqualified he was to question why the Lord would allow him to experience such pitiful humiliation and intense suffering.
Like Job, we may experience many trials that cannot be explained. But, without exception, every sorrow or suffering in a Christian's life will eventually be revealed as the loving and wise forethought of our Heavenly Father. Nothing is unforeseen and no one is overlooked. Joseph is an example. He was taking his brothers food and they responded by selling him into slavery. He was eventually falsely imprisoned. Years passed but eventually he said to his brothers: Ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good (Gen. 50:20).
However, there are others who fail to yield to the will of the Lord; such sin eventually results in misery, disappointment, and suffering. No one should expect a miracle to deliver him from the consequences of his own willful misconduct. There must be genuine repentance and a desire to do the will of God (II Cor. 7:16).
Though God may allow us to suffer much pain and grief, He may do so to test our faith in Him and His Word.
Job could have become bitter against God when he faced such devastating trials — as many people have done in much less difficult situations — but, instead, he remained faithful to God (Job 23:8-12).
God, in His mercy, will always forgive, but this biblical principle remains in effect: Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Gal. 6:7).
Thought for Today:
I acknowledged my sin unto Thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Ps. 32:5).
As the One who laid the foundations of the earth (Job 38:4). By Christ, God created our universe (Heb. 1:1-2). All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:1-3).
38:9 swaddlingband = wrapping; 38:12 dayspring = dawn; 39:9 unicorn = wild ox; 40:21 fens = marshes.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Myrtle Margie Smith and Mrs. Roy Floyd • Staff: Beth Carlton • Government Official: Rep. Steven Driehaus (OH) • Country: Serbia and Montenegro (11 million) on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe • Major language: Serbo-Croatian • Religious conflict • 41% Serbian/Montenegrin/Macedonian Orthodox; 33% Catholic; 11% Muslim; 1% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for unity of spirit with other believers (I Pet. 3:8).
Optional Reading: Philippians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 7:14