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Bible Pathway - June 16, 2011


Read Job 5


Job's friends don't understand what happened (Job chaps. 5 & 8). Job responds with the wisdom of God (chap. 6) and then prays to God (7:16-21).

Job had suffered complete financial loss; all his children had been killed; his wife had turned against him; and he was experiencing intense physical suffering. Eliphaz was quick to criticize Job saying: Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty (Job 5:17). After listening to lengthy condemnation, Job replies in a pitiful plea: Oh that my grief were throughly weighed, and my calamity laid in the balances together! For now it would be heavier than the sand of the sea (6:2-3). In addition to all this, Job's "comforters" (16:2) were unmercifully accusing him: The hypocrite's hope shall perish (8:13).

For reasons Job did not understand, God was not coming to his defense: My words are swallowed up (6:3). Job's grief seemed more than he could bear — heavier than the sand of the sea. Though shaken, Job remained faithful to God. Then Job expressed his real sorrow: To him that is afflicted pity should be shewed from his friend (6:14).

When a child of God understands the reason for suffering, the heaviest load will not crush him. But when tragedy occurs with no sign of the presence of God, we are all prone to become discouraged. Too often, "friends" like Eliphaz and Bildad give hasty, harsh rebuke without sensing the intensity of the suffering. Bildad told Job: If thou wert pure and upright; surely now He would awake for thee, and make the habitation of thy righteousness prosperous (8:6).

Added to our suffering is the fact that we seldom understand the reason for our trials. In our human frailty, there are times when our faith is weak. But God will not allow us to suffer beyond what is necessary to accomplish His perfect will in our lives. One of the greatest evidences of the love of God for those who desire to be like the Master is for them to have affliction (Mark 10:29-30; John 15:18). Even Satan is used as a tool in the hand of God to develop His gracious purpose in the lives of His children.

Yes, God allowed Job to suffer; He also allows Christians today to suffer. But regardless of what happens we are more than conquerers through Him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life . . . nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come . . . shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:37-39).

Thought for Today:

What assurance and peace of mind come in trusting our heavenly Father!

Christ Revealed:

Through Job's sorrowful condition (Job 7:1-6). Christ was known as a Man of sorrows . . . acquainted with grief (Is. 53:3). On the cross, separated from God in His humanity, Jesus felt the pain of that separation as well as the pain and suffering for all the sins of mankind for all time (Mark 15:34).

Word Studies:

5:12 devices plans, plotting; enterprise schemes; 5:13 froward deceitful; carried head long frustrated; 5:18 maketh sore inflicts pain; 6:3 swallowed up wash; without restraint; 7:21 sleep in the dust be dead in the grave; 8:5 seek . . . betimes week with earnestness; 8:11 flag feed grass.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Staff: Ben Wallace • Government Officials: Gov. M. Jodi Rell (CT) and Rep. Robert Hurt (VA) • Country: Liberia (3 million) in West Africa • Major languages: English and more than 20 local languages of the Niger-Congo language group • Religious freedom • 41% ancestor worship and witchcraft; 21% Muslim; 13% Protestant; 2% Roman Catholic • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others (Num. 21:7).

Optional Reading:

Galatians 5

Memory Verse for the Week:

Acts 2:21

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