Bible Pathways Daily Bible Reading Devotional

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Bible Pathways 06/16/2003

June 16

Read Job 5 -- 8

In Today's Reading:

Eliphaz' rebuke of Job continues; Job's response; Job reproaches his friends; Bildad's theory about Job's affliction

Job was a popular, generous, wealthy man who had suffered the loss of all his wealth, his children, his health, and eventually his benevolent reputation. Finally, three friends came to "comfort" him.

After one full week of silent contemplation concerning Job's suffering, Eliphaz, the eldest of his friends, was the first to speak (Job 2:13; 4:1). His many years of observation led him to assume that all suffering was the result of sin. Consequently, his remarks were harsh and unsympathetic since he believed that Job was suffering because of his sins (4:8).

Eliphaz tried to convince Job that he should confess his sins and then God would restore his wealth, health, and happiness. As he concluded his accusations, he confidently expressed his own conviction as to why Job was suffering and urged Job to accept his good counsel (5:27).

In addition to Job's physical sufferings, financial loss, the death of his children, and his wife's bitterness toward God, all three of his friends misjudged his integrity and continued to unmercifully accuse him day after day of hiding his sin and being a hypocrite. Job did admit to some rash remarks — such as saying he wished he had never been born (3:1-19). Yet, he had merely been expressing his "mental" anguish at a time when he was overwhelmed with pain and sorrow. Job felt the bitter sting of condemnation from Eliphaz. But, ignoring the insinuation that he was a hypocrite, Job appealed for pity from his friend, as well as a more compassionate assessment of his character (6:2,14).

Job was not a hypocrite as his "comforters" thought. However, for reasons which Job did not understand, God had not come to his defense. Even worse, it seemed to Job that he had even been struck down by the Almighty (6:3-4).

Once again, Job's sufferings bring to light a glorious revelation of his spiritual insight in recognizing how insignificant man is compared to the Almighty Creator of all things (7:17-18).

This thought expresses the great love God has for all mankind, especially when we consider our insignificance in comparison to God. We were created from the dust by God, Who is eternally self-existent. Our nature has been defiled by sin, while He is pure, perfect, and holy. Our earthly duration is short-lived; but, through the miraculous new birth which He has provided, we are privileged to be with Him for all eternity.

Our Creator is always present to direct our lives toward Him, for His desire is that everyone should repent of their sins and trust Him for eternal life (II Peter 3:9). God sometimes tests our sincerity — if not with afflictions, then with blessings, if not with pains, then with pleasures. Through it all, He is seeking to develop in us a genuine love for Him as well as total dependence upon Him.

Like Job, we sometimes find ourselves making rash statements in the midst of unexpected trials. However, Christians today have far less "excuse" than Job had because we have the complete Bible and the indwelling Holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding and strengthen our faith. When we realize that all that God does is for our good and His glory, it gives us understanding of the suffering that we may sometimes experience (Philippians 1:29).

Christ Revealed:

Through Job's sorrowful condition (Job 7:1-6). Christ was known as a Man of sorrows, and He was acquainted with grief. On the cross separated from God in His humanity, Jesus felt that pain in addition to all our sins which He bore (Isaiah 53:3; Mark 15:34).

Word Studies:

5:12 devices = plotting, enterprise = intentions; 5:13 froward = cunning; 5:18 maketh sore = inflicts pain; 6:3 swallowed up = without restraint; 7:21 sleep in the dust = dead in the grave; 8:5 seek . . . betimes = pray with earnestness; 8:11 flag = reed grass.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for Youth With A Mission/Nashville and Wayne and Lea Groff, Base Director · BPM Staff: Karen Hawkins · Government Official: Gov. Lincoln Almond (RI) · Country: Gabon (1 million) in west-central Africa · Major language: French · Religious freedom · 66% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 3% animism and ancestor worship · Prayer Suggestion: Continually watch and pray so that you won't yield to temptation in a moment of weakness (Matthew 26:41).

Optional Reading: Galatians 5

Memory Verse for the Week: II Timothy 3:17

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