June 18, 2004
Read Job 13 - 16
In Today's Reading:
Job's defense of his integrity; his desire to die; Eliphaz' intensified condemnation; Job's second reply to Eliphaz
Satan prompted the attacks on Job by his wife and by his "devoted" friends in an attempt to substantiate his own accusation that Job would curse God if his many blessings were removed.
Job's suffering intensified with days and weeks of sleeplessness and painful, ulcerating boils that would only become more intense since he had no painkillers. It may appear that he wavered at times, but Job always ended his comments on a high note of praise. Job could say with utmost confidence: Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. . . . I know that I shall be justified (Job 13:15,18).
Although Job gave up hope of recovering his health, wealth, children, or high esteem among the people, he did not become bitter or resentful toward his accusers or toward God. Instead, he looked forward to being with the Lord after his death, saying: If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come (14:14), meaning: "After death, I shall live again and I will be changed."
How different Job's attitude was from many today who blame fate, circumstances, God, or others for what goes wrong in their lives. Some easily become dissatisfied, bitter, pessimistic, or engulfed in self-pity. Their self-image depends on others' reactions. When others praise them, their self-esteem rises; when they are criticized or their plans fail, they feel defeated. Job didn't need praise from people to maintain his faith since he retained his confidence in the wisdom and justice of his Creator.
Christians can thank God for the perfect Savior and great High Priest, who ever lives to make intercession for them (us) (Hebrews 7:25). Having accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord of our lives, we should have a sincere desire to know His will by reading all His Word.
Job's unshakable faith in God resulted from his obedience to the revealed Word of God. He said: Neither have I gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food (Job 23:12).
Through the smiting of Job on the cheek (Job 16:10). Christ also was struck by those who ridiculed Him (Matthew 27:29-44; John 18:22-23; Isaiah 53).
14:5 days are determined = allotted time to live is set; 15:4 restrainest = hinder; 15:25 strengtheneth = behaves proudly; 15:26 bosses of his bucklers = thick layers of shields; 15:27 collops of fat = figuratively speaking, bulging in prosperity; 15:29 neither shall he prolong the perfection thereof = he cannot reap its harvest; 15:34 tabernacles of bribery = houses of the bribetakers; 16:12 broken me asunder = thoroughly crushed me; 16:13 reins = heart and mind - the center of emotions; poureth out my gall = leaves me no hope of life.
Staff: Barbara Jean Jackson · Government Officials: Gov. Mike Johanns (NE) and Sen. John Rockefeller IV (WV) · Country: Ethiopia (60 million) in eastern Africa · Major languages: Amharic and Tigrinya · Unsettled after overthrow of communist regime · 41% Eastern Orthodox; 35% Muslim; 10% Protestant; 10% animist; .7% Roman Catholic
Prayer Suggestion: Thank God for sending the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-8).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 1
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:17