June 20, 2004
Read Job 21 - 24
In Today's Reading:
Job declares that wicked men sometimes prosper; Eliphaz accuses Job of sin; Job's desire to plead his case before God
Few men in Bible history are so highly esteemed by God as Job. God said of him: There is none like him in the earth, a perfect (blameless) and an upright man, one that fears (reveres) God, and eschews (shuns) evil (Job 1:8). His friends mistakenly supposed that all his problems were the result of his secret sins. They assumed that wicked men are miserable and, since Job was exceedingly miserable, he must be very wicked!
It is shocking to read how wrong Eliphaz could be with his blunt, critical, and cruel condemnation of Job, saying: Acquaint now yourself with Him (God), and be at peace. . . . Receive, I pray you, the Law from His mouth, and. . . . put away iniquity far from your tabernacles (dwelling place, tents) (22:21-23). In striking contrast, God later would say to Job's friend Eliphaz: You have not spoken of Me the thing that is right, as My servant Job has (42:7).
There are still self-righteous, overbearing, opinionated people like Eliphaz, who are quick to pass judgment on anyone who doesn't believe as they do or who experience difficulties or sickness. Job's faith was unshakable because he could truthfully say: His way I have 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). He believed that, since God was faithful to His Word, He also would be faithful to His obedient servant.
We often do not understand why we face disappointments, sufferings, or being misunderstood. But, we can believe and trust in God, since He always gives His best to all who desire to do His will.
The faith of Job should be an inspiration to all of us who are not as concerned about knowing the "reason" for our suffering as with knowing God, who will see us through it, and His Word, the only true source of guidance.
It seemed to Job that God was nowhere to be found. But, regardless of this, Job said: He knows the way that I take: when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold (Job 23:10).
Through Job's faithfulness to God during all 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 (Luke 22:42).
21:2 consolations = comfort; 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 early, earnestly, diligently for food; 24:21 evil entreateth = cruelly took advantage of.
Government Officials: Rep. Phil English (PA), Rep. Van Hilleary (TN), Gov. Linda Lingle (HI), and Rep. George Radanovich (CA) · Country: Finland (5 million) in northern Europe · Major languages: Finnish and Swedish · Religious freedom · 91% Protestant; 1% Eastern Orthodox; 1% Roman Catholic
Prayer Suggestion: Pray that Christians would be united as Christ and God are one (John 17:11,21).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 3
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:18