June 22, 2004
Read Job 30 - 33
In Today's Reading:
Job's proclamation of his integrity; Elihu's accusations
No one in biblical history, other than Christ, suffered so much public humiliation and intense physical and emotional pain as Job did. He had held the chief administrative position in his country and had dwelled as a king (Job 29:25). I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. . . . I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame. I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out (29:12,15-16). In chapter 31 he listed 12 common sins that no one could accuse him of committing. Yet, in his time of need, no one showed compassion or expressed a kind word to him.
For Job, there seemed to be no end to the cruelty of the people who made his suffering even more painful and miserable: They push away my feet. . . Terrors are turned upon me: they pursue my soul as the wind: and my welfare passes away as a cloud. And now my soul is poured out upon me; the days of affliction have taken hold upon me (30:12-17). But, by far, the most troubling to Job was that it seemed that God did not care and was not hearing his prayers: I cry to You, and You do not hear me (30:20).
At such times our faith is put to the test, for we walk by faith (II Corinthians 5:7) and are not dependent upon "the things that are seen." We are to trust the Lord and the promises of His Word. Faith does not originate with us but it is a gift from God (Ephesians 2:8).
Job's three friends mistakenly judged his relationship to God, but he did not allow them to destroy his faith. As we consider Job, whom God declared the most perfect man on earth (Job 1:8), should we be surprised when we are falsely criticized? The most devoted Christian often suffers the worst indignities and humiliation from thoughtless, inconsiderate people - even from some who profess to be Christians.
The Apostle Paul encouraged all of us when he was led to write: We ourselves glory in (speak proudly of) you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations (afflictions) that you endure: Which is a manifest (visible, evident) token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God, for which you also suffer (II Thessalonians 1:4-5).
Through the ridicule and affliction which Job suffered (Job 30:10-11). Christ was afflicted and spat upon. After Pilate delivered Jesus to the Roman soldiers, they flogged Him, hit Him with a stick and spat on Him (a sign of great contempt) - and then they crucified Him (Mark 15:15-20; also Isaiah 50:6; 53:2-5; Matthew 27:26-30; John 19:1-3).
30:2 whereto = how; 30:4 mallows = plants of the salt marsh; 30:14 as a wide breaking in = like a flood; 30:27 My bowels boiled = My heart is troubled; prevented = have overtaken; 30:29 dragons = jackals or wolves; 31:10 grind unto = be a slave to; 31:40 cockle = weeds; 32:19 belly = heart, mind.
Staff: Clarence Rathbone · Government Officials: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (CA) and Rep. Adam Schiff (CA) · Country: French Guiana (168,000) on the northern coast of South America · Major Language: French · Religious freedom · 88% Protestant
Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that our Savior lives (John 20:15-18).
Optional Reading: Ephesians 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 1:18