Temptation Can Seem Friendly
Read Job 8:20-22
"Behold, God will not reject a blameless man, nor take the hand of evildoers. He will yet fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with shouting. Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more."
• If bad things will happen anyway, why still follow God?
• The temptation to turn away from God may be especially strong when we are hurting. Has this been true for you? Why or why not? (Please explain.)
• Trusting the things of this world only disappoints; our only eternal hope is found in our Lord. What keeps us from understanding this?
It was now Bildad's turn to speak, and he again focused on sin. Unlike Eliphaz, though, Bildad acknowledged that sometimes in this world evildoers do seem to prosper. They may have health, family, wealth, and nice houses.
The allure of an easy life tempts all of us at times. We could watch TV instead of praying. We'd rather read the latest New York Times than spend time in the Word. It seems easier and more comfortable to go our own way than to serve and love others as Jesus would have us.
So if temptation looks so good and bad things are going to happen anyway, why should we still follow God? Well, there's the obvious reason that He is our Creator, the Alpha and Omega, the Almighty. He is holy and worthy of all worship and praise.
He also desires a relationship with every one of us. His love seeks us out, and only through Him do we have hope of life eternal.
We choose to follow God because we know that nothing in this world is permanent. As Bildad pointed out, houses do not stand and our days on earth are merely a shadow. Relying on anything other than God makes our trust like a spiderweb.
One evening I (Pam) was returning home with my daughters. As I was gathering things from the car, I noticed that the girls had stopped halfway on the sidewalk instead of going in the house. They turned around and shouted to me, "Spider!" In the light of the moon, I could see a web that stretched completely across the walkway. It was at least five feet high and about three feet across as it spanned from one pine tree to another. It was the biggest spiderweb I have ever seen.
As you can imagine, the spider that created the web was not petite either. It was also sitting in the dead center of the web. So we carefully picked our way around it and went inside.
By the next morning, that giant web was gone. This is the point Bildad was making. Even the friendliest temptations eventually disappoint. Our lasting hope is in the Lord and Him alone.
Lord, You told us that following You would not be easy. It's especially hard when I'm hurting and see those who don't claim your name enjoying life. Help me to keep an eternal perspective and run to you instead of running from you. Amen.