November 22-23, 2008
by Charles R. Swindoll
Did you read that too quickly? The end of verse 9? Mark it. "The LORD accepted." And then, "The LORD restored." End of verse 10, "The LORD increased." Beginning of verse 12, "The LORD blessed." Those are words of grace---statements of divine favor. Let them hit with full impact:
Because of the fallout of our cynical society, you and I are being programmed to rush by words of grace and blessing and to hurry on to words that are negative. They bring us down. Killings in the workplace. Mold in your house. Weather disasters. Fractured families. Forest fires. High rate of divorce. Economic woes. Acts of terrorism. The homeless. Fallen ministers. Broken hearts. Mistreatment of children. Spouse abuse. Chemical dependence. Deadbeat dads. Premature deaths. Fraudulent builders. Rising unemployment. Scandals among CEOs and famous athletes. On and on. That's what fills the evening news.
We never hear: "Now, tomorrow night we'll report only good news." Instead, it's "Stay tuned if you think that report was bad; in a moment we'll have a full exposé."
I mean, even the weatherman predicts "partly cloudy." He never says, "Mainly sunny tomorrow." It's always a 20 percent chance of rain. He never says, "There's an 80 percent probability of sunshine." And furthermore, he's usually wrong (talk about job security). Enough of all that!
Who does God bless? Job! This is great news! You haven't forgotten that Job cursed the day he was born, have you? Or that he resented the fact he didn't die when he was placed on his mother's breast? He was also the one who said, "I am not at ease. I am not quiet." In other words, "I resent what has happened." That's the same Job who is wonderfully blessed at the end of the book. Why? Grace, grace, grace, grace, grace!
Reprinted by permission. Day by Day, Charles Swindoll, July 2005, Thomas Nelson, inc., Nashville, Tennessee. All rights reserved. Purchase "Day by Day" here.