Tuesday, April 30, 2013

When Things Finally Turn Around

                                                            (See Job 42:15)

Job 42:10  And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.

When Job, God's man, had been thoroughly reproved by the Lord, and when Job repented, a number of things happened:
1. He saw God as He truly is and himself as what he really is. That is: God is infinite, man is finite. God is all-wise, man lacks knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Man has much to learn, God cannot be taught. Vss 2-4
2. God is thrice holy and to be adored, man is deplorable and is in constant need of repentance. Vs 6
3. We get a clearer understanding of God's majesty. Vs 5
4. God will take up our cause against those who speak evil of us. Vss 7-9
5. God, in His mercy, makes us acceptable in the Beloved. Vs 9
6. God blesses us beyond our worthiness or imagination. Vs 10
7. God will give us favor with others. Vs 11
8. God will establish our legacy. Vss 12-17

It pays to be faithful to God, no matter what. Humbling ourselves before Him and receiving instruction from Him will produce great reward. The greater the suffering, the greater the reward, whether here, or in eternity.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Put on Your Big Boy Pants

Job 38:3  Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.

For 35 chapters, God has listened in to the conversations of Job and his friends. Eliju held his tongue for a while out of respect to his elders. God held His to give Job and friends enough rope to hang themselves. But now, He speaks.

"Who drew up the plans for the earth?
Who laid down the foundations?
Who made the seas and brought forth life?
Who hung the heavens in place?
Have you seen what happens after death?
Have you seen beyond your short years?
Do you understand snow, hail, light and wind?
What do you know about rivers and streams, thunder and lightning?
Have you figured out wisdom in the heart, clouds in the heaven and clods in the dust?
Have you ever designed a predator or a scavenger?
Have you placed the mountain goats on the rocks, caused a deer to give birth or made the donkey to bray?
What do you know about the unicorn, the peacock or the ostrich?
Have you given the horse his majesty, the hawk its glory, the eagle its wonder?"

"Sonny, you are pretty smart for a man, but my thoughts are past finding out. As the heavens are far above the earth, so are my ways above your ways. Don't second guess me! Don't doubt my will for you for one moment. Don't tell me what to do and don't argue with me!"

Friend, God has a plan for you. It is best to just go along and not question Him or cop an attitude. God is just and God is good. You are, indeed, on His radar. So put on your big boy/girl pants and trust Him today. Let Him do His good work in your life.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

God Speaks out of the Whirlwind

Job 38:1  Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said...

I find this opening salvo of God's justification to Job quite striking. It was a tornado that ripped Job's children from him. It was a whirlwind of accusations from Job's 3 buddies and Elihu that had further discouraged and disgusted the patriarch. Now, from anther tornado, God speaks!

"Who created everything and set the world in order? Who made you and gave you breath? If you think you know everything, if you want to second-guess me, then let me tell you what it is really all about, pipsqueak!"

Well, most of us never had to suffer one-one thousandth of what Job did, but we have experienced our share of craziness in life. The devil did his thing against us, faux friends showed there true colors, people turned their backs on us; we have lost our fair share of “stuff.” A person could relate some of these episodes in our journeys to tornadoes of trouble, whirlwinds of woe.

But if we listen closely enough, God will speak out of that craziness. His voice will whisper from the cacophony of the tornado. His still small voice can be heard through the din of the despair that threatens to totally undo us.

Wonderful words of life will speak to our circumstance. Blessings from above will fall upon our situation. Letters of love can be seen written on our dark clouds of despair and the dust that settles around us after life explodes.

It is not God's way to be silent forever. As with the children of Israel in bondage, He sees our affliction, He hears our cries of distress, He knows our predicament and, in His good time, He will come down to deliver.

His faithful servant Job experienced the powers of hell being unleashed upon his possessions, his family and his health. His friends paid a visit and railed upon him. God was silent for a while. He knew all about Job and his trial. Shoot, He even authorized it! When Job searched before and behind him and God seemed to be absent, when he looked to the right and left and couldn't track the Almighty, he exclaimed, "Won't somebody tell me where I might find my God!"

But God was there all the time. Job didn't know it, but God had His hand on him. Job thought this was the end, but God knew the end from the beginning. God had great things in store for the man who thought it was all over.

Finally, in God's own good time, which is always the best timing, while the tornado was still doing its destruction, God spoke. As soon as He did, understanding began to open, wisdom began to flow, healing commenced to occur, and blessing started to pour from heaven upon His servant.

Stay faithful, storm-weary traveler. Don't succumb to the temptation to curse God and die. Don't give in to self-pity. Don't turn from the commandments. Stay true! Bless the name of the Lord. Maintain faith and praise. Listen to the voice of the One Who rides upon the storms. When He finally speaks, He will give the last word and the whirlwind will subside.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Now You Old Dudes Listen to Me!

Job 32:6  And Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite answered and said, I am young, and ye are very old; wherefore I was afraid, and durst not shew you mine opinion. 7  I said, Days should speak, and multitude of years should teach wisdom. 8  But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding. 9  Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment. 10  Therefore I said, Hearken to me; I also will shew mine opinion. 11  Behold, I waited for your words; I gave ear to your reasons, whilst ye searched out what to say.12  Yea, I attended unto you, and, behold, there was none of you that convinced Job, or that answered his words:

Elihu, right or wrong in his judgment of Job, sure nailed his preamble!

1.     We need to respect our elders. We must listen to the wisdom of their years. Their education in the school of experience needs to be heeded.

2.     Another thing Elihu got right, there is a spirit in a man, young or old, through which God operates. He inspires and gives understanding to those who are sensitive to His still small voice.

3.     And yet another principle that Elihu nailed, when everyone else has had their say, a younger, respectful perspective deserves to be heard.

This wet-behind-the-ears whippersnapper did not lack passion. His wrath had been kindled. He indicated that he was chock full of the matter, his insides were about to explode. He waited his turn and then let loose with what he felt God led him to say.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Oh for the Good Old Days! - Job 29

Job 29:2  Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me; 3  When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness; 4  As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; 5  When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me; 6  When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;

Little did Job know what was coming, in his trials and in the annals of history. He had no idea that his name would forever be synonymous with testing, patience and blessing.

In the old days, according to his testimony here in the 29th chapter, he was well known and respected by all. He was blessed on every side beyond imagination. But thanks to his monumental test, his fame and faithfulness now transcends the ages.

There is one truth the devil did actually manage to tell (of course, he was speaking to the Lord) "You are awfully good to Job." Yes, God was very good to Job. But, until a person's metal is tempered in the fires or God's testing, they will never be the miraculous trophy of God's grace that will shine through the ages.

Don't despise the testing that God is allowing in your life. God never wastes pain. Hang on, keep blessing the Lord, and you too will redound to the praise and glory of the Almighty.