Passage of the Day: Job 42 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Sometimes, when I’m touched by a certain passage of Scripture or I feel personally convicted by said passage, it helps to go back and read that passage from several versions of scripture to get the various colorations from the various English translations that passage. The one verse, which is the focus verse for Chuck Swindoll’s devotional today, is Job 42: 6, which reads as follows in the NASB, which is the version Swindoll uses. It says in the NASB, “Therefore, I retract myself and repent in dust and ashes.” But let’s take a look at this same passage in several other versions of Scripture.
For example from the version I usually use in my devotional study. From the NKJV ... “Therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” And in that reading I think you can see that the interpretation of that verse takes on a little different color. Well, at least it does for me.
Let’s try the NIV, which states, “Therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” … Or from the NLT, which puts forth, “I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.”
I think taking all of these versions into my view helps me see the montage of truth being presented by God’s word and the point being made by Swindoll concerning Job’s attitude as he [Job] finally HUMBLY realizes where God stands and where he is at this point in his life. And the key here is the timing of Job’s attitude – just prior to God’s mercy of restoration being displayed.
Yes, it would be easy for Job to be humble AFTER God restores him; but verse 6 is stated while Job is still childless, homeless, penniless, powerless, and covered in boils. And therefore, in abject personal humility, Job surrenders himself – ALL of himself – to God’s will; and he is totally and utterly repentant. He pulls back and sees that all his questioning and confusion have been for naught. He sees that he can grieve his loss; but must return to his early attitude and personal psalm, which stated, (see Job 1: 21) “The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, … Blessed by the Name of the Lord.”
How often in the course of my devotionals this year, as I have, with Chuck Swindoll’s help, studied the lives of such heroes of the faith as Joseph, Moses, Elijah, Esther, and now Job has the attitude of HUMILITY been raised? Well, the answer is in every one. And the reason for that is simple. In every one of these paragons of the faith, humility is the key attitude which makes them like Christ, … which separates them from the attitudes of “natural man,” where pride is the mark of our nature.
Swindoll, in closing his devotional for today, states a biblical command from God, taken from James 4:10, which I’ll quote from the NASB, “Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will exalt you.” And this is just after James has quoted (see James 4: 6) from Prov. 3: 34, which states, “God opposes the proud but gives (His) grace to the humble.”
Oh, how I will now pray that we get this truth, my dear ones. If we cannot choose humility, as Job learned, God will put us or allow Satan to lead us, into such humbling circumstances that we will have to humbly repent and declare our submission to God’s will. Personally I think it wise to choose humility and surrender on the front end of life rather than having to go through the valley of the shadow of death to find God’s way in this world ... or to have to succumb in hell for eternity. As the kids now say, “Been there, … done that, … got the T-shirt.” And I have; and let me tell you, it’s far better to be proactive about this humility business rather than wait for God to humble you. Job will tell you. It’s a lot less painful to humble yourself NOW.
My Prayer for Today: Lord, You had to take job and me through hell to find a glimpse of heaven. But praise Your Holy Name that You did. Amen