Blogger’s Note: This is my last day with Chuck Swindoll studying Job; and this one devotional is a good closing note. So, for those who follow here, please take note and meditate on this one. Tomorrow, I will be beginning my posting, again from Swindoll’s Great Days with the Great Lives on the life of the Apostle Paul, the first and last character study for the year from the New Testament.
And one administrative note: My wife and I will be traveling on vacation in Europe with friends for the next week or so; and I don’t know where/when I’ll have wifi computer access over there. So my entries for this time period may come in bunches; but I’ll most certainly be doing my devotionals daily. I just may have to post them when I can. Thanks for your patience in this regard. Now on to the last of our Job posts.
Passage of the Day: Job 42: 9 – 15 from Job 42 … Linked for study …
My Journal for Today: Swindoll makes a very salient and timely observation for today’s last entry on Job. He asks that his readers (me and you, if you’re following my input) to take note of the words of grace which are serially coming from Verses 9 – 12 of Chapter 42. Find them and mediate on them, each referring to God’s grace-laden actions toward Job:
End of verse 9: “The LORD accepted (Job).”
Beginning of verse 10: “The LORD restored (Job).”
End of verse 10: The LORD increased (Job)”
Beginning of verse 12: The LORD blessed (Job).”
You know, unless we were cautioned or pointed to these four passages, which are pregnant with God’s grace, we may have missed all these pointed, but very positive, references. Swindoll is right. We’re so programmed and bombarded in this post-modern age with negative, ungraceful comments; we have become conditioned to look for the negative first in life.
Think about what you hear/see from the media, on the news. 90%+ reports of malice, murder, and mayhem; and maybe one closing story with some semi-positive of “human interest” to leave you with a positive taste in your mind. Even the weather reports of tomorrow’s weather will report it, “20 percent chance of rain,” rather than “80% chance of sunshine.” The ABCs, NBCs, CBSs, and CNNs will tell you that that’s the way the public wants the news reported. But wouldn’t you, as a Christian, gravitate toward a station which said “We’re going to report 80% of the positive in this world first and then add on 20% of the negative which we think you should know about for your well-being.” But that’s not going to happen, is it?
No, we have to dig to find the positive truth in life. We have to seek it out; and where do you think we Christians should seek out and find the messages like those above about the best in life. You got it, my friend, … from God’s word. When Paul, whom we’ll be studying for the remainder of Swindoll’s devotionals, wrote in Romans 12: 2, “And be not conformed to this world; but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God …” Paul didn’t realize that these word’s would one day be just as much a Scriptural mandate as the lesson for life as from Job 42 or from the rest of the Torah, which were for Paul his sources of truth. But the entire Bible we know to be canonized Scripture; and we need to see the truth of 2nd Tim. 3: 16 – 17, which directs us to the truth of God’s word, to be the source of our teaching for life. God’s word is where we need to be learning about how we must “Trust in the Lord with all our hears and lean not on our own understanding” so that “our paths will be made straight” [and you hopefully recognize this Prov. 3: 5-6].
But this world is set up to program our minds to the negative first so as we’ll miss those grace-filled comments from God about Job. And Swindoll reminds us that this Job was the one who may have had a lot of faith and patience; but he was also the one who, in very human fashion, cursed the day he was born, and he resented the fact that he didn’t die in his mother’s womb; and he was the one who kept coming back to God with confusion and resentment for all the bad stuff which had happened to him. But here in Chapter 42 we read, in very short order, those wonderful words, “accepted, restored, increased, and BLESSED.” And we should see these clearly as what we too have gotten from God the Father because of what He brought us through His Son, which we read about from Paul again in Phil. 2: 5-11 [link provided] my favorite passage about the Incarnation, and how we were bombarded, as was Job, with God’s blessings.
Never forget it, my friend and follower here, … WE ARE BLESSED as Christians, … way beyond measure! And we must look to God’s word for these words of blessing; because Satan, as he was for Job, is going to do everything he can to divert us, distract us, distort the truth, and discourage us with his lies. It’s on us to allow God, from His word, to transform our minds. And that, dear one, is a daily task of monumental importance and the reason why I come here daily to seek out words of blessing from God’s word. I pray that we all do.
My Prayer for Today: Oh, Heavenly Father, thank You for your word of truth, which guides our footsteps as it no doubt did for Job and for Paul. Please, Lord, help to keep our minds fixed on Your truth so that we can follow Your path. Amen