Wednesday, September 08, 2010

2010 – September 8 – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Study from God’s Word Job, Chapters 1 - 3 … Passage for Reflection: Job 2: 10 … NIV He (Job) replied (to his wife), “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God , and not trouble?”

My Journal for Today: So, in the midst of reading through The Daily Bible in Chronological Order [DBICO] , today Dr. LaGard Smith, the Editor, takes me (and his readers) to the Book of Job, which is reported by scholars to be the oldest written book in the canon of the Bible. So, what’s up with that in terms of chronological order? Shouldn’t we read Job in January?

Well, Dr. Smith reasons that the reading of Job is to be placed now in the DBICO reading because Ezekiel, whom we’ve been reading about lately, wrote about Job (see Chapter 14, verses 14 & 20, of the Book of Ezekiel), making a reference to the dilemma of God’s people, the righteous remnant and the disobedient Jews, both of whom had been taken captive and were suffering TOGETHER in Babylon. For Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and most certainly for those Jews who were obedient to God in Babylon, it would have been natural to seek after answers to why God would allow the righteous and the unrighteous Jews to suffer the same captivity in Babylon. Therefore, at this time in their history, the story of Job, which was certainly part of the Scriptural lore of the Jews, would have had great relevance, especially to loyal followers of God. And of course, this book, Job, has great relevance to this very day, especially for every believer in the one, true, and good God.

It’s that great conundrum and the question: “How do we define ‘blessing’ in our lives?” Are the “blessings” only those events or circumstances which are the warm-n-fuzzies? Or could the challenges of life, … yes, even the disasters, be seen as “blessings” in the context of a sovereign God who wants only ultimate good for those who are the called according to His purpose (i.e., steadfast believers and followers of Yahweh)? And how many times have our beliefs in the truth of Romans 8: 28 been challenged by some oppressive circumstances in life, … occurrences which seem much more like “curses” than “blessings?”

Today’s text is, of course, Job’s faithful response to his wife’s perspective on the disasters which had been perpetrated on Job by an unseen Satan, who was challenging God and Job’s faithfulness. And how do we measure up to Job’s faith in the midst of some horror which is visited in our lives? Perhaps you’ve had to deal with the inexplicable death of a child in your life. Maybe you wonder about how a loving God would allow a tsunami or an earthquake to take the lives of thousands of staunch believers as well as those non-believers consumed in the disaster. Just like Job, the headlines of our lives can scream out the question: “What’s up with that, God?!”

And hence it is great for us, as it was for Ezekiel, to have a book of truth, in this case the Book of Job, which helps us see that there are some circumstances in life which we’re not likely going to be explained from our human perspective. No, we’re going to have to learn, as Job was expressing in today’s highlight text, to declare that God’s sovereignty and love for His children go way beyond our ability to get God’s reason WHY when we are beset with inexplicable horrors.

No, my friends; if we could explain everything clearly which happens to us, the concept of “faith” would be meaningless, would it? But prayerfully, we can learn, as did Ezekiel, from the book of wisdom involving Job, that our faith is going to be tested by life and we’re going to have to deal with the horrors as well as the happiness by having faith in a sovereign, and ALWAYS loving God.

My Prayer for Today: Lord, I say again, You are God and I am not. Praise You IN all things, ... AT all times, … FOR all time. Amen

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