Saturday, January 14, 2012

January 14, 2012 … When God Speaks – Time To Listen!

Passage of the Day: Chapter/Verse Reference: Job, Chapters 38-39 … To study these chapters, go to this link -

Job 38: … [When God Speaks]
1 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me, if you understand.
34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way? Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?

Job 39: … [God Speaks … Time To Listen]
1 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
2 Do you count the months till they bear? Do you know the time they give birth?
26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command and build its nest on high?
28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night; a rocky crag is its stronghold.
29 From there it looks for food; its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones feast on blood, and where the slain are, there it is.”

My Journal for Today: Okay, now, as Job continues to contemplate his horrible set of circumstances; and his so-called “friends” have given Job their two-cents worth (and that’s about how much their advice was worth), now it’s God’s turn to speak. And when one gets to these two chapters in Job’s book, I can’t help but think of the old E.F. Hutton commercials on TV.

Do you recall these commercials back in the late 70s? If you’re too young or don’t remember them, here’s a link to one of them on You Tube - where, “… when EF Hutton talks, people listen.” And that’s where Job was when God decided to straighten our hero out. And my friend, WHEN GOD TALKS, IT’S TIME TO LISTEN!!!

And in our reading today, when God did intervene with Job, I couldn’t help but note a couple of important elements of God’s intervention. And the first of these was God’s decision to speak to Job out of a storm (see Job 38: 1). I can just imagine Job, sitting on a hill of garbage, picking away at the sores on his body, thinking of all of his personal loss and contemplating all the jerk-water complaints from his friends; and all of a sudden it begins to rain on him … in torrents.

Have you ever been in a bad set of circumstances; and all of a sudden “a storm” of more bad stuff befalls you? Well that’s where Job was when God decides to give him some insights into how things really work. And that’s why, when we’re in the midst of a storm, we need to be looking for the messages God has for us out of the storm.

Do you remember the New Testament account of how the disciples were in the midst of a terrible storm (see Matt. 14, Mark 6, or John 6); and Jesus came to them, walking on the water; and they had trouble hearing what Jesus was calling to them. In fact they didn’t recognize that it was Jesus because of their fears of the storm. Well, this story, as well as the one about Job, illustrate that God wants to communicate to us through the storms of life and teach us that He’s in control … that He’s always there for us, … and that we can trust Him in the midst of even the worst storms of life. And so it was for Job.

But Job was having trouble understanding all of those things, given the storms God had allowed Satan to visit upon him. So, in Chapters 38-39 of Job, we get God’s in depth lesson in cosmic astronomy and biological creation. God levels question after question, which Job hadn’t a clue as to the answers, illustrating to Job – as to us – that there is so much of life that we cannot or will not be able to explain. It often gets down to the first sentence in our Bible: “In the beginning, God!” And as I’ve referred to already in my journaling this month, we need to remember the lesson God taught to the Prophet Isaiah [see below] …

Isaiah 55: 8 – 9: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

And that’s the lesson which God so often wants to impart through the storms of life. And I need to remember, to seek out my God when I find my mind/heart overwhelmed by life’s circumstances. I need to be in a listening mode when life’s storms come, doing all I can to hear God speaking.

My Prayer Today: … I hear You, LORD! … Amen

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