Saturday, January 07, 2012

January 7, 2012 … It’s Not About Me!

Passage of the Day: Chapter/Verse Reference: Job, Chapters 14-16 …
To study these chapters, go to this link -

Study Passage: Job 14:
14 If someone dies, will they live again? All the days of my hard service I will wait for my renewal [or release] to come.
15 You will call and I will answer You; You will long for the creature your hands have made.
16 Surely then You will count my steps but not keep track of my sin.
17 My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; You will cover over my sin.

Study Passage: Job 15: 1 Then Eliphaz the Temanite replied:
2 “Would a wise person answer with empty notions or fill their belly with the hot east wind?
3 Would they argue with useless words, with speeches that have no value?

Study Passage: Job 16: 18 “Earth, do not cover my blood; may my cry never be laid to rest! 19 Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high.
20 My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God;
21 on behalf of a man he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.

My Journal for Today: Wow! Pouring through these three chapters of Job this morning (you can do so online by the link provided above), I was taken back to the days when, as an atheist years ago, I used to argue with believers who held on to their faith in the face of personal trials. In the passages I’ve highlighted and reprinted above, we read of Job, without any real knowledge of whether there could be or would be a resurrection, holding out with desperate faith (in Job 14: 14-17) for his beleaguered life and sins to be covered over by his God.

And then, Eliphaz, one of Job’s “three stooges,” as I call them, comes back with one of my old worldly arguments (see Job 15: 1-3) … that Job’s words were meaningless in the grand scheme of life. I used to put Christians down who argued for their God by telling them that since there was no way they could prove their case, the words of these believers were just worthless. For these faithful Christians, many of whom were probably strugglers just like Job, I was their modern Eliphaz, pointing out what I believed to be the fruitlessness of their faith.

But as the passage in Job 16: 18-21, reprinted above attests, Job held on and showed prophetic faith, declaring that, no matter what Eliphaz (and the other so-called “friends”) declared, Job just knew that he had a God Who was his advocate in heaven. And we Christians certainly should know, with the advantage of historical knowledge of Christ’s advent and resurrection, Job had it right – EXACTLY RIGHT!

My fellow Christian, from the documentation of our New Testament witnesses and the truth of God’s word (see Isaiah 55: 11 and 2nd Tim. 3: 16-17 from the Old and New Covenants), we can declare, as did Job, that we have an Advocate, a Heavenly Friend, our Lord and Savior, Jesus, Who stands by us in heaven, even in times like those experienced by Job. We have a Redeemer upon Whom we can place all of our trust and with Whom we will share eternity.

Somehow, in spite of all of his circumstances – and even in spite of all of his “WHY” questions – Job held out in faith for a God Who would save Him; … for One who would witness to our heavenly Father of his faith, … and for One Who would take him home when the LORD decided it was his (Job’s) time.

That is the faith, my friends, we should hold to … even when we have doubts; … even when we go to God with our “WHY” questions; … yes, even when we are bowled over by bad circumstances. We can, like Job, know that we know that we know that we know, that our Lord and Savior, Jesus, is always there, before God’s throne of grace, arguing and witnessing on behalf of our case.

My Prayer Today: … And my LORD, I thank you for Your being my Advocate to the Father even at this moment, in spite of my beleaguered faith. Amen

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