Monday, August 25

Prove Your Principles

Ayers Rock
A small corner of the world's largest rock, Uluru, in the centre of Australia

“Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” Job 13:15

This morning’s Bible reading schedule covered Job 10-13:15.
Job is one of the most ancient books in the whole Bible. He was from the land of Uz; south of Edom, west of the Arabian Desert and stretching across to Chaldea. The events recorded in the entire book of Job, covered a period of 1-year.

The book of Job is broken into the following categories;
Job’s terrible trials – Chapter 1-2
His whimpering wife – Chapter 2:9-10
His fickle friends – Chapters 4-37
The defenses and dialogue of Job – 9 speeches/14-topics
His glorious God – Chapters 38-42
His bountiful blessings – Chapter 42: 7-17

Job’s terrible trials
Nature of his trials:
Oxen and donkeys stole and farmhands killed
Sheep and herdsmen burned by fire
Camels are stolen and servants are killed
Sons and daughters die in a mighty wind
Job himself is struck with boils

Background of his trials:
Job’s motives for worshipping God had been challenged by Satan during a confrontation in the heavenlies.
The 5-trials are thereupon “Father Filtered” by a Sovereign God.

His whimpering wife – Chapter 2:9 “Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die.”

Satan uses the same instrument against Job as he did against Adam – his wife!

Nothing makes the ungodly so angry as to see the godly under trial - not angry. I can historically testify and I can personally testify!

His Fickle Friends – Chapter 4:37
That’s quite a portion of Job taken up with exposing his friends, and detailing Job’s response to his friends. His friends came to sympathize but stayed on to sermonize;
Eliphaz was a descendent of Esau. He gives 3-speeches, basing his advice on personal experience
Bildad was a descendent of Abraham and Keturah. He gives 3-speeches, basing his advice on traditions
Zophar was from the land of Naamah and was the least open to reason. He gave 2-speeches and based them on pure dogmatism (stubbornness) – 11:6 “And that he would shew thee the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is! Know therefore that God exacteth of thee less than thine iniquity deserveth.”
Elihu – our “preacher boy,” was a descendant of Nahor (Abraham’s brother). He drones on for 6-Chapters (32-37) and he based his advice on youth alone 32:6-10
Job’s wife bases her advice on sheer unbelief.

Personal Observation
They all had their own conclusions, and they were all wrong!

Job had a true friend amidst his mistaken friends. These men were miserable comforters, but Job had a real Comforter.

“…for they had made an appointment together to come to mourn with him and to comfort him.” Job 2:11b The intention was there, but they replaced truth with their own feelings.

It is not easy for Christians to live in this world without being slandered and misrepresented; certainly, those of us who live in the full blaze of public life can hardly utter a word without having it twisted, and tortured, and misconstrued. We are often represented as saying what we loathe even to think; yet we must not be surprised at that.

The world loves lying,—it always has done so, and it always will. Even in private life you may meet with similar cruel treatment; good intention will not justify, much less will it sanctify a bad word or action. God's truth needs not our lie, nor do God’s cause either - our sinful policies or our sinful passions. The anger of man works not the righteousness of God.

His Defenses and Dialogues

Our reading this morning covered two of Job’s defenses;
Unfair punishment – Chapter 10:2, 7,8: 13:26, 27
So-called friends – Chapter 12:2, 13:4

Unfair punishment“Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dost destroy me.” Job 10:8 some of our graces which would never be discovered if it were not for our trials. God often takes away our comforts and our privileges in order to make us better Christians. He trains His soldiers, not in tents of ease and luxury, but by turning them out and using them to forced marches and hard service.
"Trials make the promise sweet; Trials give new life to prayer; Trials bring me to His feet, Lay me low, and keep me there."
So-called friends“But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value.” Job 13:4

His friends did not apply the right remedy to this case. The Hebrew translation for “forgers” is to “impute falsely,” or to “stick on as a patch.” The Hebrew translation for “no value” is “good for nothing,” “idol” – “no value.”

At this point, I was most challenged in the area of “unfair punishment” and “so-called friends.”

Pray for friends – don’t lash out! Our flesh-response is to defend ourselves amidst friends who falsely accuse us. God’s response is to pray for those friends.

I was equally challenged in the area of my property. Job had more reference to the condition of his heart than to the state of his property.

Amidst the storms and trials of our lives, do we “Prove our [God’s] Principles; do we show His integrity, are we hypocritical?” Confidence in God (good confidence), is the grand safeguard in trouble, and a preparation for deliverance from it!

I love you,

1 comment:

Leanne said...

In the past whenever I read the part of Job his friends start critisizing him I would get annoyed with his friends and feel sorry for Job. This time however I thought about their intention and it made me wonder, how many times in the past have I, with all good intentions, halfway listened to a friend while formulating my oh so wise response. Not a response that would take up twenty chapters mind you but never the less a response based on my own thoughts rather than God's wisdom. Alot to think about.