Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thursday - Job 29 – The Past: Job Reflects on Past Success

welling on and reflecting upon the past can be intensely bittersweet.  Nothing can make good days look better than having to endure bad days afterward.  Obviously, such was Job's circumstance.  In this chapter (Job 29), Job sets up the complaint which we will read in Job 30 as well as a view of his future (Job 31).  One can almost see a slight smile on Job's face in this chapter as he remembers the "good ol' days" – back when everything went well for him.

His mindset went something like this: "Back then, God preserved me. Back then, He was a light for my way. In those days, God was my friend. Those were the days when society respected me. Those were the times when I had the strength and power and influence to be a blessing to others. I had time and resources to study. I had enough force to punish evil men.  And, I thought those good days would last forever (Job 29:18).  I was a chief; a king... a comforter to others; not one who desperately needed comfort."

In Ecclesiastes 7:10 we read where the old preacher Solomon wrote, “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.”  Even if the days gone by were indeed better than our current circumstance, what we have is today.  Did Job’s reflections relieve him?  No!  Tomorrow, we will consider how the heavy clouds of despair rolled in (Job 30).

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Tuesday - Job 28 - Fear & Wisdom

fter spending the end of the last chapter reviewing what his friends had said to him, Job delves quickly into the depths of God's infinite wisdom.  First, he uses a few mining terms evidently to infer that our God is capable of hiding the greatest of treasures very deep and out of sight.  Not just precious metals, but precious truths also (Deuteronomy 29:29).  As such, it is the omniscience of God that is on display in Job 28.  He sees all, knows all and can therefore do anything at all.

Now, in the midst of Job's commentary on the wonders of God, he asks a very important and sincere question: "Where can wisdom be found?" (Job 28:12 & 20).  He knew that experience alone would be an insufficient teacher. His friends had made some very wrong deductions and had come to some grossly false conclusions by following empirical and theoretical education exclusively. Job realized that full wisdom is not available for us as long as we remain trapped within our closed system of natural existence.

That is not to say that wisdom isn't accessible at all. Though it can't be mined, bought, taught or priced... it is as near as God is (Job 28:23), and that because He is omniscient (as well as omnipresent, omnipotent and infinite – see Job 28:24 and following). But what is the key that opens the floodgates? In a phrase, it is humility and obedience.  These are the preconditions that God requires in order to free Him up to impart the wisdom that we so need and desire (Job 28:28).

Monday, November 27, 2017

Monday - Job 27 - Job's Persistent Defense

his is the second of a six-chapter declamation in which Job concludes his thoughts concerning his own suffering. This section will be followed by a long opinion from a young man named Elihu who (we will discover) was a quiet observer during the interchanges between Job and his friends.

Here Job still maintains both his faith in God and his certainty that he truly didn't bring the suffering upon himself through some secret or unconfessed sins. He assured his friends that even if they stayed around to the day of his death they would still never get a false confession out of him (Job 27:5). Of course, once God joined in on this round table discussion, Job was humbled on down and could see nothing but faults in himself (Job 42:6), but then again, that would be true for any of us in an encounter with His transcendent and splendorous perfection.

Even though it does seem that the dispute was over, Job still had some things to say in bumfuzzled contradistinction to what his friends had said to him over and over. Most of all, the more he thought on their bad theology, the more he was sincerely surprised that they had taken such aloof and naive positions (Job 27:12).

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Saturday - Job 26 - Science & Theology According to Job


e still have a dozen chapters to plow through before we get to the great monologue in which God reveals so much of Himself to Job. But, already Job was leaning in that direction. God's creative power and omniscient splendor seems to be the thing in view in this chapter. "Hell is naked before Him." "He hangs the world on nothing." "By His spirit He has garnished the heavens." These are all perceptive statements that Job made in evident worship. Of course, he knew just enough to know that he wasn't even scratching the surface when it came to the greatness of God (Job 26:14). Oh, and one more thing... we will see just how right Job really was when we get to Job 38-41. Evidently, he found comfort and solace in reminding himself about God's greatness and power and presence. I know I do.  Do you?  Just look around and observe the evidence that is all around you – and worship your Creator!