Sunday, February 11, 2007

Job and a Book Recommendation

No, not this kind of job...

Nor this kind...

Actually, I'm not even referring to a "jahb" at all, but good ol' "Johb".

I've been reading Job for about a week now and I'm realizing so much about our God.

We don't deserve a thing.

We don't deserve blessings that He pours out on us.

We don't deserve to live an easy life.

We don't deserve understanding when we do go though trials. How presumptuous to think that we do!

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 4-7

Circumstances pass. The Lord is always here for us to rejoice in more than any understanding that we desire. Sometimes we do understand. God graciously shows us how he has used difficulties for our good. Give Him the glory. You didn't figure it out on your own.

Job had no idea what was going on in the heavenlies while he was down there suffering. God and Satan were having a conversation. God was bragging on Job because he was blameless. Satan said the only reason was because God had blessed him so much. Satan asked if he could take everything away to see who was right and God gave him permission. He lost family, wealth, land, animals, health...and you know what?

Job still praised Him. He said this:

"The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised."

"Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?"

Another favorite verse in the book of Job is 13:5:

"If only you would be altogether silent, for you, that would be wisdom." (how often might silence be wisdom for us???)

This is actually Job talking to his friends who are trying to get him to reveal some horrid sin in his life that God is punishing him for, but because they have no idea about the "conversation" they don't know this is totally false.

How often must this happen in our lives? God is up there planning, maybe having conversations with Satan, hopefully bragging on us, protecting us... but we have no idea. Often we don't look beyond ourselves when things are bad. I hope that we can. I hope we can see His perspective...or at least understand that we can't understand it all.

A book I have been reading is called, "The Message of the Old Testament" by Mark Dever. It's amazing. Really.

If you can't read the whole book of Job or Isaiah in a day, like me, this is great. It gives you the big picture instead of snippets that are nearly forgotten the next day. It gives you the history and background of each book, the rituals and traditions that play into the text. I highly recommend purchasing this book. I think it might be pricey. It's worth it. Allen says the New Testament one is just as great. I'll leave you with an excerpt from Job: Wisdom for Losers in the book.

"God intends to display his glory in your life and in the lives of everyone around you. You can be certain of the context of Job, we can see very clearly that he intends to display his glory in the lives of his children as they continue to serve him amid life's trials. And if you are a child of his, reconciled to him through Christ, realize that your very suffering can exquisitely display the glory of God as you serve and worship him in a way that simply defies the world's comprehension and abilities. If you, Christian, are presently enduring a season of suffering, it may be that God is sitting in the heavenlies right now and saying to the heavenly host about him, "Have you considered my servant?" and then pointing to you. Could it be that one day you will watch as God shows to all creation the presently unrevealed glories of what he has done by making you in his image and then remaking you as his child!"

1 comment:

  1. Dever is a genius. I've enjoyed listening to a number of lectures he has given, and lots of sermons of his. Praise God for raising up leaders like him for the American church!

    If you're enjoying the OT book, you'll also enjoy "Promises Kept," the NT version written in the same style based on the principles laid out in the OT version.

    China is going well. We'll be back in the US in 2 months. Thanks for posting pictures of your little ones.


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