Chronological Bible Reading – January 16 – A Holy “Cup Check”

Today’s Reading: Job 38-42

All the “friendly” advice is over.  All of Job’s pleas and questions have ended.  It is now God’s time to speak into this situation.  God confronts Job with a lengthy list of questions intended to remind Job how small he really is in light of his Creator.

Now, gird up your loins like a man,
And I will ask you, and you instruct Me!
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding…
Job 38:3-4 (NASB)

I once heard Matt Chandler explain the phrase, “gird up your loins” as God telling Job, “Put your cup on and let’s do this!”  I still smile a bit even as I write that phrase.  I don’t want to minimize what is happening here with humor, but as you read God’s questions and challenge to Job it becomes almost amusingly clear that there is no answer that Job can give.  God is making His point very clear.  At one point there is even a bit of holy sarcasm that comes from God,

Where is the way to the dwelling of light?
And darkness, where is its place,
That you may take it to its territory
And that you may discern the paths to its home?
You know, for you were born then,
And the number of your days is great!
Job 38:19-21 (NASB)

God exposes Job’s folly through this lengthy series of questions.  His intent is to remind Job of the reality of who he has been questioning throughout this ordeal.  God’s questions are intended to lead Job to acknowledge who God is and repent.

Honestly, aren’t we all guilty of Job’s sin at points in our lives where we question God? We face difficulties or trials and suddenly we are struck with memory loss.  How arrogant and conceited it is to think that our circumstances are such that they serve as the final proof that God “dropped the ball.”  He must not care.  Thousands of years of testimony of His faithfulness are out the window because my life is tough.

Not just in our times of trial, but also when it comes to our daily lives, we can be guilty of Job’s folly.  By tackling our day on our own in our wisdom and abilities, we are basically saying we don’t need God.  Just as Job sought to reason through in his wisdom without seeking the One who possesses all answers and holds all control, we can ignore the all-knowing Creator of all things.

God help us see Your reality through the fog of our circumstances.  The reality that declares Your sovereignty, love, grace, mercy, and all other holy attributes is available to us through faith in Jesus Christ.  We, as Your children have a loving Father who knows right where we are.  When the fog becomes so thick that we question you, shine the light of Your truth so brightly that the fog lifts and we say with Job,

I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear;
But now my eye sees You;
Therefore I retract,
And I repent in dust and ashes.
Job 42:5-6 (NASB)

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 10 – My Redeemer Lives!

Today’s Reading: Job 19-21

The pattern we have seen in Job continues in these chapters. Job’s “friends” continue to place the blame for his calamity squarely upon Job’s shoulders.  In response, Job continues to lament his life.  Job 19 contains a powerful declaration from Job.  In the midst of the pain and suffering, questions and persecution from friends, Job declares,

As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives,
And at the last He will take his stand on the earth.
Even after my skin is destroyed,
Yet from my flesh I shall see God;
Whom I myself shall behold,
And whom my eyes will see and not another.
My heart faints within me!

Job 19:25-27(NASB)

What an amazing statement in the midst of acknowledging his pain and confusion, Job declares his faith that his Redeemer lives.  It is the same for us. No matter how hard this life becomes circumstantially, we must remember we have a Savior who is alive and well. Jesus is our HOPE!

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 7 – The Umpire of the Gospel

Today’s Reading: Job 8-10

Hidden within the verses of these three chapters is a beautiful Old Testament picture of Jesus and our need for the Gospel.  It is found in Job 9:30-33.

If I should wash myself with snow
And cleanse my hands with lye,
Yet You would plunge me into the pit,
And my own clothes would abhor me.
For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him,
That we may go to court together.
There is no umpire between us,
Who may lay his hand upon us both.

–Job 9:30-33 (NASB)

The Word of God makes it clear that we cannot clean ourselves.  Like Job, it doesn’t matter the amount of soap or scrubbing we do with our good works or feeble attempts to “be good.” We remain sinful before a Holy God on our own merits.  Something must be done on our behalf in order for the stain of sin to be removed.  Praise God, the stain can be removed by Jesus Christ and what He did for us.

Come now, and let us reason together,
Says the Lord,
Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.
–Isaiah 1:18 (NASB)

In the immediate context of Job, this “umpire” mentioned in 9:33 would serve as one to judge between Job and God to determine who was right and who was wrong in the middle of all of this turmoil.  Job correctly reasons that such an umpire cannot exist since God possesses the ultimate authority and serves as the ultimate judge of what is good and just.  Though the immediate context points to this truth, it brought to my mind the reality that the “umpire” that stands between us and God does so, not to pass judgement, but to serve as a mediator.  The Gospel tells us the mediator I elude to is Jesus Christ.

For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time. –1 Timothy 2:5-6 (NASB)

The Gospel declares that a great chasm exists between God and man due to or sinfulness.  However, this chasm was bridged and our relationship with God was restored because of the completed work of Jesus Christ.  Jesus is the umpire that stands between us and God.  Though on our own, God would see nothing in us but sin and rebellion, because of Jesus standing between us, God sees us as righteous and redeemed.

This type of redemption is what Job and other Old Testament saints longed to see.  They looked forward to the day when redemption would be available to all men.  Today, we know that the Redeemer has come.  Jesus Christ has made a way for our sins to be washed as white as snow and for us to stand before God without spot or wrinkle.  Through faith in Jesus, our sins can be forgiven and our relationship with our Heavenly Father can be restored.

As a former profession baseball player, umpires weren’t my favorite group of people.  But in light of today’s reading I say, “Praise God for THE Umpire!”

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 6 – When Other’s Hurt

Today’s Reading: Job 4-7

In today’s reading we see the first of Job’s “friends” begin his efforts at comforting Job in the midst of his affliction.  In chapters 4-5 Eliphaz reasons that Job is simply being punished by God for iniquity in his life.  Job 4:17-19 poses the question, “Can mankind be just before God?” On our own, none can be just or pure before God.  Right here, in the middle of Job, we see a truth that points us to our need for the Gospel. Because none of us are righteous or pure before God, we need a Savior.  Through Jesus Christ’s completed work on the cross and His resurrection, the Bible says our impurity and imperfection can be removed.  We can, by faith and repentance, stand before God clean and blameless.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. – Jude 24-25 (NASB)

Now back to the text from today’s reading. Eliphaz cannot see beyond human reasoning when it comes to all Job has encountered.  He cannot see God’s greater purpose in pain.  Therefore, he concludes that Job is simply getting what he deserves.  Job 5:8-27 contains Eliphaz’s recommendation for Job.

Verse 8 says, “I would seek God, and I would place my cause before Him.”

Job 5:17-19 gives us a great parallel to Hebrews 12:5-11:

Behold, how happy is the man whom God reproves, so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. – Job 5:17 (NASB)

 

…My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; for those whom the Lord loves He disciplines and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. – Hebrews 12:5-8 (NASB)

Job 6-7 contains Job’s response to Eliphaz.  Job disagrees with Eliphaz’s assessment and challenges him to point out where he has erred.  Job doesn’t receive kindness from Eliphaz, only rebuke.  Job laments over what remains of his life and by the end of chapter 7 we see Job directly questioning God over his pain.

There is much more to unpack as we make our way through Job.  However, the point of application from today’s reading is this: We have hurting people all around us.  Sometimes the reason for their hurt is easy to discern because of self-inflicted poor decisions.  In those times it is a loving thing to come alongside them and offer encouragement and direction.  However, there are many times when the reason for the pain is not clear.  In these times, we must avoid our weak attempts at answering the question of why. When we cannot clearly answer the why question, we simply need to be there to support, love, and encourage those who are hurting.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Chronological Bible Reading – January 5 – Job’s Unwavering Commitment

Today’s Reading: Job 1-3

There is debate about where the story of Job falls in the chronology of Scripture.  However, the plan that I use places Job early in Genesis. Therefore, today begins several days in the book of Job.

Today’s reading is painful. Job 1:1 tells of the man named Job, describing him as blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil. Based on the continued description of Job, he is an extremely wealthy man.

Job 1 tells us that Satan appeared before God after roaming around on the earth.  God points out Job’s faithfulness and Satan declares the only reason Job is faithful is because of the rich blessing and circumstances in his life.  Satan challenges God and predicts the moment these things are removed, Job’s faithfulness will leave with them. Continue reading