Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1- Humbled Before God

September 1, 2011

Scripture Reading:
Job 40:1-42:17; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21;
Psalm 45:1-17; Proverbs 22:14

Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of 
Truth and Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods.  
~Albert Einstein

Job 40:1-42:17

What would you do if God spoke to you out of a tornado that was right in front of you?  Well, you would probably do what Job did.  He stated, "I am nothing."  Boy, did he get that right.  We are dust, folks.  We are told from the Bible that we were created from dust and when we die, we decay and become dust again.  Job is having a wake-up call.  He had gotten pretty darn pleased with himself and all of his obedience and good works.  He had questioned God's justice in allowing him to suffer.  Now, he sits before his Creator with his hand over his mouth.  Wisely, Job says that he has said too much already.  He's done.

God is not done, though.  Now, we get the second half of God's talk about seeing God through His majestic creation.  God starts by challenging Job to be able to humble and punish the wicked like He does.  God emphasizes that He, alone, is able to imprison evil people in death.  Whoa.

Next, God speaks of the awesome power of the hippopotamus.  In beautiful prose, God sets forth this creature as a prime example of His amazing handiwork.  Then, God describes a creature called leviathan.  The New Living Translation falsely puts the word "crocodile" in for this creature.  A crocodile does not in any way meet the standard that God describes in this section.  This would have been a dinosaur-type creature, perhaps like a plesiosaur, but much more fierce.  The difference is that this creature had skin like armor, unable to be pierced by swords. There are portions of this passage where this creature sounds like a fire-breathing dragon.  The creature is described as being so strong that iron is like straw and bronze is like rotten wood before it.  It makes the waters churn in its wake.  I can assure you that these descriptions were not about crocodiles.  We presently keep crocodiles in water parks in the United States.  This would have been a terrifying dinosaur-like creature that man could not tame.

When we get to the book of Revelation at the end of the Bible, we see that Satan is empowered to enter into a man that is described as a beast that comes out of the sea.  This Antichrist is the vehicle through which Satan takes his last stand against His Creator.  I believe that this final argument that God is giving to Job about His greatness is a foreshadowing of this future event.  God is saying that He has even created Satan, who no man can contain.  Only God can defeat this great enemy of mankind. God is saying that only He is worthy of praise and honor for creating such a creature.  Have you ever realized that the existence of Satan makes God worthy of honor?  This creature is God's closing argument on His power through creation. God, alone, will defeat Satan. God has presented His case and He has won!

Job wanted to present his case before God.  Job cried out for an Advocate who would argue for him in front of God.  Instead, Job gets a direct hearing before the Lord.  What he finds is that given the chance to defend oneself before the Creator, he is speechless before God's power and wisdom.  Job admits that he was talking about things that he didn't understand, things far too wonderful for him.  Job states,
"I had heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes. I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance."  (NLT)
May we all learn from father Job.  We all must sit in dust and ashes repenting before God.  Job is a wise man.  Why did Job suffer?  He had to learn the lesson of repentance.  Job needed to repent of sin.  Have you repented of sin in your life?

God rebukes Job's friends in anger at what they said to Job.  He requires them to do an animal sacrifice for their sins.  Remember, this type of sacrifice pictures Jesus' future death and has been required by God since the Garden of Eden.  Job will act as a intercessor/priest for the men and God will accept the sacrifice and the prayers of Job and forgive them.

After Job prayed for his friends (frenemies?) God restores all of his fortunes.  He gives him twice as much as before.  The Bible indicates that the Lord had allowed trouble to fall on Job, and Job was comforted by his friends and family because of what he had suffered. They each brought him a monetary gift, which increased his fortune.  Out of mercy comes blessings. God also restores Job's family.  He gives him ten more children.  Job is allowed to live after this incident another 140 years.  He sees the fourth generation of his children and grandchildren.  He dies an old man who has lived a long and good life.  Wow.

Lessons:  God is the Creator.  We do not know enough to question His character, justice, purposes, etc.  We are to be silent before Him.  God is merciful.  God is just.  God blesses those who follow Him in faith. We must be humble ourselves before our Creator. We must repent of sin.

Are you humble in suffering?  Would you pray for friends who had treated you badly during your suffering?  Job shows humility when he does this. Job shows humility when he repents.

2 Corinthians 5:11-21

Paul encourages the Corinthians to live to please Christ, because He died to raise them to new life.  Now, Paul admits that initially, he thought Jesus was just another human being.  Not anymore!  He realizes that Christ makes people a new creature in Himself.  God is reconciling humanity to Himself through Jesus because He no longer is holding their sins against them.  Christ's death covers their sins.

Paul is now an ambassador to the world for Christ. An ambassador promotes peace between two countries.  Paul is promoting peace between mankind and God through Christ.

Job is an example of someone who becomes reconciled to God through belief in the future Messiah and repents of his sin.  God communed with Job after Job humbled himself and confessed his sin. Job ends up being an ambassador for God to his friends!

Are you an ambassador for Christ?

Psalm 45:1-17

Picture the Church as Christ's bride saying this psalm to her husband and king.

Proverbs 22:14

Have you heard the mouth of an immoral woman?  It is a deep pit.  If the world who is turned against God is seen as an immoral woman, then the words of the world are a deep pit.  Don't fall into that pit.

What did you  notice today as you read?


Jubilee Gal
Kathy Fullerton 

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