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Today we begin the book of Job! Below is an image of Job with his friends by artist Guy Rowe:
~ Job ~
Date: Tenth century B.C.
Content: This long narrative poem deals with one of the deepest problems of man: How do we explain sin and suffering, if there exists a God powerful enough to do something about them? The book begins with the suffering of Job being given three sets of speeches by some friends of his: Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, each of whom tries to explain Job’s misery in a different way. A fourth man, Elihu, tries to summarize the situation, offering yet another explanation of why Job was suffering. Finally, the Lord himself speaks to Job, and Job recognizes that we do not so much need “answers” to life’s problems, as we need God himself. Job is then healed and given material and spiritual blessings far beyond his former state.
Theme: The mystery that surrounds human existence and the need to trust in God runs throughout the book. Mankind simply does not have enough knowledge to explain why things happen the way they do. It is possible to rise above our limitations by faith in God, however, because God does know why everything happens and will work good for those who love him. We may thus learn the profound truth that when we have nothing left but God, God is enough. (Above commentary is from Tyndale Publishers “The One Year Bible Companion” pp. 9-10) More commentary on Job titled “The Ideal of Submission” is at this link. Below is an image from 15th century German artist Mittelalter of Job being smitten by sores by Satan from today's readings and Job's wife saying to him in chapter 2 verse 9: "Are you still trying to maintain your integrity? Curse God and die."
Today Job has a very interesting chapter 1 discussion between God and Satan. Do you believe in the existence of Satan? Demons? Evil? In the introduction to the wonderful book, “The Screwtape Letters,” C.S. Lewis writes: “There are two equal and opposite errors into which the human race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.” I’ll be honest – in my early Christian walk, I did not really believe in the existence of Satan, demons, evil. I believed in God and Christ and Love, and thought that was enough – evil didn’t need to exist in my universe. :) Unfortunately, I've heard another quote that: "Satan's greatest trick is to convince a person that Satan does not exist." I now could not agree more. If you don't believe in Satan or evil's existence then you are left open to subtle attacks, without even realizing it. God is so much more powerful than anything Satan can throw at you. But, keep in mind, Satan is throwing temptations at you. How do you combat the devil's temptations? Read Ephesians chapter 6 verses 10-18 at this link. Do you believe in the existence of Satan? Demons? Evil?
In Job chapter 4 we read about Eliphaz the Temanite's first response to Job, including these words in verses 3 through 6: "In the past you have encouraged many a troubled soul to trust in God; you have supported those who were weak. Your words have strengthened the fallen; you steadied those who wavered. But now when trouble strikes, you faint and are broken. Does your reverence for God give you no confidence? Shouldn't you believe that God will care for those who are upright?" How do these words of Eliphaz's speak to you? Are these fair words for him to be saying to Job? Are they fair words for us to consider in our own lives today as well?
Worship God: Today's readings in Job 1:21 reminded me of Casting Crowns' song "Praise you in this Storm:"
Have you praised God in the storm? Click here and Praise!
Please join us in memorizing and meditating on a verse of Scripture today: "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21 NIV
Prayer Point: Pray that you will worship God in the midst of any storms that come into your life.
Comments from You: What verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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