January 9 – Why?

Today’s reading is from Job 21 – 23.

 

May I make a confession? I winced when I saw that my reading schedule has Job so soon after Genesis 11. I wanted to read about Abraham and his faith, about Isaac and his bride, about Jacob and the striped, speckled or whatever goats (well, maybe not so much about those, since I still can’t figure out how he manipulated the outcome)! Instead, I came face to face with the troubles of Job, his loss of everything including his children and the friends who “comforted” him during this season. It’s a painful read.

 

But God knows what He is doing. Truly the “Bible is an integrated whole which bears evidence of supernatural engineering in every detail.” (Yes, I remember writing that a few days ago.) Reading the Book of Job only reinforced in my mind how far sin has taken us down. From  walking with the LORD in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden to being deceived and forever banished. Even after God started over with Noah where the slate has been wiped clean! It seems either through man’s own wickedness or spiritual forces beyond our control – we always find ourselves in an ash heap like Job, scraping our wounds and wondering why. And this is only Day 9.

 

Job is asking questions that we have asked at one time or another, how life seems unfair at times.  But as Pastor Chuck Smith is fond of saying: Don’t exchange what you don’t know for what you do know.

 

We don’t know ~

Why children suffer.

Why criminals go unpunished.

Why the wicked prosper.

 

We do know ~

God is faithful(1 Peter 4:19)

God is eternal. (Psalm 102:12)

God is good. (Romans 2:4)

God is holy(Revelation 4:8)

God loves us(1 John 3:16)

 

Unlike Job in 23:3, we do not have to go searching for God’s dwelling and state our case before Him. To a child of God, He is only a prayer away.

 

From my YouVersion devotion, I read this. We can substitute “persecution” for “trials.”

 

In the book A Green Leaf in Drought Time, Andrew Murray had some fine advice for those undergoing persecution. He gave them four words of counsel.

 

  1. You are in this straight place by Divine appointment.
  2. You are here in His keeping. He will keep you by His grace and love in this situation.
  3. You are here for His training and discipline. God wants to stretch you, to build you up, and He has brought you to this trial to test you by fire.
  4. You are here in His time. You don’t know how long you’ll be here, or what your future will hold, but this is where God wants you now.

 

What if you and I approached every trial we face with these precepts in mind? What if we viewed every hardship as His perfect plan for us? Murray also said, “If there were any circumstance better for you than the one in which you find yourself, Divine Love would have placed you there.” That gives our trials a whole new meaning, doesn’t it? If you are experiencing a time of difficulty right now, ask God to give you wisdom to see your situation the way He sees it. His aim is that you and I grow up. Trials are our ticket out of complacency and mediocrity. When we struggle, we grow. Like Job, we can be certain that the outcome of our pain will be a stronger, purer faith.

 

I couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

[Reading from Blue Letter Bible – Chronological Plan]

 

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8 thoughts on “January 9 – Why?

  1. Yes, God knows. We don’t. Oh, that this would sink in, cuz truly if it was part of our belief system our faith could move mountains. Thank you Jesus for this powerful teaching today, oh, to let this sink into our bone marrow, words that were shared from Grace and Peace. “But God knows what He is doing.” Does that just not make everything seem lighter? It does to me. He knows. He knows. He knows. My reading today came from the Chronological Bible. There were so many nuggets to talk about; but, I will limit myself, lol to one area. One wrong always comes back to find you out:“and you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).Esau held much contempt in his heart for his brother Jacob. Did he remember that he gave away his birthright to his younger brother? When he lost what he felt belonged to him he became angry. I’ve heard Biblical teachers quite often say, “anger is the number one sin today.”The enemy sets out to take footage in our heart every time we get angry over something. This is the devil’s way to separate us from God. Thoughts enter in our mind which take root and fester and begin to take hold. Next thing we know we are conniving ways to get even. Manipulating situations to get back at the person. Our only hope: rely on scripture. “take every thought take captive and make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). I remember Beth Moore telling us several years ago that this was one of the best Bible verses she ever memorized. From personal experience, God has used this verse to open up sin in my heart, more times than one.The more I stay in God’s Word, the more I’m finding out that my reactions to situations always stem from sin in my heart. What ever our situation is, we can pray. We can ask God to see Him right there where we are at. He is always with us; yes, He is with us till we take our very last breath!Lori

  2. Job’s 3 friends were afraid to admit that if Job’s sins weren’t the cause of his calamity, then the same could happen to them. I am so thankful for the book of Job in that I can know that bad things can happen to good people because God has allowed them, not because the person did something bad. Life looks so unfair to my human eyes. Who do the wicked seem to prosper? Why does that innocent baby get so sick? We may never know those answers this side of heaven, but we can know God and that is enough. Job’s 3 “friends” speak many truths. But they don’t apply to Job’s situation; and the attitude of their hearts are all wrong. I have been guilty of the same. When I give “good counsel” to someone, is my heart in the right place? I need to check my agenda at the door each time my mouth opens to offer advice. Better yet; I need to zip it! Just be there. Let my presence be my present.Morgen

  3. Good morning! I am reading the chronological format again this year, Wendy’s Psalm study and have been thinking about the Job readings. Putting it all together this morning, I am lead to pray for my children. Isaac blesses Jacob. He knew deep down that honoring, depending and following God, will result in blessing. Isaac and Job both set an example for their children of living a life of great faith. And using the list from the writing above,I know that God is faithful,eternal,good,holy and that He loves me. I pray that my children know that deep down also.

  4. Running short on time today sisters. Already 30 minutes behind what my plan was for the day. Here is my FB post and I will hopefully be back later to read the comments and to comment on the post for today. XOXOXO BrandeeGenesis chapter 26, a pivotal time in the life of Isaac. He had his boys and they were growing up, he loved his son Esau and had a good relationship with him and his son Jacob was very close to his wife. I imagine Isaac was somewhat settled in his life and then a famine hits. To avoid the effects of the famine Isaac picks up and leaves Beer-lahai-roi (25:11) and heads down towards Egypt as his father Abraham had done. Egypt was well-known to be well-watered and a source of food, but before he gets all the way there he stops in Gerar and God meets him there. He tells him not to go all the way to Egypt and to stay there in Gerar. God reconfirms His covenant that He spoke to Isaac’s father Abraham. Obeying God, Isaac settled there in Gerar with his family. But to stay there in this place took faith. Famines are a test of our faith and God uses them as opportunities to perfect his people. It was time for Isaac to be perfected. Genesis 25:21 tells us that Isaac was a man who prays, so he was following God, but how closely? The famine was going to work out the lack of faith in Isaac’s life so God could do what He wanted to do in and through Him to build a nation. Isaac still had fear. Even though God had come to him and promised him He would be with him and protect him, his full trust was not in God (26:3-4, 7). He fell into the same situation as his father many years earlier, fearing he might be killed for Rebekah as Abraham did with Sarah with King Abimelech. He had to work through those fears. As he did he then sowed seeds in that land. God blessed and Isaac reaped one hundred times what he sowed. Just like this famine came into Isaac’s life, famines come into ours as well. God uses them to perfect us, to root out our fears. He asks us to sow seeds in these deserts and trust Him. When we do this, trust Him in these times and let Him change us our harvest will far outweigh what we sowed. Up until this point God had been his father’s God to Isaac, God was blessing him because of his father Abraham and his obedience (26:5), but now Isaac had learned about God firsthand, for himself. He moved back to Beer-sheba where his father had lived and just as his father, he built an alter to the Lord (26:23-25). He was at the place now were he himself “called on the name of Yahweh” and had his own personal relationship with Him. Through this whole chapter God refined Isaac and through this it brought him to the point he encountered and worshiped God for himself (26:25). The famines bring us to the Lord, to let Him work out the things in us that need to be worked out, then we will see God for ourselves and worship Him not based on what He did for others, but for the abundant blessings He produced for us personally.

  5. I loved what you wrote, Brandee! Thank you for sharing and G&P, your take on the trials of this life. Both are keepers! Thank you. I hope to be back to post on the reading but couldn’t read these beautiful words written by such beautiful sisters without commenting 🙂 Love and hugs to all, Bethany

  6. G&P I just wanted you to know I love, love your thoughts today. Oh to trust God with the whys and the questions and rely on what we do know. This has been a major issue for my husband as he has come to know the Lord and I praise God that eventhough he still has a lot of questions in this area he has chosen the way of truth and to trust in Jesus despite not having all his questions answered. We never will this side of heaven, but we do know for sure that our God is a good God, He is a just God and all the bad things He can use for our good when we trust Him. Not only our good but the good of those around us that He knows will need our story and that He will place in our path. Hope to have more time later in the week, this week I have things to do everyday till Thursday. Night girls, Brandee

  7. Great words G&P, Lori, Brandee…. I haven’t been able to get to sit & write until now. I did however do my reading first thing this am & took some notes. I was taken back on all of the deception I read in the chronological bible– As Lori said, this is exactly how the enemy gets a foothold in our lives- starting back with Adam & Eve. I find it peculiar that Isaac deceives the same king Abimelech as his father by saying Rebekah is his sister. What really ‘got’ me was how Rebekah coerces her son, Jacob into deceiving his father, Isaac to receive Esau’s blessing. This was not just a ‘lie’~ this took planning, plotting, & shcemeing. But God knew all & everything was made for good. I do know how hurt & angry I get when someone straight out lies or deceives me. This has taught me 2 things– 1) “So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God & man.” (Acts 24:16) and 2) “Bless those who curse you & pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:28.Good night & I hope to get on earlier tomorrow,Heather

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