Getting Old? (Job 14:5)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY FROM JOB 14:   Getting Old?

How long will you live? Job says man's days are already calculated:

"Since his days are determined, the number of his months is with You; You have appointed his limits, so that he cannot pass" (Job 14:5).

My first granddaughter, Norah, was born yesterday, nearly a week after her due date. Late, according to man's scheduling--right on time, according to God's! 

Just as Yahweh has determined our birthdate He has also determined the day of our homecoming. From start to finish, we have all been blessed with a specific number of days to enjoy life. No lawyer, politician, doctor nor parent may alter this. 

This should be welcomed news for believers!  We are indestructible until the whistle blows and God determines: "time's up!" 

Many folks worry and fret about the future, life's unfortunate circumstances, or the shortness of their days, but Yeshua explains, "Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?" (Matthew 6:27 ESV). 

Now, if the average lifespan today is 77 years, that means most of us will have: 924 total months of life. As of today, I have spent 654, or 71% if my allotment which means I have only 270 remaining months-- 23 more birthdays, IF I arrive to the average!

Time is the one resource that cannot be renewed.  This is sobering. Life zooms by, and we carelessly waste our time as if there were no limit. Question: how are you spending your remaining days for Him?

Quiet! (Job 13:5)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY FROM JOB 13: Let's be quiet!

Job responds to his abusive friends with esteemed words for all to consider:

"Oh, that you would be silent, and it would be your wisdom!" 
(Job 13:5).

Is there not a more polite way to say: "shut up?"

Whether we want to truly be wise, or perceived as wise, this is good counsel. King Solomon stated, "Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive" (Pr 17:28).

Now, I am not smart enough to determine if I am wise or not, but one thing I do know is that holding my tongue has spared me much grief! "I've rarely regretted what I didn't say," someone wisely pointed out, "but I've oftentimes wanted to retract what I did say, but couldn't."

It takes discipline, but it can be done. The tongue must be tamed, bridled, conquered! James seems to think it possible: "If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is useless" (James 1:26). 

Have you noticed God gave us two ears and only one mouth? Is He trying to tell us something? I think James caught His message: "So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to become angry." 

Had only Job's friends sat in silence; that would have been wise.

Involuntary Organs (Job 12:9-10)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY FROM JOB 12:  The Involuntary Organs

The heart, lungs, stomach, liver and kidney are examples of involuntary organs. Most days we carry on our lives without taking note of them.  Isn't it interesting that those life sustaining organs function under God's control, not ours?

Job ponders, "Who among all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?" (Job 12:9-10).

While we sleep, God keeps our heart pumping and our lungs breathing. More amazing still is that Elohim keeps every organ functioning in every human being, bird, fish and animal throughout the entire world simultaneously, and has done so since the beginning of time! 

I wonder if God thinks it humorous when silly atheists claim: "He's not there," or when His enemies blaspheme and attack His goodness and grace. Laughingly, He says, "If you only knew!"

He who guides the planets, controls the weather, provides grain, orders and sustains our lives is worthy of our trust. When cycles of adversity come, and uncertainties loom, and pain is present, do we honor God with our trust, or do we reward Him with our silly unbelief.

No Black Eyes (Job 11:3-5)

No Black Eyes!  (Job 11:3-5)

Snarling Zophar pounces into the ring with a ruthless verbal attack against Job:

"Should your empty talk make men hold their peace? And when you mock, should no one rebuke you? For you have said, ‘My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in your eyes.’ But oh, that God would speak, and open His lips against you" (Job 11:3-5).

Round two begins a tad ugly: illegal, below-the-belt, punch; hitting a man when he's already down! "Friends" can be that way; especially when you discuss religion. 

Isn't it odd that the very doctrines that are meant to unite us become bitter points of contention? Differing views over baptism, worship, communion, music, eschatology or spiritual gifts often build divisive walls. 

It is important to have strong, Biblically based convictions; this is vital! But in non-essentials, it is important to learn to respect other's opinions and practice love! Agree to disagree, and maintain that bond of unity. Love your brother for whom Messiah died.

Bunch of Cracked Pots (Job 10:8-9)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Just a Bunch of Cracked Pots

Even in Job’s day, men understood the complexities of the human anatomy.  With our advanced technology and recent discoveries in molecular biology we marvel with Job: 

“Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity; yet You would destroy me. Remember, I pray, that You have made me like clay.  And will You turn me into dust again?”  (Job 10:8-9).

God is truly Creator, and he miraculously assembled this intricate unity from the finest of materials: dust and clay--the very stuff we sweep out of the house!  

So, the Artist has done a bit of clay modeling, and what if He doesn't particularly like His work?  Does he not have the right to remold it and create something even more beautiful or useful?  

Paul recognizes this:  

“But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God?  Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, “Why have you made me like this?”  Does not the Potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?”

Together with Job, we must allow the Divine Potter to make what He wants of our lives.  It is not our right to disagree or even opinionate!  If He wants to crush, bend, stretch, pull, destroy, or even pulverize us, that is His prerogative, not ours.  

God’s masterful work in our lives may be uncomfortable at times, but because we know He is good and benevolent, we can trust Him to create something beautiful.  Just rest, and see what the Designer will make out of you!

Our Advocate (Job 9:33)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Our Advocate

Job needed somebody. He needed someone to hear his case; a real-life, flesh-n'-blood representative who could talk to God on his behalf, and could transmit Yahweh's heart to him.  Someone other than present company: his three very judgmental friends.  In vain he looked around and finally said,

"Nor is there any mediator between us, who may lay his hand on us both" (Job 9:33)

You've been misunderstood, someone's been offended, and is convinced you're bad, bad, bad.  And ugly, too!  Before you can explain yourself, others have been warned, and your cherished reputation is destroyed. cAttempting to defend yourself, blame is shifted to others, which only confirms their accusations. You're doomed!

Job's longing is also our heart's cry! "Isn't there someone who can listen, and hear my case, and judge fairly between me and my accuser?" Job looked around, but there was no one.

Thousands of years passed before that Mediator finally arrived. That's what Messiah came to do, to represent us before God, and vice-versa. A real flesh-n'-blood Man who is also Divine. Of Him Paul says, "For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus."

God Himself came in human flesh to intercede for us! We now have a proper Representative who loves us, and promises to protect us from the vile words of the accuser. Seek His counsel, and find refuge in the Advocate who came to Earth to rescue you!

Weigh your words (Job 8:4)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Weigh your words!

If these are friends, I would rather be friendless!  Bildad, a masterful marksman, lobs an accusative poison arrow at the most sensitive area of Job's heart: cruelly attacking his defenseless, dead children.

"If your sons have sinned against Him, He has cast them away for their transgression" (Job 8:4).

You think you can take just about any injustice thrown at you, but when they go after your own flesh-n'-blood, well: "Hey, buster! Them's fightin words; my kids are off limits!"

Oh, the unfairness of his carelessness!  First, Bildad starts his accusation by saying "if. . ." He does not know what he’s talking about; he's obviously making assumptions; false accusations. That's just plain 'ol mean!

Job did everything he could to be a good father, providing abundantly for his kids and even going the extra mile offering sacrifices for his boys just in case they'd done wrong.  Going after his prodigy is going after Job: "you've been a bad father."

The most vile attack, however, is that Bildad is dragging our loving Father into this. He's become Yahweh's self-appointed spokesman. "God has done this to you, man! You are so evil, the Lord's done what He's had to do."  He blemished God’s gracious, merciful character; it would have been better to remain silent.

In one insensitive sentence, Job's cowardly friend slanders God, Job and his children! Oh that we would learn to guard our evil tongues, keep our opinions to ourselves, and speak words of grace, rather than hollow pronunciations of judgement.

Morning Housecall (Job 7:17-18)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Morning Housecall

Job is an insignificant speck, sitting on a tiny planet, in a vast and never ending universe, calling out to His awesome and eternal Creator:

“What is man, that You should exalt him, that You should set Your heart on him, that You should visit him every morning, and test him every moment?   (Job 7:17-18). 

The context allows for this rough translation: "Hey, why bother with me? This is too painful! Can't You just leave me alone and let me die?"

No! The Doctor cannot leave Job in this condition. He has good plans for him and is preparing him for eternity. God is intent on healing Job, but the patient reacts to the treatment as if disinfecting salt is poured in an open wound.

At times, it seems our daily testing is too severe, too uncomfortable, too painful!  But God is doing a necessary, cleansing work. He loves you so much, and He cares about you so, that He gives daily "house calls" as He wants your soul to be well for eternity.

Broke? (Job 6:8-9)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Broke?

Neither you nor I necessarily crave it; in fact, most avoid it at all costs. But when a believer goes though it, it's the most cherished of experiences. It is called, brokenness. Job is being extremely crushed in the crucible of life, and yet he asks for even more:

“Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant me the thing that I long for! That it would please God to crush me" (Job 6:8-9). 

"Bring it on," he says! This is not some strange masochistic death wish, but a very real and necessary process followers of Messiah must go through. The only way for a wild, stubborn, rebellious horse to be tamed is to be broken first, and God is in the business of "taming" us.

There is a second wonderful advantage in being crushed: there's no other time in the Christian experience when one senses God's presence as much as when being broken. You sense His nearness as never before; His voice is more audible--or is it, rather, that we've just not been listening?

Thirdly, there is an unexplainable power and joy in the process. Paul discovered it: "That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Philippians 3:9).  And fourthly, brokeness is pleasing to God.

Pain, crushing, brokenness, trials, sacrifice, tribulation, fasting, suffering and death. Not too exciting for the world, but a blessed secret for the believer! Make your prayer the song we all sing: 

Brokenness, brokenness is what I long for. Brokenness is what I need. 
Brokenness is what You want from me.

Seek, Trust and Remember (Job 5:8-9)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Seek, Trust and Remember!

Sometimes Eliphaz says ridiculous things, but one can occasionally find gems of truth even in the words of a simpleton. Though his premise is wrong, his exhortation, and exaltation of the Almighty, are ridiculously precise:

“But as for me, I would seek God, and to God I would commit my cause—Who does great things, and unsearchable, marvelous things without number" (Job 5:8–9).

What is your cause?  Have you been slandered?  Treated unjustly or unfairly?  Have you been bullied, or maligned in some way?  Has someone let you down?  Do you feel lonely, abused, forgotten or abandoned?  Or, like Job, has an unexpected tidal wave of misfortune suddenly rocked your world leaving strewn devastation?

Listen! Don't take matters into your own hands. The best--and only--thing you should do at this point is turn to God and seek Him.  He is the One who gives true solace, guidance and comfort.  Has God not done wonders in your life?  Has He not proven Himself as a faithful Rock throughout the Scriptures?  Is He not worthy of your trust?

This is where the rubber meets the road, and faith is put into practice. Take Eliphaz' advice and do these three simple things: 1) seek God in your moment of need, 2) trust and commit your cause to Him, and 3) worship God and remember those marvelous things He has done, and allow Him to prove Himself faithful to you again and again and again!

Can you be Holier than God? (Job 4:17)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Holier than God?

Eliphaz, Job's "friend," asks a question that must have seemed absurd to the ancients: Can you be HOLIER than God?

"Can a mortal be more righteous than God? Can a man be more pure than his Maker?" (Job 4:17).

The answer is found in the New Testament which is more of a commandment than a response: "You MUST be PERFECT as your Heavenly Father is Perfect." Obviously, "perfection" cannot be improved upon, but we zero in on that fact that Messiah tells us it MUST be done!

Guilty, we hang our heads in shame reflecting on the stupid things we've done in life and we know we are disqualified. Yes! We have disqualified ourselves from Heaven because of our own evilness. God's law points a condemning finger at us and shouts: "the soul that sins shall surely die" and off we march to the death chambers.

Something happens on the way, however, when the One who loves us asks a simple question: "May I give you a gift?" 

Paul tell us this gift is God's righteousness, and he who receives it will live forever. Perfect Yeshua saves us from eternal punishment and freely gives us His purity so we can live!  "Free" to us, but it cost Him everything: His death on the cross paid the debt you and I owed.   The Passover Lamb sacrificed.

Joy floods our souls and we display a huge smile of relief, knowing that it is possible for a person to be as perfect, as holy, as righteous as our Maker--because it was freely gifted to us in Messiah.  How much do you value this precious gift, and how will you respond to Him for it in this New Year?


Discouraged? (Job 3:11)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Discouraged?

Have you ever felt so down, so bewildered, so disoriented, so distraught, so fearful and frustrated as Job when he asked himself this question:

“Why did I not die at birth? Why did I not perish when I came from the womb?" (Job 3:11). 

You DO remember that time in life when these words escaped your lips:  "It would have been better had I never been born!" 

Like Job, you may be tested and your world will be shaken to its very core. Everything will be stripped away, and you alone are standing naked before God. You are on trial to see if you love Him more than earthly treasures, possessions, family and fame. This is excruciating personal grief and agony; it hurts!

And it is very common.

Are you a BITTER person or a BETTER person after enduring life's tribulations? Pain and suffering should bring us into a depth of relationship with God that few ever experience. My only advice is to weather the storm.  Like Job, you have also been given the gift of life and you will experience God's grace and eventual restoration.

Beware of the stalker! (Job 2:2)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Beware; there's a stalker out there, and he's up to no good!

And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?”  Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it” (Job 2:2).

Have you ever found yourself in a bad neighborhood, glancing over your shoulder, sensing your life is in danger? I think it is prudent for believers to be on alert at every moment because our adversary is on the prowl; he has you in his sights, and he intends to do you harm.

We are not to live in fear, but we are admonished to be vigilant. Jesus warned His disciples: "I send you out as lambs among wolves" and Peter tells that Satan "walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."  He wants to take you out--to kill, steal and destroy you!

Put up a guard today and watch your step.  We never know at what corner we could  meet up with the enemy of your souls.


Does God see you as He saw Job? (Job 1:8)

THOUGHT FOR TODAY:  Does God see you as He saw Job?

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?” (Job 1:8).

We should be like Job in the following six areas:

1. My servant:  Our only desire should be to please and serve our Master, and anything else pales in comparison.

2. None like him:  we must be our unique selves, having strong convictions, not "going with the flow" of the crowd, but unabashedly determined to honor and obey God.

3. Blameless:  though we know there is plenty of blame, God considers us perfect, blameless, because we are clothed in the righteousness of His Righteous Son.

4. Upright:  honest, showing integrity

5. Fear's God:  knowing that God sees our every action and knows our very thoughts.  

6. Shuns evil:  we must flee from sin.

If we would practice these things in this New Year, what a time of growth and spurring on the maturity this would be.  In fact, make these you resolutions for life!