18th June: Job 13-17

Job

13:1-14:22  –  When you don’t really know what you’re talking about, it’s a case of the less said the better. That’s how Job feels about his ‘friends’ – ‘Oh that would you keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!’ (13:5). They are  no help to him. What does he do next? He takes his problem to the Lord. Nothing seems clear to Job. He seems to be bogged down in his own suffering. There is, however, a glimmer of light. A question comes into his mind – ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ (14:14). Later on, Job gives the answer of faith: ‘I know that my Redeemer lives…Even after my skin has been stripped off my body, I will see God in my own flesh’ (19:25). ‘Christ has been raised from the dead…Death is swallowed up in victory…Thanks  be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ’ (1 Corinthians 15:20,54,57).

15:1-16:5  –  After more of the same from Eliphaz, Job responds, ‘How often have I heard all this before! What sorry comforters you are!’ (16:1). With ‘friends’ like this, who needs enemies? This was not what Job needed. He needed ‘words of encouragement’ (16:5). Where does true comfort comes from? It comes from the Holy Spirit – ‘the Comforter’ (John 14:26). If we are to speak words of encouragement, we must listen to the voice of the Spirit. We must learn to speak with His voice, the voice of ‘love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control’ (Galatians 5:22-23). Pray that ‘the meditation of your heart’ and ‘the words of your mouth’ will be filled with the Spirit of love. Remember – Without love, our words mean ‘nothing’ (Psalm 19:14; 1 Corinthians 13:1-2). Let there be more love.

16:6-17:16  –  ‘There is no violence in my hands, and my prayer is pure’ (16:17). Is this no more than Job’s own opinion of himself? No! It is much more than that. It is also God’s view of Job: ‘my witness is in heaven, and He that vouches for me is on high’ (16:19). When suffering comes our way, we can become bitter – blaming God and turning away from Him – or we can become better – ‘the righteous holds to his way, and he that has clean hands grows stronger and stronger’ (17:9). What makes the difference? – It is ‘God’s love…poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit’ (Romans 5:3-5). Seeing our suffering in the light of God’s love, we say, with faith, ‘Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’ (Romans 8:35-39). Let His love lead you from the bitter way to the better way.

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