20th June: Job 21-24

Job

21:1-34  –  Job has listened to his ‘comforters’, and he is not impressed: ‘How then will you comfort me with empty nothings? There is nothing left of your answers but falsehood’ (34). Job can’t make sense of all that is happening to him. He doesn’t understand what it all means. In all his confusion, there is one thing he doesn’t forget: God is in control. When he asks the question, ‘Will any teach God knowledge …?’ (22), what he’s really saying is this: ‘I don’t understand what’s going on, but God does!’. Later on, Job speaks these great words of faith – ‘He knows the way that I take; when He has tried me, I shall come forth as gold’ (23:10). When you’re ‘going through the mill’, remember, ‘Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles…’ (Isaiah 40:31).

22:1-23:7  –  Job’s ‘friends’ assume that Job is being punished by God. They are unaware that someone else is behind  Job’s suffering – Satan! Job isn’t sure what to make of it all. Is God punishing him after all? Deep down in his heart, he knows that God loves him. Job asks the question – ‘Would He contend with me in the greatness of His power?’. He answers his own question – ‘No; He would give heed to me’ (23:6). Job knows that God is a God of great power. He knows something else about God. He is a God of great love. He is not ‘all power and no love’. ‘God is love’ (1 John 4:8). What really lies behind Job’s suffering? – ‘The devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!’ . The time will come when God will say to Satan, ‘Enough! No more!’ (Revelation 12:12; 20:10)!

23:8-24:5  –  Satan is working overtime! He is filling Job with fear. In his state of deep depression, Job says, “God has made my heart faint; the Almighty has terrified me; for I am hemmed in by darkness, and thick darkness covers my face’ (23:16-17). Where do these thoughts come from? Do they come from the Lord? No! They come from Satan! This is not ‘the fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom’ (Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7). It is a very different kind of fear, a fear which comes from Satan. How are we to overcome this fear? When depression threatens to overwhelm us, what are we to do? Look to the Lord. He ‘has not given us a spirit of fear’. He has given us His ‘Spirit of power and love’. He gives us ‘a sound mind’. Look to the Lord. Let His ‘perfect love cast out your fear’ (2 Timothy 1:7; 1 John 4:18).

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