When I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee...

First in the Ascension Series

Hallelujah! Christ is risen!— and by that we mean, he is alive; he arose from death.

We do not mean that he ascended. The ascension is a separate event from the resurrection.

The resurrection has to do with conquering death; it assures us that life is eternal; that the extinguished and disintegrated body will be reintegrated with its soul and spirit and revitalized.

The ascension is less of a world-shaking event. Or is it?

What occurred when the Lord was taken up to heaven as we read in the first chapter of Acts and in the gospels?

He did not ‘soar to worlds unknown’* as we will but returned to his heavenly home.

Now, he would sit, and now sits, at the right hand of the Father, but where had he sat before? What is the meaning? What had changed?

A key comfort is that he will return just as the disciples saw him leave. (Acts 1:11)

Today is Ascension Day 2022. Here begins a study about this event that occurred in the spring of 33 or thereabouts, a little less than 2000 years ago.

* Rock of Ages hymn lyric: When I soar to worlds unknown, See Thee on Thy judgment throne…

Perspectives on Job

Job Sees The Light - Forty-fourth and final in a series

Some final notes on the book of Job:

1. An aspect that is not especially integral to the plot is that Job’s daughters mentioned in the final chapter received an inheritance among their brothers (Job 42:14-15). Commentators state this was not the norm, and that it proved Job’s wealth and a family unity. Also, as we know, women can be left without husbands and cast on the mercy of others, so to have their own inheritance could be helpful. Perhaps this showed that Job had not forgotten how it felt to be without resources, and did not want any of his children to experience that dilemma.

2. Was Job really blameless? In what sense did God mean that he was “perfect and upright” (Job 1:8)? We learned he was not; on the contrary God wanted to draw him out of himself, to enter the high plane of humility. He needed to see he had pursued his own perfection to the exclusion of God’s overarching right to be glorified for his preeminence as the Creator and everlasting Father.

Likewise Paul the apostle grew to understand that self righteousness was merely trusting in flesh (Phil 3:4-7). He arrived at the same revelation as Job. Anyone whose faith is resting on his own qualifications must come in to a new way of seeing.

3. An evolutionist will not like the Book of Job. God claims Creation as living proof of his superiority and sovereign power over the universe, man included. If man cannot worship God as the Creator, he has been blindsided by Satan.

4. God has the right over each of our lives to impose any trial, and we can trust that as he does, there are good and perfect reasons and an expected beautiful outcome. (Isa 64:8)

5. Finally, was Job Melchizedek? To be sure, no one can know. Yet, it is a matter for reflection.

Christ became our high priest “after the order of Melchizedek.”

A. W. Pink in “An Exposition of Hebrews” points out there are aspects to this verity that would matter to Jews who needed to emerge beyond their dependence on the Levitical priests.

Melchizedek is mentioned in Scripture as king of Salem which could only refer to Jerusalem, and priest of Jehovah, the “proper name of the one true God.” (ref) In Hebrews we are told that Levi himself paid tithes “in Abraham” to Melchizedek since he was Abraham’s descendant but not yet born (Heb 7:9-10) when Abram was blessed by Melchizedek.

Melchizedek mysteriously is present after Abram rescued from enemy armies his brother, Lot, who provided two ancestors to the line of Christ. (Mat 1:5,7 —Ruth of Moab, Rehoboam’s mother, an Ammonitess- 1 Ki 14:21) Lot and others living in Sodom were carried off with their possessions when their own king had fled in battle. Abram pursued the enemy troops along with 318 members of his own household (Gen 14:14), freeing Lot and his neighbors along with their goods.

After Melchizedek refreshed Abram with bread and wine and blessed him as belonging to the most high God (Gen 14:18-19) who had won the battle, Abram tithed to him from the spoils of the rescued.

In this single event memorialized by David (Ps 110:4), Melchizedek is established as a priest who takes precedence over the Levites. Jews should feel free to worship Christ who is the priest not modeled after the law of a carnal commandment (Lev 8:1-13), but after the power of an endless life (Heb 7:16), who lives now to make intercession for whosoever believes.

We know that Job by his repentance from self righteousness gained the power of an endless life, shown by God’s complete embrace of him thereafter. He then acted as a priest for his friends by interceding for them, asking God to forgive their sins. (Job 42:8)

Thus Job may have been Melchizedek. We cannot find any other individual in Scripture who would qualify for this honor. Considering this possibility calls us to reflect on what must be done to gain an endless life, which from one Testament to the next was different yet in locked relation.

Whether or not Job was Melchizedek, an endless life is a marvel to ponder:
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
(Job 19:25-27 RSV)

Was blind but now I see

Job Sees The Light - Forty-third in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

What relief there is in renouncing false doctrine and what joy in repentance! Living in darkness is hard.

Job had carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, believing his relationship with God depended on his deeds. He has come to understand that his walk with God is enabled by God’s merciful inclusion of him in the life of faith. An amazing grace! He had not understood how he had offended the Lord by his self righteousness, but now he sees.

Job 42:1-2 RSV He also sees that God not only hears our words but reads our minds.*

Job 42:3-4 NIV In verses 3 and 4 Job is careful to repeat God’s words, making very clear that he is giving specific answers in response to the Lord’s specific questions, such as Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? (Job 38:2)

Job 42:5-6 NIV Today, we would say Job was born again. God’s covenant of grace was extended to the Hebrews, to Christians (whosoever believes), and to non-Hebrews like Job who lived before Christ. In fact, the Hebrew who would study Job would gain great spiritual insight about the ways of God. This is a mystery considering that only Abraham’s descendants were included in God’s nation.

Job 42:7-8 NIV Job could not say to the Rock of Ages, Nothing in my hand I bring, Simply to thy cross I cling, as we today may. Yet he had grown to understand he could not manipulate God by his personal works and long record of devotion.

God alone shall be praised and glorified for what he alone can accomplish, even the start-to-finish saving of souls.**

Job 42:9-10 NIV Eliphaz as the ring leader must now lead the other friends in an exercise of repentance for their wrong words about God. God emphasizes their error by stating twice that they did not speak of God what was right, as Job had done.

Each had viewed poor Job to be without any hope for release from his trial until he repented of his evil ways. Yet Job’s repentance was not for any gross sin as they had assumed.

Commentators differ on why Elihu is not included in the disciplinary action. Some believe that he spoke important truths, others say he was simply dismissed or given “the silent treatment.” He had not injured Job as a friend, but was one of those whom Job may have noted as deriding him. (Job 30:1)

After Job’s change of heart, God called on him to intercede for his friends, and after he interceded for them God restored his life.

Effective intercession has to do with a right understanding of who God is and a heart for worship, and heartfelt intercession for spiritually blind people meets with God’s highest approval.

- from God Remembered Abraham, a Bible study on the Sistersite website

Job 42:11-17 NIV The happy ending of Job.

*Other translations state instead that no purpose of God can be thwarted (vs 2b). Whether God reads our thoughts or achieves all his plans is a difference that proves it is not easy to translate the original language of the Bible.

**Some will object that this belief or doctrine opens the way for easy believe-ism and that man is responsible for his own salvation: Man must choose God, commit his heart to God, and obey his laws. All this we must do, but it is all through God’s loving help. (Phil 2:12-13) Salvation is by grace through faith—which is a gift from God to man. Eph 2:8)

A final word: To think we climb into his everlasting arms by our own will and intelligence misses the point that God alone is to be glorified for our trust in him. All who grasp this truth will not find it hard to accept Christ as Savior; thus, the importance of the book of Job in the life of the Jew looking toward the coming of the Messiah.

Attention Readers

Have you visited the Biotech Blog on this website? Find information and resources to help you think about biotech as a Christian.

During the summer of 2017, I explored the topic of kidney donation. Is it right for a society to permit that? To encourage it? What do you think? Read the Live Kidney Donation Series!

Should you sign your driver’s license to be an organ donor? Is cremation OK with God? Do these practices undermine the Christian doctrine of the Resurrection?

Learn more. The conscience cannot function without facts.


Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. -Mat 5:14

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