God Preached Creation

Job Sees The Light - Fortieth in a series

Hover over the Scripture references to read the verses under discussion

A recap: The story of Job is about a morally pure, exemplary man whom God permits Satan to ruin, as —it would seem — a test of his faith. Satan believes Job will curse God once his gifts and blessings are removed, and that he only serves and obeys the Lord to gain his favors.

In the aftermath of the death of his children and servants and the loss of his herds and his health, three friends come to grieve with him. Following seven days and nights of silence, they begin to speak to comfort him and to sort out the mayhem. Each one believes Job has secret sins, and as he protests that he is innocent, contentious sparring is the result.

An onlooker, a younger man, offers to set all in order by his insights and wisdom. He presents many thoughts, but is silenced when God himself comes in a whirlwind to answer Job. What will he say? Why did God ruin Job, even permitting the death of his children? Was it only to win a bet with Satan?

Now, in the denouement, we see that Job needed to have his world turned upside down in order to understand the sovereignty of God as an article of faith, not in a superficial way, and that his standing with God could not depend on his own righteousness.

But could this not have been presented to his mind in a kinder manner? We could also ask: Was it absolutely necessary for Christ to be crucified? No, and Yes. Some accomplishments are very hard won.

Were Job alive today, he would need to hear the Gospel message, that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) But he lived during the time of the law (See this post).

How could the gospel be clearly understood before the death of Christ? It could not, and that is why we today are exalted from the standpoint of history. Nevertheless, people who lived before Christ could belong to God as we today can or do.

There was an age of preparation before Christ came when he was known or perceived through prophecies, promises, sacrifices and ordinances, yet even then man could understand God's acceptance as a matter of his grace and that any boasting or resting in ones own works would not open any kingdom doors. There are commonalities of the saints across all the ages. Those in the prior age who grasped them would be prepared to receive the Christ when he came.

As God preached Creation, Job began to understand that he could not earn nor produce a relationship with God and to see he was presumptuous and prideful.

Creation is the best tutor to humble man. Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. (Psalm 33:6-9)

In Job 39 God continues to preach creation with a focus on the winged fowl and the beasts of the earth (Gen 1:21-24). He discourses on the wild goats and hinds (Job 39: 1-4), the wild ass (Job 39: 5-8), the unicorn (Job 39: 9-12), the peacock, (Job 39: 13), the ostrich, (Job 39: 13-18), the horse (Job 39: 19-25), and the hawk and the eagle (Job 39: 26-30).

Perhaps in considering the obstinacy, blindness, boldness and sheer wonder of these, Job will reflect upon how great God is and how insignificant is man.

Job 39:1-20 NIV Job is reminded that he is very young in years compared with God.

Enjoy reading all of Job 39. It is all true and wonderful.

The general remark may here be made, that all the notices in the Bible of the subjects of science — which are indeed mostly casual and incidental — are such as are confirmed by the investigations which science in the various departments makes. Of what other ancient book but the Bible can this remark be made? …Subsequent investigations have served to confirm the accuracy of these descriptions, and they may be taken now as a correct account even to the letter of the natural history of the different animals referred to. (ref)

You have an adversary

Job Sees The Light - Second in a series

Job 1:2-3 Hover over this Bible passage to read how blessed Job was.

Job 1:4-5 Job saw himself as righteous— He stood before the Lord in the place of his children to make atonement for them.

Job 1:6-7 The Lord knew that Satan, his son who turned from righteousness, had been surveying Job and his possessions, and begrudging him for his privileges. Perhaps Job reminded the Adversary of the riches and honor he had enjoyed before his fall.

Job 1:8 The Lord saw Job as perfect and upright, as one who feared God and turned from evil. But Job was blind to God’s immense glory and did not fathom the depth of his wisdom, mercy, power, love and sovereignty. We discover this in the book’s final chapter as Job confesses:

I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:6)

Mission accomplished! As we will see in this blog series, the Lord, by taking his son, Job, through a severe and inscrutable trial, brought him to a new birth. And since the journey began when Job was self-deceived, it was an especially laborious and painful task. The self-assured man is practically unbendable.

We can only hope the Lord will do the same for us, realizing it is the nature of man to be foolish, self-absorbed, prideful, short-sighted, and never aware of the magnitude of distance between the creature and the Creator.

The Trial Begins

Job 1:9-11 The Accuser challenges the Lord of Hosts. He would like for Job to be tested. Much could be written about this passage and the prospect of Satan demanding to sift God’s children, but for now we will only point out that God is not the accuser. Though He sees all our shortcomings, he never accuses us about them, but only gently brings them to our minds.

Job 1:12 God grants permission to Satan to decimate Job.

Job 1:13 Satan chose the birthday of the oldest son to begin his rampage (Job 1:4). "That son is the first sign of his father's strength." (Deut 21:17) That day symbolized Job's blessedness and hope for the future. One of Satan's goals in attacking us as well, is to make us feel cut off from our future hope and doubtful about our claim to it.

Job 1:14-15 His destruction of Job’s possessions and family begins with the creatures that help to manage his ranch and their overseers. Satan uses neighboring tribes to do his work. This deflects the blame from himself and his minions.

Job 1:16-17 Next the sheep so needed for food and raiment and the camels for their services in travel and their overseers are killed. "Fire from heaven" is blamed. Satan wants man to blame the Lord for his losses.

Job 1:18-19 Finally, Job’s children are destroyed by a tornado or twister, on the day of the oldest son’s birthday. Satan can control the weather if the Lord allows.

Job 1:20-22 Despite everything, Job does not question nor blame the Lord.

The holiday that helps

Thanksgivings on Special Occasions - Fourth in a series

Continuing now in an exploration of Thanksgivings on Special Occasions, a “protestant permission” (see related post), we come to the days leading to Easter.

Any Christian holiday should magnify Jesus Christ. If it turns the spotlight from the Lord to any other thing, it is not a holy day. A minister has the work of helping the flock to renew their inner selves to love Christ more. How might that be done?

Here is a list that amplifies the ways that Jesus humbled himself, as Paul writes in Philippians, He humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:8) Reading this list helped me to renew my mind and heart to worship God. It is taken from Pastor David Guzik’s commentary on the Philippians verse.

  • He was humble in that he took the form of a man, and not a more glorious creature like an angel.
  • He was humble in that He was born into an obscure, oppressed place.
  • He was humble in that He was born into poverty among a despised people.
  • He was humble in that He was born as a child instead of appearing as a man.
  • He was humble in submitting to the obedience appropriate to a child in a household.
  • He was humble in learning and practicing a trade – and a humble trade of a builder.
  • He was humble in the long wait until He launched out into public ministry.
  • He was humble in the companions and disciples He chose.
  • He was humble in the audience He appealed to and the way He taught.
  • He was humble in the temptations He allowed and endured.
  • He was humble in the weakness, hunger, thirst, and tiredness He endured.
  • He was humble in His total obedience to His Heavenly Father.
  • He was humble in His submission to the Holy Spirit.
  • He was humble in choosing and submitting to the death of the cross.
  • He was humble in the agony of His death.
  • He was humble in the shame, mocking, and public humiliation of His death.
  • He was humble in enduring the spiritual agony of His sacrifice on the cross.

Jesus Christ is worthy of our highest praise. If you are one who celebrates Lent or Maundy Thursday or Good Friday, did—or would— this list assist you to renew your adoration of Him? It was helpful to me in writing this post. We don’t need to wait for a holy day for a revived heart of praise for the Lord. Yet life becomes routine, and holidays help to refresh our spirits— when renewal in Christ is realized.

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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