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.

A Framework for Emphases

Thanksgivings on Special Occasions - Seventh and Final in a series

Celebrating special days introduces punctuation that may serve to enliven the habitual practice of worship. Every essay needs at least a few sentences with exclamation points!

I’m in favor of celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas and of commemorating Good Friday, and of meeting together to fast for our nation as special occasions in the church calendar. Easter and Pentecost always fall on Sunday, and should have an honored remembrance.

The great divide of the church between Protestant and Roman Catholic in the 17th century led to multitudes of divisions. Even Luther and Calvin had differences including whether to observe feast days.

Here are four reasons why I think that such commemorations are good:

1. FOR GOD: Unity
It is good for brothers to dwell together in unity. Even though Christian churches and denominations go separate ways on many points of doctrine, we could dwell in unity on these holidays. Granted, the Orthodox Church celebrates these holidays on different dates, but at least they do celebrate them. Common times of celebration also facilitate family reunions.

2. FOR OTHERS: Evangelism
Laying special focus on the incarnation, birth, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the Lord and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost by commonly observing them in worship at traditional times in the calendar year permits a strong evangelical witness to the community and the world. Special days of thanksgiving support this witness. The world learns the basics of our faith in this way.

3. FOR THE CONFESSIONAL CHRISTIAN: Carrying forward the spirit of the law
The Westminster Confession explains that though God's covenant with man was administered differently in Old and New Testament days, it was one and the same covenant. (Chapter VII ) There is great enjoyment and edification when we view Old and New Testament truth as seamless.
       We understand that the substance of the types and ordinances that foreshadowed Christ were plainly revealed when the Word was made flesh. Because we perceive a continuum, we might also ask: Though the ceremonial aspects of 'the law' no longer are to be enforced, was the practice of special thanksgivings at appointed times of the year to be abandoned? Or, does this not suggest a framework for us to model?
       The Hebrews were commanded to join at certain seasons to remember the mighty acts of God and to rest from work. It is the nature of man to be forgetful and to discount or gloss over what is not stressed as being of utmost importance. By the Feasts, God reinforced to his people what they should be most thankful for. (See previous post.) Should we today not continue this pattern?

4. FOR OURSELVES: Joy and Rest
A Christian pastor and author has stated in regard to the Feasts of the Hebrews, “We see here also the great social good God intended in the Sabbath and in the Feasts; in other ancient cultures, there was no day off, and there were no holidays. Here, God commands both holidays and ‘vacation days’ - all centered on Him!” - David Guzik

Centered on Him, held in common, enjoyed in fellowship.

Thanksgiving on Good Friday

Thanksgivings on Special Occasions - Sixth in a series

How wonderful to think of Jesus riding on the colt of a donkey into Jerusalem on his way to celebrate Passover, knowing that HE would be the Paschal (Easter) (Acts 12:4 KJV) Lamb. Hosannah in the highest to the King of Kings!

This had been prophesied by Zechariah, Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (Zec 9:9)

The Lord told Moses to command the men to travel to Jerusalem three times annually, first to celebrate Passover (Pesach) that marked the nation's exodus from Egypt and slavery; second, to commemorate the Weeks (Shavuíoth) that are counted from the second day of Passover to the date when God gave the Torah to the nation of Israel at Mt. Sinai, also known as Pentecost in the New Testament when the Holy Spirit was poured out on the believers; and third, for the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkoth) on the 15th day of the seventh month, to mark the end of harvest time. Perhaps the Christian's counterpart to this Feast is the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in heaven (Rev 19:7), where in contrast we shall have a permanent home rather than temporary shelters.

As a Jew, Jesus obediently went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, which God commanded in Exodus (Ex 12:1-27). He and his disciples ate the meal in the upper room that was specially prepared by a man whose identity is not made known in Scripture. (Mark 14:13)

For the Jew, the day began in the evening, to wit, And the evening and the morning were the first day… And the evening and the morning were the second day… (Gen 1:5, 8 et al). But we start the day in the morning, so Christians who desire to commemorate the Last Supper must do so on the day before Good Friday. However, from an historic standpoint, the sacrament of communion that was initiated then was enjoyed on the same day as Christ was crucified. He was commanding a new rite that would take the place of Passover, Do this in remembrance of me. (Luke 22:19)

And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. (Mark 14:22-25)

The first day of Passover was for preparing the lamb, and on the second day, the meal was eaten. Then there were six days more of the Passover celebration. Thus, Christ was crucified on the second day of Passover, for it is not a matter of us killing the Lamb of God (as was done on the first day of the feast) but of eating him in the manner which we are taught in the below passage. (Please leave a comment and reference if you differ with this view. There are other views and I am a layperson.)

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world… Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him… (John 6:51-56)

This is metaphorical for it is hard to envision and hard to accept— this horrifying yet enlivening knowledge that by his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all. (Isa 53:6)

The substitutionary atonement was offered on Day One, Day Two was the Sabbath (Luke 23:55-56), and Christ rose from the dead on Day Three (Luke 18:33).

Thus on the fourth day of Passover which we count as Sunday– the Christian Sabbath for most Christians– the empty tomb was observed well into the day even though very early in the morning, for the women who went to the tomb would have slept at night (and the Jewish day began in the evening.)

The Resurrection injured the Passover festival forever. The eight-day feast was torn in half as surely as the veil in the Temple was. (Mat 27:51)

It is possible for Christians to observe the day of Christ’s crucifixion very nearly to its original time by celebrating Easter on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox which was approximated to be March 21 by the Council of Nicea (see previous post). The Jewish year begins in the Spring and Jewish months are begun at the appearance of the new moon. Passover week can overlay Easter week.

But after all these facts and viewpoints, the thing is, let’s observe Maundy Thursday and/or Good Friday as very special occasions for Thanksgiving. If you must work, remind yourself that you work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Col 3:24-25)

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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