Today’s Bible Reading: Job 8-11:20; 1 Corinthians 15:1-28; Psalm 38:1-22; Proverbs 21:28-29
Job and his friends continue to debate Job’s desperate situation as Bildad speaks in Job 8. Bildad says some really insensitive things including telling Job that he was a windbag (Job 8:1) and his children were sinners who got what they deserved. While its true they were sinners (aren’t we all?), and Job knew about their questionable behavior (Job 1:5), this is not the right thing to say to someone who has just lost his children. One way to know if someone’s advice to us is from God is to evaluate its compassion and empathy. If these are missing from the advice, then so is God.
Bildad’s basic theory is that Job’s pain is proof that he has not lived with integrity. Just like those who preach a prosperity gospel, Bildad believed that anyone who walks with God will be wealthy (Job 8:6, 7). While God may bless some of us with wealth, He is under no obligation to do so. Many believers have troubles on this earth. But they will be rewarded in heaven.
Job rightly recognizes that God is mighty and that no man can question God’s righteousness. As a result he longs for a mediator (Job 9:33) through whom Job could speak to God. In fact, we now have this mediator in Jesus (1 John 2:1).
Often when life takes a bad turn we wonder why we see other people, who seem to deserve pain more than we do, prospering. Job wondered the same thing (Job 9:3).
Each and every person was intentionally designed and constructed by God (Job 10:8-12) no matter what pro-abortionists claim. Everyone’s life, including theirs, began long before we were ever conceived.
The physical pain Job was going through was affecting his ability to think clearly as we see in this chapter. He claims God’s only motive was to wait for him to sin and then hold it against him (Job 10:13-14). So many people think of God this way – as someone who is just waiting for us to screw up so He can punish us. But we know that is not true. Thinking like that keeps many from coming to God in the first place.
Job’s third friend speaks up in Job 11 and he, Zophar, is more unfeeling than the previous two, claiming Job deserves even more punishment than he was getting (Job 11:6). Zophar even gives Job a lesson on God’s character (Job 11:7-10). Its interesting that Zophar claimed that Job could not know God but in making this claim he was stating that he (Zophar) was able to know God.
There are many people in this world you claim to know God – either the biblical God or one of the other false gods. But they don’t know what they are talking about. The only way to know God is through His word and through prayer, neither of which seemed to be a high priority for any of Job’s friends.
Despite the problems in the church in Corinth, they were still doing pretty good (1 Corinthians 15:1). They were believing the message Paul had delivered to them – the message that saves (1 Corinthians 15:2).
Its interesting that many people today (including myself when I was an atheist) claim that the Bible was made up by the men who wrote it. That is not the case and one of the proofs is 1 Corinthians 15:6.
In this verse Paul states that Jesus, after He was resurrected, was seen by many people in and around Jerusalem. Most of those people were still alive at the time Paul wrote this letter. So, Paul’s claims were easily verifiable. Paul is basically telling anyone who doubts him to ask around – there were plenty of witnesses who could corroborate what Paul was writing.
If someone is going to make up a story, they don’t reference living and easily accessed witnesses. Mohammad wrote the Koran in isolation. There were no witnesses to his alleged encounter with Allah. But Jesus, who is the one and only God, did all His miracles in public. He died in public. And He appeared in public after rising from the dead. Nothing Jesus did was a secret. And the fact that it was all public makes it impossible to refute.
David was a man after God’s own heart. He was not perfect. He still sinned. And that is the basis for Psalm 38. David, although having a strong relationship with God, was burdened by his sin. Every Christian will still sin. But when we do we should not take it lightly. Sin is serious. It harms our fellowship with God. To restore that fellowship we need to confess (Psalm 38:18).
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