Today’s Bible Reading: Job 28-30:31; 2 Corinthians 2:12-17; Psalm 42:1-11; Proverbs 22:7
Job 28 is a very interesting chapter in which Job comments on human intelligence and ingenuity. When it comes to creating wealth there is nothing we won’t do. We will work as hard as we possibly can (“explore the farthest regions”… “sink a mine shaft into the earth”… “cut tunnels into rocks”). But when it comes to wisdom we have no clue (Job 28:12).
Just like the earthly treasures Job describes, wisdom is hard to find. It takes work. But since it is intangible we don’t value it as much. But the fact is wisdom is more valuable than gold, silver, or any gem (Job 28:15-17). We’d rather spend our lives toiling for temporary riches than obtaining the truth that can save our souls.
Not only that but we don’t even know where to find true wisdom (Job 28:20). Knowledge is not wisdom. Knowledge is knowing things. Wisdom is knowing the right things. That is why wisdom can only be found through God (Job 28:23). Wisdom is having a right relationship with God (Job 28:28).
Job does not know the events of Job 1 so he does not understand why these terrible things have happened to him. He believes that God has abandoned him and he longs for days when he was close to God (Job 29:1-5). There is nothing better than having a friendship with God. Jesus said that He calls those of us who are his followers “friend”. Everything on this earth will pass away. All of it is for naught except for our relationship with God through Jesus.
Despite the close relationship that Job once had with God (actually he still had it, he just didn’t realize it), Job has to now endure the mocking of people who are unbelievers and who have made no effort to understand God in their lives (Job 30:1-31).
Life is not fair. That is a permeating theme of the book of Job. One day we can be on top of the world. The next day we can be without anything. There are no guarantees. Nor does any of it matter. All that life has to offer is temporary. The fame. The riches. The security. The only thing that will endure is our existence – we are eternal creatures as the Bible tells us. We will live forever. But once our bodies die we lose all we gained on this earth. Is any of it really worth chasing after?
This is a very relevant lesson for me in my life right now. Over the past few years I have chased after several things at the expense of my relationship with God. These things became idols to me. They were more important to me than Jesus. But in 2013, slowly but surely, God has been stripping away these things. I still am holding on to one or two of them, although my grip is loosening. The others I sometimes think about – but certainly less so now than I used to.
God’s goal in all of this is the same as was His goal for Job – to test my faith and to point out to me what is really important in life. Sadly, I’m a slow learner.
When we are looking to serve God we need to look for opportunities (aka “open doors”). It is God who opens doors for us (2 Corinthians 2:12). Too often we turn down an opportunity because it is too scary or not convenient. But God knows what He is doing. We need to trust Him by walking through the doors that He opens.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ – the message that people can be saved from hell by faith in Christ and by no other means – is viewed either one of two ways. Those who reject this message view it as repugnant and closed minded. They think God is a God of hate and judgement. But to those people who believe this message it is the most pleasant of messages because it promises the gift of eternal life in heaven (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).
Like Job, David felt abandoned by God and he penned a poem about having these feelings in Psalm 42. David felt distant from God, yet thirsted for Him (Psalm 42:1-2). David remembered that this was not how it always was (Psalm 42:4). Just like human relationships we will sometimes feel closer to God and sometimes farther. The difference is that when it comes to our relationship with God, He is unmoving. It is us who move away. We may feel alone and discouraged, but God is right there, pouring His love into us (Psalm 42:6,8). There is no reason to feel alone or discouraged (Psalm 42:11).
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