Book of Job Series: Chapters 13-19
Welcome to week five of the Job Series! As I have said in previous weeks, everything that I have published is what I felt God was teaching me through the text. Since I am an imperfect human, there are likely mistakes, so I encourage you to weigh everything I have written with Scripture, which, unlike me, is infallible. I pray this will encourage you to read more of God's Word and see more of His character :)
1. It Is Important to Know the Word of God
“You, however, smear me with lies; you are worthless physicians, all of you! If only you would be altogether silent! For you, that would be wisdom.” Job 13:4-5
Job is speaking to his friends about what they have been telling him. Other than the fact that Job knew he was innocent before God, what his friends were saying sounded “good.” But it was not all biblical, even though it may have sounded like it could have come from the Bible (I know, they didn’t have Bibles like we do today).
But that is how the enemy works. He doesn’t just come up with some absurd lie, he just twists the truth to make us doubt God. Take Eve in the garden, for example. Satan asks, “Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?” He’s twisting God’s words to make us question...God’s Word is our one weapon against the enemy. He tries the same tactic with Jesus in the wilderness. But Jesus had God’s Word hidden in his heart, and therefore, was able to rebuke Satan.
“Jesus said to him, ‘Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.’ ‘” Matthew 4:10
“Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalms 119:11
2. Our Time Here is Short
““Mortals, born of woman, are of few days and full of trouble. They spring up like flowers and wither away; like fleeting shadows, they do not endure.” Job 14:1-2
How we spend our time on earth is important because we don’t have long to live here. Are we going to make a positive impact on the people’s lives around us, or will it be negative? Will we be obedient in our daily lives or disobedient? Ultimately, it is up to us, but what we do does matter, even if it is a short time. God has a purpose and plan for each and every one of our lives.
3. Bad Company Leads to Bad Fruit
“For the company of the godless will be barren, and fire will consume the tents of those who love bribes. They conceive trouble and give birth to evil; their womb fashions deceit.”” Job 15:34-35
Have you ever heard the saying, “You are what you eat?” How about, “Show me your three closest friends and I’ll show you your future?” I know neither of these sayings are strictly taken from the Bible, but there are some Biblical principles. Think about it. The things we consume make up who we are, both in the literal sense and in the metaphorical sense. If we only eat junk food and don’t exercise, we are going to be unhealthy and unfit. If we eat lean meat and vegetables and move our bodies every day, then we will be healthy and fit. And if we are consuming junk by music, tv, books, etc., then our hearts will be filled with junk, and that’s how we will start acting. And when we look at our friends, look at how they act, how they treat others, and what their relationships with God and others are like. It is said that we are a lot like our friends, so it matters who we choose to spend our time with. And I’m talking about your closest friends. If our desire is to grow closer to the Lord, yet all our friends party every weekend and don’t spend time with God, then we will likely also end up where they are unless we make a drastic lifestyle change.
One last saying I want to leave you with is, “It is easier to be brought down than to bring someone up.”
4. There Is A Time for Encouragement and A Time for Correction
“I also could speak like you, if you were in my place; I could make fine speeches against you and shake my head at you. But my mouth would encourage you; comfort from my lips would bring you relief.” Job 16:4-5
As Christians and as friends, we must discern and be wise about the words we use with others. It is one thing if our friend in trouble has clearly and openly been in sin, but Job’s friends did not know this for sure about him. So, the fact that they were trying to correct Job’s behavior was harmful and troubling for Job. And no matter how much Job told them of his innocence, they did not believe him. Unless we see our friends in sin like mentioned above, our words should be encouraging and life-giving.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
5. Sometimes All We Can Do Is Cry Out to God
“My face is red with weeping, dark shadows ring my eyes; yet my hands have been free of violence and my prayer is pure.” Job 16:16-17
There are seasons, and sometimes long seasons at that, that are really difficult, and nothing seems to be going our way. Even though it might sound cliché, all we can do is cry out to God in those seasons. Making sure we stay connected to God when times are difficult will make it easier to cope with our current circumstances because we have hope that we won’t be in those circumstances forever. And maybe the trials won’t ever end on this side of Heaven, but we won’t always have to endure trials. And when we connect with God in our troubles, our relationship with Him strengthens and we are more likely to stay connected with Him when times are easy.
6. Our Plans May Be Shattered, But We Can Still Have Hope
“My days have passed, my plans are shattered. Yet the desires of my heart turn night into day; in the face of the darkness light is near.” Job 17:11-12
I have mentioned this a couple of times in this series, but God continues to highlight this to me through the book of Job. God’s ways are not our ways and He is a good God. Although things may seem to be going badly in our lives, and we have many hardships, we don’t know the number of things God has been protecting us from. There’s no way we can know. But what we do know is that God is good, and we can have faith in that truth. And when we have faith in that truth, we can have hope that things will not always be like this. We won’t always have to be fighting against our flesh because one day we will be in the presence of God for eternity!
7. We Should Always Look for Ways to Share Our Hope
“I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!” Job 19:25-27
This statement was a response to Job’s friend Bildad, who was continuing to ridicule him about sin that he never committed. We can see that Job still has a small glimmer of hope through everything that he has endured, and he’s even sharing that with the people who are against him at this point. We should always look for ways to share the hope we have with those around us, whether they are our friends or our enemies.
How will you share the hope you have in Jesus this week?