Book of Job Series: Chapters 20-30
Welcome to week six of the Job Series! Way to go in persevering through this book! We are more than halfway finished now, so keep on reading. It gets better, I promise! As I have stated in previous weeks, everything that I publish is what I felt God was teaching me through the text. Since I am an imperfect human, there are likely to be 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. The Pleasures of This World Are Temporary
“That the mirth of the wicked is brief, the joy of the godless lasts but a moment.” Job 20:5
Sin is enticing and it is fun. We wouldn’t be tempted to do it if it weren’t. But the gratification we get from sin is short-lived if we even enjoy it at all. There is this promise that it is going to be great, but it ends up not being fulfilling in the least. It leaves us empty and unsatisfied, which unfortunately leads us to sin even more at times. Even though worshiping, praying, and spending time in God’s Word may seem boring and unfulfilling in the moment (not always, I have been having fun learning more about God!), it actually ends up bringing us life...and not just joy in our lives now, but in an eternal relationship with our Creator! So, the next time there is temptation to sin, how about we go against what our flesh wants and try to fill that empty space by connecting with God?
2. We Have A Difficult Time Seeing God When Going Through Hardships
“’But if I go to the east, he is not there; if I go to the west, I do not find him. When he is at work in the north, I do not see him; when he turns to the south, I catch no glimpse of him.’” Job 23:8-9
It is easy for us to have the attitude of Job and say that God has left us in the midst of our trouble. A lot of the time, our flesh is working against our spirit, so when God isn’t physically present, it can be difficult for us to remember that He is still here with us. Just because we don’t feel Him doesn’t mean He isn’t here. In order to overcome that, we must put on the belt of truth and remind ourselves of God’s promises.
“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
3. God Looks at Our Hearts
“He may let them rest in a feeling of security, but his eyes are on their ways.” Job 24:23
Outwardly, we could be the nicest, most caring person in the world. We could do volunteer work with the homeless shelter, open our homes to those in need, or a myriad of other things, but it is not the action that God cares about. He cares about our motives. Speaking from experience, I like when people like me or think I’m nice and helpful, so sometimes I do those things to keep up an appearance, and not from a place of selflessness. God is able to look inwardly and see our motives for what we do, whether it’s to serve Him, serve ourselves, or to love others.
“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.’” 1 Samuel 16:7
4. Our God is Powerful!
God is the creator of the universe and the creator of our being. He made the mountains, the valleys, the seas, and the deserts. All with His words. He spoke it all into existence! We focus on His glory for the beauty He created, but I think we can forget how quickly it can all change. He can make mountains tremble and oceans roar with a single command. We tend to heavily focus on God’s love, mercy, and grace in today’s church. And while those aspects of God’s character are important to recognize, it’s also important to remember that He is just, and He is powerful. Not to recognize parts of His character is to not know who He is fully. Just like we can’t pick and choose what we like and dislike about our loved ones, we can’t do that to God either.
“He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth over nothing. He wraps up the waters in his clouds, yet the clouds do not burst under their weight. He covers the face of the full moon, spreading his clouds over it. He marks out the horizon on the face of the waters for a boundary between light and darkness. The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke. By his power he churned up the sea; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.” Job 26:7-12
5. Keep Integrity No Matter What
“As long as I have life within me, the breath of God in my nostrils, my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies. I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity. I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it; my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.” Job 27:3-6
I knew God wanted me to speak on these verses, but it has been difficult to come up with a title, words, or even feelings about this passage. I think what He is saying to me through this passage is that we are to remain godly in everything we do. No matter what people think we have done, we are not to stoop to the level that they think we are at. We are to raise ourselves up to the level God wants us to be. We are to live pure and blameless lives before God and man.
6. Wisdom Is More Precious Than We Can Imagine
“It cannot be bought with the finest gold, nor can its price be weighed out in silver. It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir, with precious onyx or lapis lazuli. Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold. Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention; the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.” Job 28:15-18
We know what the Bible says about wisdom, but is that how we treat it? I didn’t remember reading this part of Job when I have read it in the past. Diamonds, gold, rubies, silver, etc. all have so much worth. If we were to own these things, we would be so rich and treasure them dearly, even go to lengths to protect them! Yet, if we have wisdom, we are that much richer. God makes this clear from this passage. We are to ask for wisdom from God because that is our only source.
“And he said to the human race, ‘The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28
7. Live A Life Like Job
“Because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them. The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing. I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban. I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger. I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.” Job 29:12-17
Job lived in a time where there was only hope of a Messiah. Sure, he had witnessed God’s faithfulness, but he lived a long time before Jesus would come to rule. Yet, he didn’t question God (before his suffering). He lived his life as if he were serving the Lord, which he was. And before Paul wrote about the armor of God in Ephesians 6, Job was putting it on daily. We can learn from this example in how to treat those around us and those in need.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
8. Our Relationship with God Is the Most Important
I almost wrote, “Our Relationship with God is All That Matters.” But I don’t actually think that’s true. Our relationships with others are important because God is relational, and we are made in His image. But the relationships on earth are fleeting and we are all imperfect, so we will eventually hurt each other, even if that wasn’t the intention. People will sometimes say nasty things about us, but is that what we are going to listen to or accept as truth? Our relationship with God needs to be solid because nothing else in this world is. When we have a solid relationship with God, we cannot be shaken. It also gives us a different perspective on life and the world around us. God is the one who gives us life and takes it away, therefore, He deserves the honor, glory, and praise.