Book of Job Series: Chapters 8-12
Welcome to week four of the Job Series! Congratulations on making it this far, I know Job isn’t the easiest book to read. Like I 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 A Mistake to Think God Will Bless Us Materially If We Believe in Him
This is the message of the prosperity gospel, and it honestly angers me. “If you trust in God, then He will bring healing to you, He will give you all the riches, and you will live an easy life!” God does not promise us earthly riches when we follow Him...I do believe He wants the best for His children, but a life surrendered to Him is what is best for us. And then our treasure will be heavenly, eternal treasures that we reap. And an eternity in the presence of our God! When Jesus asked his disciples to follow him, he asked them to give up everything.
“Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” Mark 10:21
So, you see, we don’t need earthly treasures, even If they do make our lives easier at times. We are not called to live an easy life; we are called to live a life surrendered to God.
2. We Need Wisdom from Others
“’Ask the former generation and find out what their ancestors learned, for we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Will they not instruct you and tell you? Will they not bring forth words from their understanding?’” Job 8:8-10
Although many of the words of Bildad frustrate me, we can still learn from some of what he says. When we are going through difficult times, it is best to go to the Lord in prayer and seek His wisdom, but sometimes it may be difficult to do that or we may not be hearing clearly from the Lord. It is okay to seek wise counsel. I would actually say it is beneficial to seek wise counsel in many circumstances. Just be careful that you aren’t only venting to a friend who you know will comfort you in every word you say. Go to someone who is older and more spiritually mature than you are and ask them to pray on your behalf.
“Listen to counsel, receive instruction, and accept correction, that you may be wise in the time to come.” Proverbs 19:20
3. The Things of This World Give False Hope
“Such is the destiny of all who forget God; so perishes the hope of the godless. What they trust in is fragile; what they rely on is a spider’s web.” Job 8:13-14
How can anyone have hope in anything of this world, even other humans? Anything other than God that we choose to have hope in will let us down, thus breaking our spirit. If we only have hope in the things of this world and something goes wrong, then we lose all hope and joy. But if our hope is in God and something goes wrong, we still have the hope and joy that He has gifted us. The things of this world are temporary and will pass away, but the Lord will remain forever.
“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” 1 John 2:17
4. God Is Powerful
I just love the description Job gives of God. We can see that he knows his Maker and honestly, I just love these verses. I’m in awe of all God has created and in all His ways. I will just let these verses speak for themselves.
“His wisdom is profound, his power is vast. Who has resisted him and come out unscathed? He moves mountains without their knowing it and overturns them in his anger. He shakes the earth from its place and makes its pillars tremble. He speaks to the sun and it does not shine; he seals off the light of the stars. He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea. He is the Maker of the Bear and Orion, the Pleiades and the constellations of the south. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.” Job 9:4-10
5. God Is Just
“If it is a matter of strength, he is mighty! And if it is a matter of justice, who can challenge him?” Job 9:19
God doesn’t allow bad things to happen for no reason. This world is full of evil and sin, and we must be punished for our transgressions. If God let us continue in our sinful ways, imagine the affliction that would be upon us. He doesn’t want the world destroyed; therefore, He intervenes, and sometimes that may take the form of a trial for His children or even for a whole nation.
“When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.” James 1:13-15
6. Sin Does Not Go Unnoticed
“If I sinned, you would be watching me and would not let my offense go unpunished.” Job 10:14
There is not a single thing in the world that we can do or think that God doesn’t know. And that He didn’t know was going to happen. There is no “secret sin” with God because He sees everything. He sees what is hidden in our hearts, whether it be love or hate, selflessness or pride. God knows it all. When we struggle with sin, we must take it to God and ask Him to help us see sin the way He does. Sin separates us from God and from other people and, left unchecked, will rot our hearts. Therefore, we must repent, or turn away, from sin and ask God to forgive us. But just because He offers forgiveness doesn’t mean the sin will go unpunished. We must also learn that there are consequences to our sin.
7. God is Profound
So many times, we tend to put God in a confined little box. We think we understand Him, but not a single person on earth can fully understand Him or His ways. When we are blaming God for circumstances or treating Him like a genie that we just ask for things all the time, let’s remember these verses:
“’Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens above—what can you do? They are deeper than the depths below—what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea.’” Job 11:7-9
8. God Is in Nature
“’But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.’” Job 12:7-8
When I say, “God is in nature,” I am talking about the mountains, trees, oceans, seas, animals, etc. We know that God created the earth and everything in it, so why wouldn’t it all point to Him? It reminds me of the song “So Will I” by Hillsong UNITED. Here is just a snippet of the song, but I encourage you to listen to it in full:
“If the stars were made to worship, so will I
If the mountains bow in reverence, so will I
If the oceans roar Your greatness, so will I
For if everything exists to lift You high, so will I
If the wind goes where You send it, so will I
If the rocks cry out in silence, so will I
If the sum of all our praises still falls shy
Then we'll sing again a hundred billion times”
9. God Gives Wisdom and Understanding
“'To God belong wisdom and power; counsel and understanding are his.'” Job 12:13
If we have ever thought we were wise on our own and had understanding about things in this world because of our own experiences, we would be wrong. God is the one who provides these things to us when we are ready for it and as we ask.
James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”
If you know this passage, you know that just before he says this, he talks about counting it pure joy to go through trials of many kinds. Could it be that when we ask for wisdom, God then takes us through a trial? And when we patiently endure that trial with the Lord by our side, we then gain wisdom? I know for me personally, the areas of my life that I have the most wisdom and understanding are areas that I have been through trials in the past. And maybe that is why we should count it pure joy to go through trials. But we must always remember that it is God who is giving these things to us, not gaining them for ourselves.