Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday, March 16: Job 28-29; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18 by Pamela

Today's passage from the Bible In a Year Reading Plan is  Job 28-29; 1 Corinthians 10:1-18

Yesterday, we had speaker Phil Callaway come to our church to speak. Phil was talking about the difference between happiness and joy. Happiness, while it is a feeling of elation, is fleeting. Joy in the lord lasts beyond where the happiness feelings would wane.

I kept thinking of our readings over the last while about Job. I'm quite certain that Job was happy with his life and the blessings and riches that he had before God allowed Satan to take everything away. Job's feelings of happiness, no doubt, changed when that horrible day came and every worldly possession was ripped away in one series of messages after another. His feelings of happiness also changed when God allowed Satan to attack his body. Job was no longer happy with his circumstances but in all of his circumstances Job did not lose his joy.

He did not understand why things were happening but he did understand that God knew what he was doing. Job had wisdom beyond what he could understand.

“But where shall wisdom be found?
    And where is the place of understanding?
13 Man does not know its worth,
    and it is not found in the land of the living.

Job himself didn't even realize that he was wise to what was happening. He was the one that had to explain to his friends that he was innocent of the suffering he was enduring. Even without knowing that God himself had thrown him under the bus, Job knew God had a plan for his life. 

God understands the way to it,
    and he knows its place.
 For he looks to the ends of the earth
    and sees everything under the heavens.

 When he gave to the wind its weight
    and apportioned the waters by measure,
 when he made a decree for the rain
    and a way for the lightning of the thunder,
 then he saw it and declared it;
    he established it, and searched it out.
And he said to man,
‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom,
    and to turn away from evil is understanding.’”

Job knew. He knew that God had something much bigger in mind. Bigger than Job himself could imagine. Did Job know that his story would earn him a special place in the Bible and it would be an inspiration to all who are suffering through big things? Did Job know his story would live on? Did Job know that God chose him? Even though Job may not have known these things, Job trusted that God did.

Phil Callaway spoke today about suffering. He has suffered the loss of 4 close friends and family over the last year. It may not have been all in one day as Job suffered, but it still seemed overwhelming to Phil and his family. Phil shared some of the trite comments that people spoke to him to "help" him with the losses. Much like Job's friends after that first week, their responses were not helpful and not a comfort.

One of the responses Phil heard during his time of suffering and loss was that "God would never give him more than he could bear" and Phil was adamant that this was not true. In fact it was a misquoting of scripture from today's NT readings:

13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

God promises we will never be tempted beyond what we can bear but God never promises that we will not suffer beyond what we can bear. Suffering and loss is inevitable in this world. We will face loss. We will suffer. However, God does promise this:

" I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

May we recognize God's wisdom in all circumstances so that we even when we don't understand what God is doing we can have the peace of knowing that God does.

Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Job 30-31; 1 Corinthians 10:19-33


Nathan Reimer said...

I thought of some of the same things, when you compared what Phil said to what we've been reading in Job. Joy in The Lord and wisdom from God are things of true value. The verses that reminded me of this are in chapter 30, starting in verse 15;

It cannot be bought for gold,
and silver cannot be weighed as its price.
16 It cannot be valued in the gold of Ophir,
in precious onyx or sapphire.
17 Gold and glass cannot equal it,
nor can it be exchanged for jewels of fine gold.
18 No mention shall be made of coral or of crystal;
the price of wisdom is above pearls.
19 The topaz of Ethiopia cannot equal it,
nor can it be valued in pure gold.

Conrad said...

"The fear of the Lord-that is wisdom, and to shun evil is understanding." Job 28:28

Job displays wisdom and understanding. His fear and respect of the Lord is immeasurable, while he displays understanding by not cursing God for his suffering which would have been easy to do.

TammyIsBlessed said...

Great post Pamela!

All those exact verses jumped out at me too. As much as people like to think that we have the edge on wisdom with all our advancements in technology and whatnot, true wisdom does not come from man but from God.

Loved your comments about the 1 Corinthians 10 passage. That must be the most misquoted text of the Bible. God gives us more than we can handle all the time, because it forces us to rely on His strength and not our own.