Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 11 August 18:
1. Job 11 — Like his friends, Zophar misapplies truth. He knows God’s word doctrinally but not contextually. The Holy Spirit must guide our Biblical application.
2. Job 11:6 – “Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.” If God gave us what we deserve, we would only know death and eternal damnation. Those who say that God isn’t fair, do not understand the penalty we all deserve for cosmic treason committed against the LORD Almighty through sin. God is gracious and merciful in His patience, but there is a limit to His patience.
3. Job 12:9 – “Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this?” All of creation testifies to the truth of God. Only a fool says in his heart there is no God. Today, there are many ‘sophisticated’ fools who, in the name of ‘science’ say there is not God. True science can only point to God, but there is a false secular religion guised as science which deceives many. Wisdom teaches that God is in complete control of all circumstances and works all things according to His purposes. Walk with God and trust Him through all things.
4. Proverbs 11:3, 5-6, 8, 14 — God knows you need a guide in life.
5. Proverbs 11:12-13 – “Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent. Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.” A wise person knows when to be silent
6. Proverbs 11:20 – “Those of crooked heart are an abomination to the Lord, but those of blameless ways are his delight.” Blameless ways include blameless motivations and thinking. It is not just what you do that matters, it is why you do it too.
7. Proverbs 11:25-27 — Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. The people curse him who holds back grain, but a blessing is on the head of him who sells it. Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor, but evil comes to him who searches for it.” God expects you to care for others.
8. Proverbs 11:28 – “Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf.” Money cannot purchase security.
9. Proverbs 11:30 – “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and whoever captures souls is wise.” Bearing fruit involves guiding people to Jesus.
10. Proverbs 11:30 — Wise people build positive relationships and are change agents in the lives of others by pointing them to Jesus.
11. Psalm 91:2 – “I will say to the Lord, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’” Whoever trusts the LORD will take refuge in Him, obeying Him in faith regardless what human wisdom says. Your decisions and actions will reveal in whom you really place your trust. Trust is revealed in selfless, wholehearted obedience to God, regardless of the apparent situation at hand.
12. Psalm 91:11, 12 — “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.” Satan quoted Psalm 91 when he sought to tempt Jesus in the desert – “Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:5, 6) Jesus responded to Satan by quoting from Deuteronomy (the book most quoted by Jesus) — “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.” His quote came from Deuteronomy 6:16, a verse which refers back to Exodus 17 where the thirsty Israelites on the verge of stoning Moses asked, “Is the Lord among us or not?” For further context, Deuteronomy 6 is also the “Greatest Commandment” chapter which commands, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might…. It is the Lord your God you
shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.” Satan accurately quoted from God’s word, but with evil intent and out of context. He wanted Jesus to fall into the common trap of approaching God’s word from a self-centered perspective that places the interests of man over the will of God; that places God in the position of being man’s servant rather than the other way around; that transfers glory from God to man. Of course, Jesus would not fall into that trap, and in one simple quote, proclaims that God is LORD, “Him you shall serve.” We must be VERY careful not to approach God’s word with a self-centered focus – “What will God do for me?…. How does this apply to my life and what I want out of life?” In that position, we can quote from God’s word inappropriately and drift away from the true will of God. Similarly, we must be careful not to place ourselves in the seat of God (The Judge) when dealing with others. This is what Job’s friends did. Job’s friends quoted great spiritual truths but inappropriately, placing themselves in the position of the Judge – “You Deserve Worse.” What makes us judgmental is not when we reveal sin to others out of love but when we attempt to be the Judge as if we were the Righteous One, the deliverer of the sentence. Placing ourselves in this position is an affront to God. Key to understanding and rightly applying God’s word is denying self, picking up our cross daily, and following Jesus from the heart as His ambassador.
– John 5:19 — So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.”
13. Psalm 91:14 – “Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him; I will protect him, because he knows my name.” Again, holding fast to Jesus involves denying self, taking up your cross daily, and following Him no matter what. The words, “holding fast” reveal that this will be challenging. As the worries of the world work to pull you away from Jesus – hold fast!
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 11 Aug 18: Your goal today and every day is to know Jesus more fully and to help others do the same. Let nothing distract you from your goal today. Understand from Romans 8:28 and John 17 that everything that God allows to happen to you today is to draw you closer to Him. See all circumstances today through that perspective. Through good or bad, keep your eyes on Jesus. Hold fast to Him and praise Him. At the end of the day, consider how Jesus further revealed Himself to you. Are you closer to Jesus now than you were this time last year?