Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 18 August 18:
1. Job 25:4-6 – “How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm!” The physical environment is tainted by the effects of sin, but among God’s physical creations, only man stands in rebellion against God’s purpose and needs God’s forgiveness. Though not perfect, bugs, birds, and bears all do what they were intended to do. But man, intended to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, willfully works against God’s purpose and will. Bildad understood that, in God’s sight, the dirt of the earth is cleaner before God than man. Unfortunately, in our pride, we don’t take God’s holiness as seriously as He does, we tend to think more highly of ourselves than we ought, and we tend to presume upon God’s grace, taking it for granted. Remember Uzzah who was struck down by God after attempting to prevent the ark of the covenant from falling out of an ox cart? (2 Sam. 6:5–11) Though Uzzah’s intentions were likely good, not wanting the ark to get dirty, he foolishly presumed his sinful hands were cleaner than the ground. Throughout the book of Job, the point is reiterated — we are all sinners, with no ability to make ourselves pure before God and in need of God’s mercy and grace. Wisdom requires humility and a proper fear of the Lord. Don’t let pride cause you to lose perspective, even for a second.
– Job 4:17 — Can mortal man be in the right before God? Can a man be pure before his Maker?
– Job 11:4-6 — For you say, “My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in God’s eyes.” But oh, that God would speak and open his lips to you, and that he would tell you the secrets of wisdom! For he is manifold in understanding. Know then that God exacts of you less than your guilt deserves.
– Job 15:14 — What is man, that he can be pure? Or he who is born of a woman, that he can be righteous?
– Job 15:15 — Behold, God puts no trust in his holy ones, and the heavens are not pure in his sight;
2. Job 26:1-3 — Then Job answered and said: “How you have helped him who has no power! How you have saved the arm that has no strength! How you have counseled him who has no wisdom, and plentifully declared sound knowledge!” Bildad’s words were principally true but not at all helpful to Job in understanding his current situation. In fact, Bildad was only making Job feel worse by using biblical principles to blame Job for his current condition. Bildad claimed to have an understanding he didn’t really have. We must not only know the Bible, we must also know how to properly apply God’s word to the current situation, communicating God’s words to others in a way that is actually helpful. This takes more than knowledge, it takes wisdom, which is knowledge rightly applied.
3. Proverbs 18:1 – “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment.” Unfriendliness comes from selfishness.
4. Proverbs 18:8 – “The words of a whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body.” Gossip changes the fiber of who you are like food changes the makeup of your body.
5. Proverbs 18:9 – “Whoever is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” Carelessness and complacency destroy and are ungodly.
6. Proverbs 18:13 – “If one gives an answer before he hears, it is his folly and shame.” A person who interrupts is the fool mentioned in verse 18:2 who cares only about his own opinions and who is not really interested in listening or understanding.
7. Psalm 94:7, 8 – “…and they say, ‘The Lord does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.’ Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise?” Sinners have lost perception of the holy, omnipresent God and of His Sovereignty as LORD. They are the “dullest of the people.”
8. Palm 94:11, 12 — “The Lord knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile. Blessed is the man you discipline, O Lord, the man you teach from your law.” Throughout the Bible, God points out that “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8) So, Proverbs counsels: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil….. Do not despise the Lord’s discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” (Proverbs 3:5-12) How important is Bible study in our daily walk with the Lord? Here are just a few thoughts from Psalm 119: “How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. Praise be to you, O Lord; teach me your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth. I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Read Psalm 119 to understand more. I give thanks that God has given us so many resources and tools with which to study His Word, I pray that more and more Christians would return to God’s Word. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16, 17)
9. Psalm 94:12, 13 – “Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O Lord, and whom you teach out of your law, to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked.” God’s discipline is painful but is intended to be a blessing to teach you how to live in the future while growing closer to God each day. Those who don’t despise God’s blessings and who are willing to learn will be blessed. Those who defy God’s discipline and insist on repeating their folly will be cursed.
10. Psalm 94:19 – “When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” In times of trouble, fear, pain, or sorrow, it is God’s comfort and support that you need.
11. Psalm 94:20 – “Can wicked rulers be allied with you, those who frame injustice by statute?” If a person, an organization, or a nation defies God’s commands, they are defying God Himself. If a nation makes laws promoting what God condemns, the nation has become an adversary of God.
12. Psalm 94:23 – “He will bring back on them their iniquity and wipe them out for their wickedness; the Lord our God will wipe them out.” God is patient and gracious, but He will deal with all unrighteousness. Condemnation comes to those who reject His Son, Jesus.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 18 Aug 18: Today, pray for the nation, that there would be a reawakening of God’s people, a corporate repentance, and a Spirit-filled revival across God’s people that would influence the government to honor God in its legislation. (Psalm 94:20)