Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Saturday, 25 August 18:
1. Job 39:26 — “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?” Popular culture says that you are in control of your destiny. However, the wise understand how powerless they really are and how dependent they are on God’s grace, protection, and direction. The wise also understand the incredible limits of their knowledge and understanding, while the foolish boast in their understanding and even convince themselves that they can define God, or disprove God, the Creator. Consider the fact that the public school systems have removed God from the quest for knowledge in America and teach that God is not involved in the creation process, which they teach is the product of chance rather than purpose. But the Bible says, “How clearly the sky reveals God’s glory! How plainly it shows what he has done!” (Psalm 19:1) “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” Paul said that God’s Creation leaves us no excuse for unbelief: “What may be known of God is manifest in them for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Romans 1:19,20).” God challenged Job to consider how the hawk reveals God’s incredible glory and the limits of man’s understanding. The hawk can see up to 8 times more clearly than the sharpest human eye and can see colors, as well as ultraviolet light, which means that they can perceive colors that humans can’t. They can reach speeds of 150 miles while hunting. Hawks mate for life, and the male does tricks in the air to impress a female, in a courtship dance that might last over 10 minutes. Hawks build nests out of sticks often over three feet wide, and when they lay eggs, both the male and female sit on the eggs, taking turns to hunt for food. Hawks are able to live just about anywhere — you can find them in tropical, moist areas and mountainous plains. Like many birds, the hawk migrates in the spring and the autumn, but different kinds of hawks choose different times in both of the seasons to migrate south or north. Who doesn’t get a bit excited when they see a hawk in nature? How could anyone convince themselves that these wonderful creatures are the product of mere chance? Job asked for answers from God, but rather than answer Job’s questions, God told Job to consider His unfathomable glory, power, wisdom, and sovereignty. Jesus said, “Do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” (Matthew 6:25, 26) “What are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them?” God’s glory, power, wisdom, and sovereignty are truly unfathomable, but so is His love. Rest in His during hard times.
2. Job 40:2, 4 — “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?… Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.” A personal encounter with God leaves you overwhelmed and completely humbled by His holiness. It is impossible to be close to God and have a pride problem.
3. Job 40 — If man cannot even understand the complexity of nature, how can man think he can comprehend the fullness of Nature’s Creator. How arrogant and foolish is the man who forms an opinion about God based upon his personal knowledge and experience?
4. Proverbs 25:16 – “If you have found honey, eat only enough for you, lest you have your fill of it and vomit it.” Too much of a good thing can make it a bad thing for you.
5. Proverbs 25:21, 22 – “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you.” When we obey God and respond to evil with kindness, we are trusting God to cover our losses and give us what we didn’t rightly receive from others. He will more than make up the difference.
6. Proverbs 25:28 – “A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls.” Self-control, which is critical to your life, is a gift from the Holy Spirit.
7. Psalm 97:1, 2 — “The Lord reigns…. righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.” Relate these verses with Job 40:2, 8 — “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him…? Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” Our Lord, the Almighty, the Creator, is Sovereign. Is it possible for the created entity to fully understand its Creator? Again, how foolish is it for mere people to define God from their perspective. I am always amazed when “teachers” from their vast wisdom obtained from less than 80 years of life on this planet attempt to challenge the truth of God and his Word. Man’s wisdom is foolishness in God’s sight (1 Cor 3:19), and there is no possible way to measure how distant our thoughts are from God’s thoughts (Isaiah 55:8). We cannot possibly understand why God does what he does, or where He is taking us in life since our steps are directed by Him. (Proverbs 20:24) We must walk in faith, hope, and love trusting that Our “Daddy” IS love; that NOTHING can “separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38, 39); and that “in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) So, “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. (Proverbs 3:5,6)
8. Psalm 97:110 — “O you who love the LORD, hate evil!” Compare this verse with Proverbs 8:13 and Amos 5:15. Do you hate evil? Hate evil, not those who are in bondage to evil – free them.
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 25 Aug 18: Be on a rescue mission today. Work to free the captives of sin. When you are offended, see the situation from God’s perspective – hurting people, naturally, hurt people. Don’t hate the sinner, hate the evil that has trapped the sinner; seek to free the sinner through love; do not try to counter evil with anger but rather with peace and mercy. Shock people by your loving response to all offenses today. (Proverbs 20:6, 9; Psalm 97:110)