Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Friday, 16 August 19:
Job 23:12 — “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”
Job hungered for God’s word more than food, understanding that God’s word was more important to his life. Remember how we were first introduced to Job in chapter 1: “In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil…. Then the Lord said to Satan, ‘Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him.’” Job stood out as a man among men before God because he prioritized God’s word in his life and obeyed it. Do you treasure God’s word more than your food, and do live by His every word?
Notice in Luke 20 today how Jesus responds to every attack by others against Him with God’s word (like he did against Satan’s temptations in the desert) and how he knew God’s word perfectly by heart. Jesus knew from memory God’s word so well that he even defeated the arguments of the ‘teachers of the Law’ by point out the tense of a verb – God “is” the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (as opposed to “was” the God of Abraham….). What did Jesus say about God’s word? “It is written, ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).’”
Today in America, most people are physically overweight but malnourished in God’s word. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive Kidney Disease, over 70% of Americans are overweight, and of them, 38% are obese. Meanwhile, 11% of Americans ‘report’ to have read the whole Bible. Of course, reading and studying are two different things; studying God’s word and studying under the teaching of the Holy Spirit is quite another; and obeying God’s word through the power of the Holy Spirit is yet another. Are you having trouble finding time to prayerfully study God’s word each day? Here is an idea guaranteed to help: pledge not to eat until you have completed your prayer and Bible study. Another suggestion is avoid reading books about the Bible rather than the Bible itself. A trend in the church today is that Christians are preferring secondary sources rather than the God’s perfect word. Don’t muddy the waters –
– Ezekiel 34:18, 19 — Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet? And must my sheep eat what you have trodden with your feet, and drink what you have muddied with your feet?
– John 6:63 — It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
– John 17:17 — Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
– Hebrews 4:12 — For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
– 2 Timothy 3:16, 17 — All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
– 1 John 2:27 — But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
– 2 Timothy 2:15 — Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
Job 23:27 — “Oh, that my words were recorded, that they were written on a scroll, that they were inscribed with an iron tool on lead, or engraved in rock forever! I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes — I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”
What an amazing verse from one of the oldest books in the Bible! Most people would guess this verse came from the New Testament. Job hungered for God’s living word because of the hope he had in his living God, which only grew as he studied and applied God’s word. Through God’s word, Job not only had been guided through life, he had built a personal relationship with God which sustained him through his greatest challenges. Notice that in his misery, Job turned to God, not away from God – “Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.” (Job 13:15) Job’s incredible faith was cultivated over a lifetime of study, prayer and walking in God’s word — “I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.” Be sanctified through God’s word, be strengthened through God’s word, be prepared through God’s word, and be sustained through God’s word as the Holy Spirit uses the living word to draw you closer to the Word, Jesus – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:1-5)
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 16 August 19: Read Psalm 119 and pray that God will give you a passion for God’s word like Job had.