“I am unworthy—-how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer—-twice, but I will say no more.” (Job40:4–5)
Job did repent, not in order to be restored to his health and wealth, but because he came to the realization of his unworthiness before Almighty God. There are many lessons to glean from reading the book of Job, beloved and all worthy of our time.
Job’s three friends thought all suffering was due to sin, but this not always so. Only God can meet our needs in times of suffering. Humans are unitary beings; when our bodies suffer, our minds, emotions, and spiritual life are affected. The book aims to deliver a spiritual message to tortured people. Job’s problem was not primarily physical. His healing and restoration serves only to inform the reader the test was over. His problem was not mental, as he was never really given an explanation of his suffering. His primary problem was spiritual. He held onto his faith and righteousness, as he felt his suffering was separating him from God. God assured him that innocent suffering is no proof of isolation from God.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Precious Abba, in our lesson from Job, we learned that suffering affects our whole makeup as human beings. Job’s friends tried to address a problem that they could not help him with. God delivered him from suffering by explaining his suffering was on a spiritual level and so He spoke to him and helped him understand he was never separated from God at all. In these uncertain times, it is important for us to learn and/or understand that suffering can and does affect us in many ways. Job never lost his faith in God, he just simply got lost and didn’t realize that God was with him the whole time. We too, must understand that in these times, we too must cling to our faith and our God, to sustain us through all events and situations, and that He is as near as He always is, and He waits for us to call out to Him. In Jesus’ holy name we pray for all to come to Him now. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Kindness is the oil that reduces the friction of life.”
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call on him while he is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon.” (Isaiah 55:6-7)
God offers a free pardon to those who repent. Repentance is an inward reversal of life, a radical change of thought and conduct. The gospel of repentance does not contradict the gospel of grace. The Lord show mercy to those who forsake wickedness and evil. Wicked conduct and evil thoughts obstruct God’s grace.
“’Even now,” declares the Lord, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.’ Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows? He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing—-grain offerings and drink offerings for the Lord your God.” (Joel2:12-14)
Fasting, weeping, and mourning were usual expressions of repentance in Israel. Tearing of garments was a sign of grief. What God wants in repentance is a torn hear. The heart in Hebrew psychology was the seat of the will even more than of the affections. The surprise to many in this passage is its emphasis on double repentance. Not only should persons repent, but God repents when we repent. He turns from His announced intention, responds to us as persons, and changes His plan of action from judgment to mercy. When we turn to Him, He turns to us. The good news of salvation is that we have a High Priest who is touched with out infirmities.
Second Thought of the Day:
“Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, ‘Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—-do you think they were more guilty than ll the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, not! But unless you repent, you too will all perish!” (Luke 13:1-5)
Human beings judge one another. People who suffer extraordinarily tend to be ranked as extraordinary sinners. We conclude suffering and persecution is the consequence of intense sin. Jesus refused to grade sinners. He placed us all on the same level. None is excused from repenting. God does not categorize sinners and seek more repayment through and sacrifice from some than to God with repentance.