Day 144 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Job and Psalms.
Job 16 – 18 – In his response to Eliphaz, Job looks underneath the words of his friend: “Shall windy words have an end? Or what provokes you that you answer?” What is causing his friends to answer with heat but little light? Job adds that if the roles were reversed, he would try to “strengthen” and “assuage”.
It is easy for Believers to get angry “for” God. There’s a lot in the world to get angry about! And when the merciful cause of Jesus is misunderstood and abused, either by its adherents or by its elite despisers, it is easy to become adversarial. But rarely are God’s purposes advanced or His people helped by means of an “answer” which is provoked by indignation.
The gospel comes as help to the helpless, love to the loveless, strength to the weak, a raft to the drowning, and water to the thirsty. Rage and blame spoil it.
Job 19 – In Job’s replies to his friends’ statements to him, he sometimes tries to beat them at their own game. He tries to refute their refutations, or defend himself against their defenses (of God). Seldom does he get outside the boxing ring of verbal punches and counterpunches.
Here, toward the end of Job’s second response to Bildad, Job is given something wonderful to say. Recognizing the place of despair out of which Job has been speaking up to now, right up to the very hem of these verses, it is a lovely wonder that he is inspired to declare what he says next.
Job says that he believes he shall one day see God as his Redeemer and not his enemy. He shall see God with his own eyes. In faith Job predicts this, even “after my skin has been thus destroyed.” Job’s pre-vision of the direct presence of God, ultimately fulfilled in Jesus, has been quoted often, most famously in Handel’s “Messiah” and in the Book of Common Prayer.
For Believers, the mighty hope of a physical resurrection culminates with a glorious exultation from the apostle Paul that echoes Job’s words: “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55). We therefore give great thanks to God, “who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Psalm 139 – The intimacy of David’s relationship with God is put on beautiful display through this Psalm. David knows that God’s care for him is so deep and thorough that every step he takes, every word he speaks, is known fully by the Lord who has numbered all of his days before they began. Indeed, his days began as God formed him while yet in his mother’s womb. His very inward parts and every aspect of his life have been designed by God Himself. No matter where David may travel, far or wide, he knows that God’s Spirit is always with him, that God always knows the situations he is in. To imagine the detailed and exhaustive nature of God’s thoughts toward His own children, as David here exemplifies, truly is precious.
How could such a great and glorious God care so deeply, so intimately, for little creatures such as we are? This is exactly what astonishes David. God is so great, and yet He shows extraordinary care for His own. The greatness of God, then, is the backdrop for understanding verses 19–22. Given how glorious God is, and how good He is to His undeserving children, who have been adopted as His own through the work of Jesus, how deeply wrong it is for others to mock and belittle them.
David rightly longs for God’s name to be exalted, which means that those who mock His name will themselves be put to shame. The longing to see God glorified has, then, another expression. Those who love God and His glory likewise hate all that stands against God and His ways. To love God and to hate evil are two sides of the same coin. David knows this, and prays in the end for God to search his heart.
How will you allow God to search your heart?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
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