Thursday, January 23, 2014

Job 38,39, 40:1-5 Lesson 5

Job Chapters 38-40:5
There is only one God—and He is omniscient?

Last week Elihu chastens Job for his lack of trust in God’s plan. God doesn’t need to answer man. He is omniscient, having infinite awareness, knowledge, and understanding,”
He watches our coming and going. Elihu ends his speech by saying

The Almighty—we cannot find him; he is great in power;
    justice and abundant righteousness he will not violate.
   Therefore men
 fear him; he does not regard any who are wise in their
    own conceit.”
Job cries out for the LORD to hear his complaint. In Chapters 38-40 God does exactly that!
What would you do if you were having a meltdown and accusing the LORD of ignoring you and Almighty God, Creator of the universe showed up! a whirlwind.
Job 38 “Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence? Now get ready to fight, for I am going to demand some answers from you, and you must reply. TLB
When we have disappointment in our lives, do we think God is not answering our prayers? When illness or malaise sets upon us especially around the holidays, after the death of a loved one, do we hide in the dark, pull the covers over our head and stay in bed all day? Or do we ask God what He wants us to learn from this situation?
For the next two chapters God hammers Job with 42 specific questions.
·        "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? v. 4
·        "Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, v.12
·        "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that a flood of waters may cover you? V.34
·        "Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you observe the calving of the does? 40:1
·    "Who has let the wild donkey go free? V.5
·    "Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane? v.19
·    "Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars and spreads his wings toward the south?26
·    Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up and makes his nest on high? 27

Ladies I would be hiding in a cave somewhere. After I had composed myself enough to speak I would surely answer as Job did in chapter 40:
4“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
twice, but I will proceed no further.”
There is only one God—and He is omniscient?

Have you ever spoken out of turn? Have you said things to friends or family or someone at work and immediately wished you could take it back.
It is like trying to put toothpaste back in a tube. You can’t change the past, but you can confess to your Heavenly Father and ask forgiveness.
Praise God that Our Father sent Jesus to earth where He experienced temptation and trials and “life” in a human body.
Hebrews 4:15 For now …have a high priest(defender, advocate) who is able to sympathize with our weaknesses, one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Our LORD is so gracious to let His fallen children approach His throne any time of day or night and speak frankly about our sorrows and failures. We can cry out and even when we don’t have the words.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
We can trust God when we have the blues and don’t know why. We can trust God when we don’t know where our children are. We can trust God when we have lost everything. We can trust God in this economy, in this weather, in the time of our lives.
There is only one God—and He is omniscient?
Colossians 1:15-17
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and
invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities---all things were created through Him and for Him.
And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Laminin is defined by the Webster Medical Dictionary as a "glycoprotein that is a component of connective tissue basement membrane and that promotes cell adhesion."  In other words, looking at laminin as a kind of glue isn't far from the truth.  There are several different laminins.

In their book The Laminins authors Peter Elkblom and Rupert Timpl go into more detail about both the importance of laminins and their structure.  They describe laminins that, together with other proteins, "hold cells and tissues together."   They also say, "Electron microscopy reveals a cross-like shape for all laminins investigated so far."  They went on to say that in solution the laminin shapes were more like a flower than a cross.  The strands of laminins do not always stand straight and at right angles, but they do consists of arms, three of which are short and one of which is long.

This song has been playing in my head every time I studied my lesson or read the text.
My daughter sings it beautifully and if I had the ability I would sing it for you tonight. Nicole Coleman Mullen revealed on TBN that she “was reading about a man who lost all 10 of his kids in one day. He lost his health; lost his wealth. He became depressed.  He didn’t have any answers. He didn’t know why. As a matter of fact he didn’t know that God had said in a prior conversation that he was blameless, done nothing wrong. Still he suffered. But there is have a hope in our suffering that Job discovered. That hope is found in the person of Jesus Christ.”

For I know that my Redeemer lives. Job 19:25a

There is only one God—and He is omniscient?

PPT and Redeemer by Nicole Coleman Mullen follow link to YouTube.
Mary Alice has shared with some of us the miraculous journey of healing of her nephew. His caring bridge post after Christmas would be a lesson to Job and to us.
We are not panicking or caught off guard by this news. My hope and confidence is ultimately in Jesus, and He's been handling things miraculously so far!! We know He's walking…carrying us through every step of this journey, and I know He's with us now. Are we concerned? Sure. Are we scared at all? Of course. We're weak & limited human beings. But our Savior is much bigger than our concerns & fears. Robby Ott

Will you choose to remember that there is only one God—and He is omniscient?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Job 27-37; Lesson 4

Job and his friends were not privy to the discussion in the throne room. No one knew the reason or meaning of the trials Job was going through. Job’s friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar contend that righteousness is always rewarded and sin is always punished, therefore Job has sinned.
As a school teacher I would use acronyms and shortcuts for my students. Saying “MYOB” to a student was a constant tattle tale meant “Mind your own business.”My grandsons hear that occasionally. Surely Job has reached his limit with these friends. Perhaps Job was ready to suggest his friends worry about their own righteousness.
Ch.10-Job told his wife, “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble.” But somewhere along the way, Job’s resilience is weakened. Let’s ponder the phrase the “patience of Job.” After the first three friends have exhausted their arguments to prove the sin in Job’s life caused his suffering, now Job spends five chapters on self justification. His overuse of the pronoun “I” in Ch. 29-31 is shown by the red letters on this slide. Job complains that he has lost not only his family and wealth, but also his place of honor in society. Like the prodigal son who had plenty of friends when he was rich and none when he ended in the pig sty, Job is no longer revered or sought out for advice. Job has forgotten he does not need the praise of man God is greater than man.
 Book of Job Lesson 4
• Job cries out (27-31).
• Elihu steps in (32).
• Elihu speaks up (33-37).
Ch.28 Job asks Where is Wisdom? WISDOM 211 times in bible, 20 times in Job.
“Surely there is a mine for silver, and a place for gold that they refine.

Iron is taken out of the earth, and copper is smelted from the ore.
Man puts an end to darkness and searches out to the farthest limit

 the ore in gloom and deep darkness.
“Man puts his hand to the flinty rock and overturns mountains by the roots.
10 He cuts out channels in the rocks, and his eye sees every precious thing.

Wisdom is compared to precious metals, gold, silver, copper, and precious stones; hidden deep in the earth where no bird of prey has seen it. Man continually searches for the wisdom of God.
 Proverbs 2:if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;

As a public school teacher every year we would take fourth grade classes to search for hidden treasure. In the mountains of NC we would put our hands in ice cold water to sift through buckets of dirt to find semi precious stones. Every child could bring home bags of amethyst, quartz, even garnet. What a joy. If we as Christians would search in our Bibles and dig for those nuggets of wisdom, how much more satisfied we would be. Remember God is greater than man
Later as we traveled to Linville Caverns we went so far underground that the catfish in the stream were blind from the lack of light. In fact when the guide turned off the lights you could not see you hand in front of your face.  Ladies I am talking about the absence of light so profound you are fearful of being lost in the dark.

Just like the blind catfish who lived in the darkness of Linville Caverns
Isaiah 42:6-7
 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations,
to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
Are you up for the challenge? Do you know someone so deep in their own depression that they are lost and groping in the darkness? Will you help lead them to the LORD?

 “Jesus is the light of the world.”  Let’s stand and sing
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

 Our Memory Verse for this week. Job 28:28 say it with me. “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

Though Job knows this, he is not content. He longs for the past.
29- when God watched over me,,when his lamp shone upon my head, and by his light I walked through darkness,as I was in my prime, when the  friendship of God was upon my tent,when the Almighty was yet with me,
Who wouldn’t yearn for a life that was blessed by God, riches beyond compare and a seat of honor in the gates of the city?
15 “I live in terror now. They hold me in contempt, and my prosperity has vanished as a cloud before a strong wind. 16 My heart is broken. Depression haunts my days. 
20 “I cry to you, O God, but you don’t answer me. I stand before you and you don’t bother to look. 21 You have become cruel toward me and persecute me with great power and effect. 
If Job would only realize God is greater than man, He does not answer to us.
Isaiah 55:6 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Chapter 32 So these three men ceased to answer Job, because he was righteous in his own eyes. Elihu Steps Up
 Elihu the son of Bar a shell the Buzz-ite was silent until it appeared the older men had nothing more to say. His youth has prompted him to wait for his turn to speak, but now boldly Elihu takes the floor.
He was angry at Job because Job justified himself rather than God. But he was also angry with Job’s friends. v.12 “I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments, but not one of them has convinced Job that he is a sinner or has proved that he is.” 
8-9  it is not mere age that makes men wise. Rather, it is the spirit in a man, the breath of the Almighty that makes him intelligent.10 So listen to me awhile and let me express my opinion.
18-20 I am full of words and the spirit compels me to speak. “I am about to burst like new wine skins.” In other words, he has been biting his tongue and now he MUST speak.
21 I will not show partiality to any man or use flattery toward any person.
33-3 My words come from an upright heart, I speak sincerely what I know.
Elihu takes issue with Job trying to justify himself instead of God. Instead of humbly approaching God, Job arrogantly insisted that he was righteous.
9You say, ‘I am pure, without transgression;  I am clean, and there is no iniquity in me.
 12 Behold, in this you are not right. I will answer you, for God is greater than man.
Romans 3:10 kjv “There is none righteous, no, not one.”

In South America, the llama is viewed as arrogance. To keep a herd of llamas corralled, all you need is one rope circling around the herd. Just by placing the rope at a height beneath the head and base of the neck, the llamas are secured in this makeshift pen. Rather than stooping beneath the rope to escape, the proud llamas stand tall, and remain captive.
Job was so busy justifying himself he was unable to see that he could escape his cage of torment simply by bending low in humility.
Elihu states three ways that God may speak to man. 33:14 “For God speaks again and again, 15 in dreams, in visions of the night when deep sleep falls on men as they lie on their beds.
·        Dreams and visions vv.15-18
Remember Eliphaz had an unforgettable night vision. Job also had terrifying dream. God can send dreams and visions to “open the ears of men” and terrifies them with warnings, that he may turn man aside from his deeds and hear God’s word. Other character in the Bible had dreams.
·        Suffering v.19 A man may be chastened on a bed of pain. Elihu rightly instructed that God can use suffering to save a person from eternal damnation. Some of us can attest to the fact the LORD can put you on your back to slow you down.

C.S. Lewis “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”
·        A mediating angel vv. 23- one of the thousand, to that God has guarding his people. ‘Deliver him from going down into the pit; I have found a ransom;
God  brings back his soul from the pit, so that he may live in the light of the living.
NIV 34:10 “So listen to me, you men of understanding.
    Far be it from God to do evil,
    from the Almighty to do wrong.
11 He repays everyone for what they have done;
    he brings on them what their conduct deserves.
12 It is unthinkable that God would do wrong,
    that the Almighty would pervert justice.
34 31-32 “So why don’t you simply confess to God? Say, ‘I sinned, but I’ll sin no more.
Teach me to see what I still don’t see. Whatever evil I’ve done, I’ll do it no more.’ MSG
Job, are speaking like a fool. 36 You should be given the maximum penalty for the wicked way you have talked about God. 37 For now you have added rebellion, arrogance, and blasphemy to your other sins.”TLB
36:5-7“Behold, God is mighty, he is mighty in strength of understanding, he does not take his eyes of the righteous.
26 How great is God—beyond our understanding!
    29 Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
    how he thunders from his pavilion?
30 See how he scatters his lightning about him,
    bathing the depths of the sea.
32 He fills his hands with lightning
    and commands it to strike its mark.
37 14 “Hear this, O Job;  stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
15 Do you know how God lays his command upon them
    and causes the lightning of his cloud to shine?
16 Do you know the balancing of the clouds,
    the wondrous works of him who is perfect in knowledge,
18 Can you, like him, spread out the skies, hard as a cast metal mirror?
Like Job most of us lack HUMILITY: It means not thinking of yourself at all.

Andrew Murray says  “It is to expect nothing, to wonder at nothing that is done to me, to feel nothing done against me. It is to be at rest when nobody praises me and when I am blamed or despised.”

The Almighty God,
 great in power; 37: 24 No wonder men everywhere fear him! For he is not impressed by the world’s wisest men!
When we compare our lives to others we may feel blameless even superior. But our measuring rod of righteousness is not our unbelieving neighbors or even our Christian friends. We must hold ourselves up to the light of Jesus to realize how far we are from perfection.
A minister had a small white Highland terrier that he kept spotlessly clean by frequent washing, brushing, and powdering. One night a winter storm dropped a fresh blanket of snow on the countryside, and the next morning the whole world seemed to glisten under the splendor of the morning sun. As the clergyman stood gazing out his window, he saw a drab-looking dog walk across the snow. He wondered whose it was—then suddenly realized it was his own well-groomed terrier! It was as clean as always, but against that dazzling background it did not looks spotless.  
Who are you using for a standard of righteousness?

Will you choose to
discontinue justifying yourself and realize God is greater than man?

Monday, January 13, 2014

Job Lesson 3-Ch. 2:11-26:6

Ladies thank you for braving the cold and coming out tonight. We have four new members. Let’s welcome them. We hope if you have a friend who cannot commit to 30 weeks, maybe they can join us in our shorter studies of Job, Philippians and Colossians.  I received a last minute invitation to spend a week at the beach and I decided you could use a break from my teaching. Since I missed Mary Alice’s wonderful teaching, I hope I don’t overlap her points.
How many can say they have been afflicted by some sickness, financial problems, or emotional trauma over the holidays. While the world is Fa, la, lah ing and keeping the stores in business with their over spending and accumulations of possessions, many people suffer depression and uncontrollable sorrow at Christmas.
Friends can make you feel better or drive you even deeper into your pit. What kind of friend are you?
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 Two are better than one…For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!
In July my father died from stage four cancer 2 days before his 82nd birthday. My cousin died 2 weeks before. His widow needed a change of venue for the holidays and we spent a week together; sometimes talking but mostly just being there for comfort.
Job Lesson 3-ch. 2:11-26:6 Bad Advice and Unfair Accusations
In last week’s scripture Job’s response to his wife’s advice to curse God and die: “‘You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?’ In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.”

2:11 11 Now when Job's three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place,
Don’t be too hard on Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar. They made an appointment together to show him sympathy and comfort him.  They left their jobs and their homes to travel to Job’s place (remember, his place was at least 172 square miles, so they probably had to travel some distance) to comfort their afflicted friend. They did not sit in a nice comfortable home or even a hospital room. Ladies, they sat in a trash heap!

vv.12-13 “They began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. And they did exactly what good friends should do for a hurting friend Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.”

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” Romans 12:15

There is no grief like the grief that does not speak. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Saint Augustine  What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.

Satan pleads with God for another swing at Job. He’d inflicted all the pain on Job that God would allow, but now he’d apply a whole new tactic: stinging judgments from self-righteous friends. This lesson encompasses more than 24 chapters, but the subject doesn't vary: Job’s friends repeatedly insist he or his children must be guilty of some sin or sins—nothing else could explain the calamities that had befallen him—and Job repeatedly denies their accusations.
While his friends accuse him and Satan torments him, let’s not forget that God is still in charge. Satan is on a short lease.
Warren Wiersbe in his study Be Patient, gives us some insight into these men. Job 15:10 tells us all three were older than Job. We will expect them to speak in order of their seniority. Eliphaz from Teman a place known for wisdom based his speech on his observations of life and his frightening experience he had one night. He has great faith in tradition, but his God is an inflexible lawgiver.  Eliphaz leaves no room for mercy or the grace of God.

Ch.5 7-8 Stop and think! Have you ever known a truly good and innocent person who was punished? Experience teaches that it is those who sow sin and trouble who harvest the same.  From the Living Bible
Ch. 8 Bildad the Shuhite says from the Good News translation:
“How long will you go on like this, Job, blowing words around like wind? Does God twist justice? If your children sinned against him, and he punished them, and you begged Almighty God for them— if you were pure and good, he would hear your prayer and answer you and bless you with a happy home.

Bildad shows little compassion for a man who has lost 10 children, his possessions, as well as his health. He respects tradition, but is a legalist.

Zophar probably the youngest since he spoke last is opinionated and arrogant. Thoughtlessly he chides Job in chapter 11:from the Message
 “What a flood of words! Shouldn’t we put a stop to it?
    Should this kind of loose talk be permitted?
Job, do you think you can carry on like this and we’ll say nothing?
    That we’ll let you rail and mock and not step in?
You claim, ‘My doctrine is sound
    and my conduct impeccable.’
How I wish God would give you a piece of his mind,
    tell you what’s what!
I wish he’d show you how wisdom looks from the inside,
    for true wisdom is mostly ‘inside.’
But you can be sure of this,
    you haven’t gotten half of what you deserve.
Job’s friend didn’t understand that things can go horribly wrong simply because we live in a fallen world—and they had no idea that Satan might be engineering Job’s trials simply because that’s what Satan does!

Paul Tournier was a Swiss physician and author, “We are nearly always longing for an easy religion, easy to understand and easy to follow; a religion with no mystery, no insoluble problems, no snags; a religion that would allow us to escape from our miserable human condition; a religion in which contact with God spares us all strife, all uncertainty, all suffering and all doubt; in short, a religion without a cross” 

Every time I dig deep into the scriptures I learn some forgotten bits of wisdom or discover another nugget for pondering. 
Points to Ponder
·        Why do we suffer?
·        Does God cause suffering?
·        Why do bad things happen to good people?
·        Does sin cause sickness?

I’m sure each of you have sat at the bedside of a suffering saint to pray for comfort or healing. Like Job “Why?” is often our question, maybe we should be asking “Why not!”

Before the “Fall” life was good! Adam and Eve were perfect; they lived in a perfect world. All was peace and comfort and joy and fellowship with the LORD. Can you imagine walking in the beautiful garden in the cool of the day with the Creator God? No bugs biting you, no fear of wild animals. Fresh fruit on every tree ready for picking.

Ah, that’s what I call Paradise! What happened! Did God cause Adam and Eve to sin? Did Satan overpower them and force them to sin?

Had Adam and Eve retained their original state of perfection, they would never have to die. But Eve and then Adam yielded to the serpent’s temptation, and death and sin came into the world.
Satan has this cunning way of whispering in your ear and suggesting things that seem to be true. He is tempting our senses, offering us pleasures to fill our selfish desires.

Each time I got in the car to drive this week God has provided me with wisdom and insight from some favorite radio pastors. And praise God they were united in their opinions on Spiritual Warfare. Yes we live in a fallen world but God is Omnipotent. Reading from Billy Graham last book with my senior friend on Tuesday, I skimmed the table of contents and found a chapter entitled “No Hope of Happy Hour in Hell.”

Surveys say the masses are more interest in Hell that Heaven. Sin Is iN. People make jokes regarding sin and crude cartoons of Adam and Eve. There are novelty items trivializing sin. Yes sin is in; in each and every one of us since the Fall.
Revelation 12:9 says Satan’s work is to deceive the world. His deception that Hell is where the party will be is a clever trick. 2 Corinthians call him an “angel of light” because he disguises evil in whatever will attract the senses.

God said to Satan: Job still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.”

J. O. Sanders “God does not waste suffering; if he ploughs it is because He purposes a crop.”  In other words He is hoping we will learn and grow from our trials.

Scotsman Samuel Rutherford a licensed minister at age 27, worked tirelessly for the LORD. In 1630, after barely five years of marriage, Samuel's wife suffered a painful illness of thirteen months and died. Samuel was deeply affected by her loss. Their two children also died, and Samuel himself had a debilitating fever three months before his wife's death. Rutherford’s many sufferings only gave him a greater heart of sympathy for the suffering in his flock. 

In 1636 he published an Apology of Divine Grace. This work offended the government and churches of Britain. Muzzled and exiled from public service for the Lord, Rutherford continued to write to his parishioners,
“Learn to believe Christ better than his strokes … Let not the Lord's dealings seem harsh, rough, or unfatherly, because it is unpleasant. “

Taken from Holding on to Hope © 2002 by Nancy Guthrie.
“Why has God allowed so much suffering in your life? Ultimately, the purpose is not to disfigure you for life but to mold you into a person who thinks and acts and looks like Christ.
Every difficulty—from the minor irritation to the piercing pain—God has allowed every one for the singular and supreme purpose of transforming your character into the likeness of His Son.
Sometimes it requires pain to refine our character and to remove our selfish, sinful attitudes. Pain can do that. Or, pain can make us bitter. We can just become bitter when we don't get what we want out of life.
I believe God has a purpose for the pain in your life that is for your ultimate good, even though everything about it looks and feels bad.”
Lamentations 3:31-33 NIV "For men are not cast off by the Lord forever. Though he brings grief, he will show compassion, so great is his unfailing love. For he does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men" 
Remember when Christ called Lazarus out of the grave he was bound by cloths.
A W Tozer: The devil makes it his business to keep Christians in bondage, bound and gagged actually imprisoned by their own grave clothes.

Paul urges us a God’s children remove our grave clothes; to plunge into the Divine closet and put on Christ. Practice modeling your actions and words after Jesus: to be loving, forgiving, kind, and compassionate
Jesus Christ provided through his finished work on the cross and his resurrection a new set of clothes with labels righteous and holiness to reflect the very heart of God. Which clothes are you going to put on today?
God has not promised skies always blue,
Flower-strewn pathways all our life through;
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God has promised strength for the day,
Rest for the labor, light for the way;
Grace for the trials, help from above,
Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

Will you choose to remember that we live in a fallen world—but that God still reigns?