WEEK SIX – 2018, A Journey thru the Bible

DAY ONE –  Job 37-39, Psalm 19

What Elihu and Job’s three friends had to say all had some truth, but they couldn’t know what was not yet known. Mankind’s disconnection from God left him, so to speak, ‘in the dark.’ Wisdom was tainted when mankind turned from the Creator to the creation to find answers to cosmic mysteries. All science is based on suppositions and theories, and even discoveries are precipitated by poking in the right places. So even though knowledge has increased exponentially, mysteries still abound. What we ‘know’ is what the Creator chooses to reveal. It would seem then, that people would want to foster a relationship with Creator in order to understand His creation!

Yahweh God finally weighs in on the conversations that have gone on for days. And when He does, He addresses only Job.  Where were you, Job? Yes, where were you when I did… well, fill in the blanks. God takes credit for the creation. He claims original wisdom for all that exists–how it got here, how it stays here, how it all works. You know so much, Job–were you there when I did this…and that? What do you have to say for yourself? Well, Job doesn’t have much to say, except: “I am vile; What shall I answer you? I lay my hand over my mouth. Once have I spoken, but I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.”

And King David, after exclaiming over the creation, gains wisdom and prays, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” (19:14) In Your sight… yes Lord, that’s my desire, to be okay in Your sight. It’s all that matters. Matthew 6:33-34  But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness; and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore don’t be anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Each day’s own evil is sufficient. 

DAY TWO – Job 40-42, Psalm 29

Job’s predicament has now reached crisis proportions. He is, as it were, face-to-face with God Himself. This is a private audience! And God now demands that Job answer Him; He proceeds to ask Job where He has been all the time God has been at work in creation. Using examples of behemoth and Leviathan, God suggests that Job stick to things he can manage and not try to go above his pay grade! Job 42:1-6  Then Job replied to the LORD: 2  “I know that You can do anything, and no one can stop You. 3  You asked, ‘Who is this that questions My wisdom with such ignorance?’ It is I—and I was talking about things I knew nothing about, things far too wonderful for me. 4  You said, ‘Listen and I will speak! I have some questions for you, and you must answer them.’ 5  I had only heard about You before, but now I have seen You with my own eyes. 6  I take back everything I said, and I sit in dust and ashes to show my repentance.” 

Behemoth seems to represent strength and confidence. Leviathan suggests pride and invincibility. While both of these qualities are given to mankind as well, to enable us to conquer and rule, pride will destroy both us and our machinations. We need a clear vision of the Almighty God to keep us from exalting ourselves in a destructive manner. Psalm 29 is clearly the antidote to pride; it can be summed up in a simple command: Give God all the glory! Go to God’s temple (any place of worship, indoors or outdoors) and meditate on His glorious virtues and traits. Devour the Word of God with prayer for greater wisdom. Try a little dust and ashes, just to be different! God doesn’t want us weak, but He does want our pride under control for His greater purposes.

Conclusion: We may never fully understand the causes and reasons for suffering and pain, but we may be fully assured of God’s great love and care for us in any and all circumstances. Trying to speak for God is especially fraught with potentially risky results; better to simply quote the scriptures and let the Holy Spirit do the speaking for God! After all, He alone knows the mind of our loving Heavenly Father.

Summary: Having found Job’s faith and trust intact, in spite of the suffering the devil put Job through, Almighty God held Job’s friends accountable for their destructive religious philosophies which they piously spouted to Job, while blessing Job abundantly with double all he previously had! Who says Bible stories don’t have magical endings?

DAY THREE – Exodus 1-4

You would hardly call it an auspicious beginning, since Moses was born under a death threat (Auspicious means favorable, fortunate.) But then aren’t we all, since the wages of sin IS death? However, the scriptures are replete with God’s plans and efforts to bring us back from death to life. Here His plan to redeem Israel unfolds through a young Egyptian prince (actually a son of Levi) who has fled Egypt and lived another life until Yahweh God manifests through a burning bush.

Yahweh explains that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. All Israel is His son, his firstborn, by right of covenant. So Yahweh has watched over them carefully until this time.  Exodus 2:23-25  In the course of those many days, the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. 24  God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. 25  God saw the children of Israel, and God was concerned about them. 

Exodus 3:7 -10 Yahweh said, “I have surely seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt, and have heard their cry because of their taskmasters, for I know their sorrows. 8  I have come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and large land, to a land flowing with milk and honey; to the place of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite. 9  Now, behold, the cry of the children of Israel has come to me. Moreover I have seen the oppression with which the Egyptians oppress them. 10  Come now therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh, that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.” 

God’s favor often attaches to His purposes–hence, Moses is raised as an Egyptian prince, suddenly loses favor with the Pharaoh, flees for his life, only to be apprehended by a burning bush some years later when he is near eighty years old. From the bush Yahweh identifies Himself, remembers the patriarchs of Israel, acknowledges the great deliverance that is about to occur, and calls Moses to be a Deliverer. In the same manner, each of us is purposed and called by God to be part of His plans and efforts to redeem all of mankind. Where and how we serve depends on God’s favor over our life and the circumstances in which we have arrived.

Take heart, Dear One; our Lord remembers us in every situation and retains great plans for the future. As unlikely as it may seem, all suffering is temporary and cannot endure beyond this current physical existence. Our God, Yahweh our Savior, has created a Promised Land that is within reach through our faith. Whatever the Spirit of God is saying to you about your life, be encouraged. Trust Him fully to finish what He has started. You are in GOOD hands!

DAY FOUR – Exodus 5-9

The beginning of signs, wonders and plagues before Pharaoh by Yahweh, God of Israel– even though the Israelites had no faith in Yahweh, they were willing to go along with Moses until the Egyptians upped the ante and caused their toil to become severe, with torture. Now everyone in Egypt is waiting to see what the standoff between Yahweh and Pharaoh will produce. Moses and Aaron begin working the signs given them by God, and the Egyptians begin to suffer under the heavy hand of the God of Israel. The Egyptian gods mimic some of the signs through their sorcerers in order to harden Pharaoh’s heart. When it becomes apparent after several signs that Yahweh trumps all the gods of Egypt, Pharaoh’s sorcerers let him know they’ve done all they can do, because this is ‘the finger of God.’ Hardened by his early successes, Pharaoh continues to resist God. Tension mounts throughout the land, especially when Yahweh creates a distinction between the neighborhoods of Egypt and Goshen, where the Israelites live. The plagues stop at the border of Goshen! What will it take to convince the Pharaoh that he is not a god?

Indeed, what does it take to convince any generation that there is a True God, Creator of all there is? The world has created its own gods, fed by demonic doctrines and lies. Darkened and confused, mankind persists in his own ways, carelessly ignoring the pleas and overtures of our loving Heavenly Father. Hardness takes many forms, but maybe the sufferings of the present age will cause many to call out for help to a God they don’t yet know. We pray so.

DAY FIVE – Exodus 10-13

God made clear to Moses that by the time He was finished, all Egypt, especially the Pharaoh, would know for sure that Yahweh God, the God of Israel, was more powerful than all the gods of Egypt. A progressive destruction occurred under the plagues of Yahweh, consuming vegetation, crops, cattle, and everything valuable. As God had made the Pharaohs rich under Joseph in order to save all Israel in Egypt, now He decimated them, taking away their riches and their strength. During the siege Moses was elevated in the eyes of all the Egyptians. Egypt was destroyed, Goshen sat pristine and undamaged. The Egyptian people must have wondered how long the Pharaoh could hold out against Yahweh; they were all ruined.

But the ‘piece de resistance,’ the last plague, was the showstopper–God’s masterpiece of sovereignty. In preparation for that fateful night, every Israeli household slew a perfect lamb and sprinkled its blood on the doorposts of their dwellings. They roasted the lamb and ate it in Yahweh’s presence with the prescribed meal. They ate fully clothed and with their sandals on–a state of readiness for departure at Yahweh’s word. It was THAT night that the destroyer–the death angel–was coming. He would strike every household in Egypt, and the firstborn would die, even in the cattle stalls. But Yahweh was the Protector of the households in Goshen, where the blood was sprinkled on the doors. Yes, the death angel was coming, but Yahweh was covering the doorway and preventing the destroyer from harming any Israeli.

One more bit of divine justice–as Egypt prospered through and by the slavery of the Israelis, so God turned the tables. Frightened out of their wits, the Egyptians loaded their Israeli neighbors down with every kind of wealth–gold, silver, jewels, clothing, everything they asked for. Thus the Israelis received eighty years’ worth of back pay and left Egypt with excessive wealth to start a new life!

Creator God, Yahweh, is the father of all creation and the Father of all who put their trust in Yahshua (Jesus), God our savior. Because God is the same now as He was then, we can expect all the blessings of which we read in scripture, as children of the Covenant, the New Covenant of our Lord Jesus. As Jesus taught us to Pray, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.” My heart and soul cry out for the works of God to be seen again in the land, for our children to see again the great signs and wonders of God Almighty, for His Spirit to again light up the body of Christ with His glory.

REMINDERS:

  • To SHARE whenever you feel appropriate.
  • To COMMENT and give a little feedback on how we’re doing.
  • To join our discussion group in Chico at First Assembly Wednesdays, 6:30 p.m.
  • To CONTRIBUTE if you are motivated.

THANK YOU FOR BEING PART OF OUR 2018 JOURNEY THRU THE BIBLE!

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