Read: Psalm 17-20
Marked: Psalms 18:28, For You will light my lamp; The LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.
How do you explain to someone the beauty of faith in God if they live in darkness and cannot see? The whole world thinks they can see but are actually blind, living in darkness.
John 1:4-5 says Jesus is the light of men. He reveals the beauty of God, but the darkness did not comprehend it. This speaks about ignorance of godly things, and associated wickedness and misery.
John 5:35 reveals Jesus to be a burning and shining light leading people out of darkness. Jesus is the light of the world. Those that follow Him will no longer walk in darkness (John 8:12).
Psalm 119:105 declares the word of the Lord to be lamp to our feet and a light to our path. And in Psalm 27:1 David says the Lord is my light and my salvation.
Read: Psalms 9-16
Marked: Psalms 12:4, Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips [are] our own; Who [is] lord over us?”
Those who say this, are the ones who speak with “flattering lips” and “a double heart”, speaking “proud things” (V2-3).
They have placed themselves above God. They are the fools who say there is no God (Psalms 14:1), and the ones who renounce God (Psalms 10:13). They are not accountable to anything or anyone; or so they believe.
Upon the wicked He will rain coals; Fire and brimstone and a burning wind shall be the portion of their cup. For the LORD is righteous, He loves righteousness; His countenance beholds the upright. (Psalms 11:6-7)
Read: Psalms 1-8
Marked: Psalms 1:1-2, Blessed [is] the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight [is] in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.
Blessing isn’t found by doing what the whole world does in ungodliness and sin. Blessing isn’t found in scorning all that God has provided for us.
Blessing is found through delight in God’s Word, found in His promises, found in the life He gives through Jesus to all who ask. When the source of blessing is revealed wise men make it a daily practice to meditate on it day and night.
Read: Job 40-42
Marked: Job 40:9a, Have you an arm like God?
Throughout Scripture we see references to God’s arm or hand. For example, Isaiah 41:10 says God will uphold you with His righteous right hand.
Again, in Isaiah 59:1 we read that the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save. The right arm and hand are synonymous with justice, mercy, strength and power.
But not so the arm of man. We have no strength or power to do anything remotely similar to God. As much as we like to think we’re something special we cannot adorn ourselves with majesty and splendour, or array ourselves with glory and beauty (V10), or any of the other things God questions Job on.
We are unable to save ourselves so all we can do is lift our arms in quiet submission and exultation of God and humble ourselves before Him as Job did.
Read: Job 38-39
Marked: Job 38:2, “Who [is] this who darkens counsel By words without knowledge?”
Those who sought knowledge and understanding were the first scientists, which means, a seeker of knowledge. But for all that we think we know we don’t really know much.
God asks questions of Job and His companions, questions to which, even now, man has little understanding of. Questions about geophysics, hydrology, even philosophy.
God, in His word, reveals much we do not know. And even what we do know about some things we tend to question because they don’t fit our own worldview.
If our worldview doesn’t line up with God’s word we need to change our worldview and not attempt to align Scripture to our worldview.
Read: Job 35-37
Marked: Job 35:6-7, If you sin, what do you accomplish against Him? Or, if your transgressions are multiplied, what do you do to Him? If you are righteous, what do you give Him? Or what does He receive from your hand?
Elihu seems to suggest that what we do does not affect God, good or bad, because He is higher than us. But is that true?
There are a number of verses, such as Genesis 6:6 that tells us God is grieved in His heart by the sin of man. And Isaiah 63:10 says our rebellion grieves His Holy Spirit.
Even if somehow God was beyond our pettiness our sins still affect us and those around us. If we obeyed even one of the Ten Commandments consistently life on earth, for us and all mankind, would be vastly different.
Read: Job 32-34
Marked: Job 32:2-3, Then the wrath of Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of Ram, was aroused against Job; his wrath was aroused because he justified himself rather than God. Also against his three friends his wrath was aroused, because they had found no answer, and [yet] had condemned Job.
The final speaker is Elihu who has held back from speaking because he was younger. But when he speaks he doesn’t hold back. He released his wrath against Job and his three friends (V3-4). In verse 6 Elijah says he held back because he “dared not declare [his] opinion”.
Thus far all we have seen is the opinion of men, both Job and his friends. Yet, not once was there any attempt to look into Scripture, or to pray, or to seek council from anyone else.
Ignoring what God has specifically said on any subject relegates what I, or anyone else, has to say to opinion. It may be based in truth but doesn’t make it true simply because I say so. Should a wise man answer with empty knowledge, and fill himself with the east wind? (Job 15:2)
Read: Job 29-31
Marked: Job 30:26, But when I looked for good, evil came [to me;] And when I waited for light, then came darkness.
If we are wise we don’t go looking for trouble. Yet, as much as we try to avoid it trouble finds us. How do we respond?
We can fight it or retaliate giving evil for evil. But more evil against us can be the result and then we escalate. No one wins the battle of evil. Paul said, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men (Romans 12:17). And in verse 21 he says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Jesus taught not to resist an evil person (Matthew 5:39) and in Luke 6:35 said, love your enemies, do good, even lend, and expect nothing in return.
Walking in the way of the Lord is not easy. But neither was going to the cross for sinners such as we. We are to deny ourselves, take up our cross daily, and follow Jesus (Luke 9:23).
Read: Job 24-28
Marked: Job 24:1, “[Since] times are not hidden from the Almighty, Why do those who know Him see not His days?
Since the wicked appear to prosper and the righteous suffer along with the rest, and believers pass on never seeing the return of Christ, it is easy to assume God either doesn’t exist or doesn’t care.
We see the violence that plagues the earth, even those who claim to know God do heinous things; the unbeliever points to these things and says, “Where is God in all this?”
This is not a new question. In 2 Peter 3:4 we read, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.”
And the answer to this question is found at verse 9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
The Lord is longsuffering. And that’s a good thing. He gives us ample time to be done with violence and mayhem. But will we?
Read: Job 21-23
Marked: Job 21:15, Who [is] the Almighty, that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?’
Job, as he refuted the arguments of the friends, points to an obvious fundamental truth in verse 7. If only the wicked suffer in life why do the wicked live and become old?
This is a question many ask without thought. In answer they conclude either God is fickle and doesn’t care what we do, good or bad, or doesn’t exist. This is reiterated by Job in his question at V15.
At first glance it seems that good or bad, life is what you make of it. There is no justice for the righteous nor punishment for the wicked. The righteous suffer and the wicked prosper. Who then is God that we should serve Him? And what profit do we have if we pray to Him?
Believers don’t serve God or pray to Him to get. That is not the reason for our belief. We serve Him and pray to Him because it’s right that we do regardless of how life turns out. Our faith is in the One who gave Himself for us that we might live, not in the life we hope to have through blessing.
Consider what Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:45-46. Our behaviour in the world is to be fundamentally different to how the world lives and loves because we are sons of our Father in heaven. God makes His sun rise on the evil and the good. He sends rain on the just and the unjust.
In 2 Peter 3:9 we learn God is longsuffering toward us and not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.
Regardless of what we may think or perceive, God is not what many believe Him to be. So we ought to be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless; and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation 2 Peter 3:14-15).