October 29, 2019

Today you should read: Job 38

Until now, most of Job has been the false accusations of Job’s friends against Job and his defense against such vilification. And after almost 37 chapters of this back and forth, God finally speaks for Himself. Over the next few chapters God poses questions to Job to show His great power, knowledge and sovereignty. Questions that only the an immanent, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite Creator over all the earth would know. We just dealt with almost 37 chapters of mystery hearing jobs friends say he had to have sinned to suffer the way He’s suffered and Job defending his integrity but not knowing exactly why He has suffered knowing it wasn’t a result of sin in his life. In result of this, we did see several times how Job wondered and questioned God and himself this great mystery and now God is responding to this wonder. You’ll find out more on that in the next few chapters but for now I want to point us to God’s very first word and question.

“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Job 38:2

This first question, although addressed to Job, really enraptures what was wrong with Jobs friends. They were really trying to help and counsel Job. But no matter their motive it put Job’s integrity and the theology of God in a bad light (hence the word “darken”) because they didn’t have true knowledge of the situation. We must take heed of this word ourselves. Counsel without knowledge, even if the counsel is biblical, may not always be applicable.  

By: Erik Koliser — West Campus Pastor

October 28, 2019

Today you should read: Job 37

When Christian friends and family members are going through suffering, it can be natural to want to point them to God and encourage them to trust Him. These are good and right postures to have when dealing with those who are suffering. But what you must be careful is how you go about pointing people to God.

For example, is it wrong to remind people of God’s promise in Romans 8:28,  that God works things for good for all who love Him? This is a truth that Christians can thankfully cling to because of Christ, and it is certainly a truth that can be encouraging in difficult times, but it also takes discernment and wisdom to know if if is a statement that is being said at the proper time. What I mean is that sometimes the most godly thing you can do for someone is to spend time with them, cry with them, and help them process the pain they are going through. Sometimes being reminded of a promise like Romans 8:28 could be exactly what they need; other times, it could be helpful to wait to remind them of this promise until they are at a better place to receive it.

In our passage today, Elihu does an amazing Job of declaring truths about God’s majesty and power. But as we have seen throughout the last few chapters, there is something about his tone and his delivery that gives the impression of lacking empathy and understanding of what Job is going through.

May we as a church not be marked by this. May we strike the balance between both encouraging people to remember who God is, while also showing patience and empathy at the same time.

By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Associate

October 26, 2019

Today you should read: Job 36

As we’ve been reading book of Job for the past few weeks, we’ve seen into Job’s heart as he’s struggled through some of the worst tragedy that could strike a person.

  • Loss of family
  • Loss of his wealth
  • Loss of health
  • Spouse tells him to curse God and die
  • Friends confused about what is happening around him

I can only imagine how difficult this must be.  Job’s friend Elihu is defending God’s honor and ways to Job in this chapter (v. 2-3).  While doing so, Elihu reminds us of the greatness of our God. Allow God’s Word to encourage you today:

  • God is mighty (v.5a) – He’s mighty in power and understanding (v.5)
  • God is fair (v.5b) – He does not despise anyone
  • God is just (v.6)
  • God cares for the innocent (v.7)
  • God convicts the sinning Christian and leads them to repentance (v.8-12)
  • God cares for the suffering (v.15)
  • God is wise (v.22b)
  • God is Sovereign (v.23)
  • God is greater than we can understand (v.26a)
  • God is infinite – He’s outside of time and space (v.26b)
  • God cares for the earth (v.27-33)

Take a moment and recognize the majesty of God today.  Realize that God is God and you aren’t. Enjoy that. Honor Him as Lord in your life today.

By: Tim Parsons — Lead Pastor

October 25, 2019

Today you should read: Job 35

One commentator sums up Elihu’s argument in Job 35 as such, “Elihu’s answer was twofold: (a) Since God is supreme, He is not affected one way or the other by man’s innocence or sin, and (b) God was not answering Job’s cries because of his pride.” (Bible Knowledge Commentary)

Point “a” is interesting because it is true—to a point. Let me introduce you to a couple theological terms you may or may not know. God is “immutable,” meaning that He is unchanging. And, in conjunction with God’s immutability is the fact God is “impassible.” The impassability of God means that He is unaffected emotionally by human action. God is a Sovereign King whose supremacy and majesty is so far beyond us that we have no ability to change His plans or alter Him in any way. 

When I see an ant in nature, it doesn’t really affect me emotionally. I don’t spend much time thinking of where it has been, where it is going, or what it’s trying to accomplish. When comparing our glory to that of God’s, we are less than an ant. In fact, the Bible encourages us in Proverbs 6:6 to go study ants as an example of hard work. 

So, all that to say, is Elihu’s first point true? In God’s supremacy, is He affected by sin or innocence? The answer is obviously yes and no. As one writer states, “the most biblically and theologically accurate…conception of God depicts him as “both/and”; he is the king who cares.” (No One Like Him). In some mysterious way, God appears to limit His own power, His own supremacy to become concerned with humanity. Jeremiah 14:17 describe God crying for his people. In the Gospels, we see Jesus get angry and even weep for Lazarus (John 11:35). The Holy Spirit is grieved with our sin and how we speak to one another (Ephesians 4:30). Yes, God is a majestic sovereign King, but amazingly, He cares. He cares so much about sin, that He sent His Son to redeem humanity from it (John 3:16). 

To Elihu’s second point, it’s not Job’s pride that’s the issue. The assumption is that if Job would just repent, then his suffering would end. Obviously, we have spent a great deal of time through the book of Job stating how this thought is incorrect. Suffering is not always the result of sin. In fact, the Apostle Peter says that, “it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.” (1 Peter 3:17). Job is a great example of that truth. His righteous suffering has encouraged God’s People for thousands of years. 

I know many of you reading this today are hurting. You have big-time issues going on with health, family, work, relationships, finances, etc. There are two things you need to understand today. First, God cares and, second, suffer well. Why you’re suffering is far less important than how you suffer. Hebrews 12 illustrates that God is a good Father who will discipline His children who get out of line. Our suffering may be related to our sin—that is a thing. But, if you’re practicing your faith in an abiding relationship with the Lord—asking Him to search your heart regularly—then you probably aren’t suffering because of sin. In that case, let your suffering be a witness to those around you. Don’t waste it, but point people to the hope you have (Romans 5:3–5).

By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate