DAILY DISCIPLINE #90
By Colleen Donahue
Our study continues this month with the life of Job -- a righteous man whom Satan tried to destroy with intense sorrow and suffering. His three friends Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar are sitting with Job outside the city at what was probably the garbage dump and they are offering their advice and "comfort".
In the style of the East these discussions occur in order with Job answering each man before the next man speaks. So far they have had one complete "round" with little comfort to Job or help in answering his main question--"What have I done to deserve all this?" They have been both subtle and blatant in accusing Job of sin he hasn't committed. This has aroused Job so much that in desperation he has accused God and declared he will defend himself before the Almighty!
We continue now with......
THE STORY OF JOB-Part 2--Job Aroused To Anger
Day 1- Eliphaz uses the weapon of sarcasm now and presents what seems to be true- i.e. He did not think a man could be righteous before God.
Job 15: 1-35
Day 2- The Devil often uses half truths to keep us blind. While it is true that sinful man cannot stand before God on their own merit, God in His love had made a way. In the days of Job this was through sacrifice. You'll remember that Job had offered sacrifice and thus knew in his heart that he had access to God and walked before Him in integrity and truth.
Day 3- In our day a man or woman can come before God when we recognize our place in Christ. Our death with Jesus on the cross and then receiving his Spirit enables us to become new creations that can come before God.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore Eliphaz's argument is not right.
JOB'S RESPONSE TO ELIPHAZ
Job calls them all "miserable comforters". We become the same when we assume someone is being punished by God when they suffer. It is perhaps more accurate to see suffering as God's gift to bring us into deeper fellowship with Himself.
Day 4- After complaining of the hard dealings of his friends Job knows he is in the hand of God.
Day 5- Although Job was completely humiliated, he persistently clung to the fact that God knew his life, and would vouch that he walked with integrity.
Day 6- Job seems to now turn from his friends and reminds himself that it doesn't matter much what they say or think - his "spirit" is broken (Job 17:1). Slowly we see Job cease from struggling and come to a place of rest. As long as we writhe in our afflictions we prolong them.
BILDAD SPEAKS A SECOND TIME
Day 7- Bildad describes again for Job the fate of the ungodly. His total idea of blessing from God is prosperity in his home, for his family and his own personal circle!
JOB ANSWERS BILDAD
Day 8- Job sees that all of Bildad's descriptions are directed towards himself and asks how long they will continue to torment him.
Day 9- Job had been advised to set his heart right and cry to God. He had done this and was not heard. Job was acutely aware that it was God who was dealing with him and leaving him in a straightened place.
Day 10- Not only did God seem far away, but Job felt God had put others against him so that he had no one.
Day 11- Job does not understand why God should have allowed all this but he knew his conscience was clear and that his friends should give pity and sympathy.
Day 12- It is often when we are in our darkest hour that some little seed of faith is able to burst forth from within us. It is like a glimmer of hope given by the Holy Spirit. So it happened with Job as he answers his own question--"If a man die, shall he live again?" (Job 14:14)
Day 13- Job ends with a warning to his friends that there will be judgement for all their harsh words.
Job 19:28-29 / James 4:11-12
ZOPHAR SPEAKS A SECOND TIME
Day 14- Zophar feels indignant with Job. If Job were suffering because of a hidden sin it was folly to talk of seeing God at a future time. He keeps emphasizing the fact that the wicked will have their portion in this present world.
JOB ANSWERS ZOPHAR
Day 15- In reply to Zophar Job presents an entirely contrary picture of the wicked in this world. We cannot assert that the righteous will always prosper and the wicked will always suffer.
Day 16- Job then calmly accuses his friends. They have not comforted him and their answers have been all false.
This ends the 2nd round of talks by Job and his friends.
ELIPHAZ SPEAKS A THIRD TIME
Day 17- Eliphaz felt he must deal in a more direct way with Job since Job refuses to acknowledge his sin. He puts before Job some possible ways that he has grieved the Lord. His favorite weapons are sarcasm and accusation.
Day 18- Then he accuses Job of saying in his heart that God did not know all of this and categorizes Job with wicked men.
Day 19- Finally he pleads with Job. If....if.....if...Then......then..... then.....then......
JOB ANSWERS ELIPHAZ
Day 20- Job doesn't reply directly to Eliphaz at once. The accusations of wrong doing and exhortations to put away sin are more than he can handle. He groans and talks aloud. He holds to his position that he is an upright man, but also faces the fact that God has broken him down on every side. God has hidden Himself and Job doesn't know why.
Day 21- At this moment of deep despair Job is suddenly anchored afresh on the rock and speaks a remarkable word of faith. If he can't see God, God can see him, and that is enough. From this moment that Job has seen his Redeemer, he realizes that God is testing him --- not punishing him as his friends have said. He begins to be at peace with his situation and sees that gold must always be purified by fire.
Day 22- Seeing all this, Job has a new boldness of faith.
If our hearts do not condemn us we can have a boldness towards God.
I John 3:21
Day 23- Although Job knows now that God is refining him he is afraid at what it will mean in further suffering.
Day 24- Job further ponders about all the evil happening around him with God seemingly silent toward the praying victims. At the same time these evil men seem to have prolonged lives! This observation is in direct contrast to what his friends have been saying- i.e. that the righteous are blessed and the wicked cut off.
BILDAD SPEAKS A THIRD TIME
Day 25- Bildad speaks only a few inappropriate words. He's still considering the question that Eliphaz asked earlier, "How can a man be just before God!?" If God is almighty how can a mere man ever hope to be clean in his sight?
JOB'S REPLY TO BILDAD
Day 26- Job reproaches Bildad. If he didn't know how a man could be right with God what right did he have to make negative allegations to a man in affliction? Bildad's "How" is answered by the power of God. If God can work all these things in nature, isn't it possible that He has control over man -- his noblest of creatures? Surely God is able to devise means by which man can be restored to Himself?
Day 27- Job then returns to what he has been saying before Bildad began speaking. He affirms that he will hold fast to his integrity till the very end.
It is Zophar's turn to speak but he remains silent so Job continues and says HE will teach them concerning God!
Day 28- It is not true that suffering will always be the fruit of sin. But it was true that God would eventually punish the wicked.
Day 29- Job describes the great trouble that men go through to find the things on earth that make them rich but do they know the greater value of wisdom and knowledge and where to find it?
Day 30- Wisdom's value is above all the precious things in the earth and can't be bought with gold. Only God knows the way to it. What does Job conclude?
Job 28:14-28 (especially vs. 28)
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