Sister to Sister: November is Joshua!

4697e86328742c9afc704fd54142bb90It’s November…time to start digging into the life of Joshua, a man who paid dearly for the faithlessness of his brethren. I think we are going to be reminded of a great personal responsibility to our brothers and sisters in Christ to be growing constantly stronger for Him. When we fail within our own hearts to trust Him, difficult consequences will inevitably befall those around us.

But, for today, let’s spend one final moment with Job. A couple of questions have surfaced in the last few days of our study. I’m sure you’ve researched these on your own, but let’s briefly mention them here as well.

  1. Who wrote the book of Job? The short answer is that no one knows. A couple of guesses are that Job himself wrote it or that Moses may have penned it. We’ll just have to ask that when we get to heaven. Always remember, though, that our knowledge (or not) of the human author has nothing to do with our faith in the book’s divine origin. The account of Job is mentioned as being historically accurate and significant by other Bible writers, specifically Ezekiel and James.
  2. Who are the “sons of God” mentioned in verse six of chapter one; those who “came to present themselves to God”? Most scholars believe this assembly to refer to the angels. In I Kings 22: 6-23, the prophet Micaiah describes a strikingly similar event  in heaven and calls those in attendance the “Host of heaven.”

I hope you got to listen to the podcast. Just skimming the surface of this challenging book, we found profundity in every chapter. It taught us much about the character of God, but perhaps even more about human nature as it faces suffering. Since all of us will experience smaller doses of the pain endured by Job, may we take to heart his advice when we start to ask the difficult question, “Why?”

Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth…

I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted (Job 40:4; 42;2).

When we begin to question God in the dark days  of life, may we bring to mind chapters 38-41 of this great book and realize that, like Job, we may be swimming into waters that are too deep for us. May we lay our hands on our mouths in awe and silence and  be grateful for the power of the One who is still in control.

Sister to Sister: You Don’t Have to Know Why.

df939c9928d5eb676a2802dbce31d63fThe study of Job has been, even though I’ve done multiple read-throughs in the past, once again, riveting. I’ve never before studied by marking his questions and I’ve never been so convinced that the most powerful thing with which we walk away is that he never knew the answers to most of them. Job suffered as we likely never will—in intensity and duration; yet he never knew that he was the pawn in an attempt by Satan to trump God. But, in the end, he had to just put his hand over His own mouth and stop talking. He had waded into waters that were too deep for Him. He knew that he had to hush–and let God be God.

Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you?I lay my hand on my mouth….Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

Here are the categorizations of verses that we discussed this week on the podcast. I hope they will be one small tool in helping us all realize that we don’t always need to know all the answers. We just need to know the One who does.

  1. The Question of great faith: Job 2:10.
  2. Questions of hopelessness:  Job 3:11-12,16,20-23 and 10:18.
  3. Questions defending his own “right” to complain: Job 6: 5-6,11-13 and 21:4.
  4. Questions for relationship clarification (“You are not my spiritual advisors.”): Job 6:22-23,25-26.
  5. Questions from intense suffering: Job 7:1,4,12.
  6. Questions asserting his own insignificance (Who am I to be the focus of these trials?”):Job 7:17-21 and 10:20.
  7. Questions asserting his inability to “win” in any match with God: Job 9:2,12,14,19,24,29.
  8. Logical questions; reasoning with God: Job 10: 3-10.
  9. Questions rebuking his friends: Job 12:3,9,11; 13:7-11,14,19,23-25; 16:3,6; 19:2,3,22 and 26:1-4.
  10. Questions about the brevity of life: Job 14:3,4,10.
  11. Questions regarding loneliness: Job 17:3,15,16.
  12. Questions about the prosperity of the wicked: Job 21:7,15-18,21-22,28-31,34; 24:1,25; and 27:8-12.
  13. Questions about God’s nature: Job 23:6,13 and 26:14.
  14. Questions about the source of wisdom: Job 28:12,20.
  15. Questions about mockers: Job 30:2,24-25.
  16. Questions about his own innocence: Job 31:1-4,14-15.
  17. Final questions that settle matters: 40:4 and 42:3.