Thursday, May 3, 2018

Daily Bible Reading - May 3, 2018

Today's Reading:

Acts 15:22-41

Judges 1

Job 33

Listen to the Bible







Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Turning our attention to the reading from Job today, we are at the point where Elihu begins to speak. In the book of Job,  the first three of Job's friends - Eliphaz, Blidad, and Zophar - speak wrongly. We can know that their counsel is wrong because not only do they incur the indignation of Job and his other friend Elihu, but God himself rebukes them, saying to Eliphaz, "I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about Me, as my servant Job has." (42:7 NIV)

Notably, Elihu is not rebuked: neither by Job nor by God.
Zophar, Eliphaz and Bildad, claim that God always brings punishment to the wicked and blessings to the good. Their theology states that if something bad happens to someone, it must be because they did something bad. If something good happens, it must be because they did something good.
Using this theology, they try to get Job to admit what he has done wrong.

When God finally comes to Eliphaz, the fault that He finds with them is that he (and his two friends) have spoken incorrectly about God:

Job 42:7 (NIV)
After the LORD had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about Me, as my servant Job has...
If we compare this to Elihu, there is no doubt that Elihu agrees that God punishes the wicked (Job 34:21-30). However, Elihu also sees that God brings "bad" (difficult) things on people to preserve them from going into "the pit".

Job 33:29-30 (NIV)
29 “God does all these things to a person— twice, even three times—
30 to turn them back from the pit, that the light of life may shine on them.
 In other words, sometimes difficult and trying circumstances are brought upon us for our own character development.

Most often, when people face problems or setbacks in their lives, they respond by doubting God. Some even go so far as to doubt God’s goodness or loving nature. Sadly, here are some common Christian responses to trouble:
  • “Why is Yahweh doing this to me?”
  • “How can a loving God let this happen?”
  • “I can’t stand strong under these circumstances?”
  • “Yahweh doesn’t care about me.”
  • We often Complain… Grumble against God 
  • We become miserable… Bitter…  We lose hold on Yahweh
As it says in Romans 8:28 "All things work together for good to them who love God, to them who are called according to His good purpose."

When you understand that all things work together for good, you see that even the trials in your life are for good.  You may not see the good, but you must know it’s there and trust Yahweh. 

There are two groups of Christians: the called and the chosen. The Dividing Issue between true and false Christians is which category they fall in:  
Matthew 20:16 "...Many be called, but few chosen."
The “chosen” will be found in the Kingdom of Heaven. They will make the full trip from spiritual Egypt (bondage to sin) to ultimate Canaan (the final Promised Land of the earth made new). But why are many called and few chosen? Does Yahweh only want a few to be in Heaven?

Absolutely not!  The Bible tells us that Yahweh is not willing that any should perish. The reason many are called but few are chosen is that few accept the PROCESS of being chosen. 

Isaiah 48:10  "Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction."

How we handle the refining fires of difficulty determines which group we will be in.

It is faith and pure character that Yahweh values.  These are more precious than a treasure house of gold.  
1 Peter 1:7  "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ."  
Our faith is on trial in each test. Will we hang on to the Most High in trust? Or will we doubt Him and lose hold on Him? Each trial, faithfully endured, leaves us stronger for the next difficulty to come.  This is the process of Tabernacling with Yahweh in the wilderness experience.

As our faith is tried, little by little Yahweh is perfecting us. 
James 1:3-5  "Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.  But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.  If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him."
By rejected the suffering and the trials that Yahweh would have us endure, we are rejected the refining process that would make us “perfect and entire” and as it says in James 1:3-5 “wanting nothing” (with nothing left out of our character development process).

Yahweh also uses the trials to prove our loyalty to Him. This is especially evident in the story of Job.  Yahweh had said that Job was loyal, but the only way to prove this was to allow Job to experience difficulties.  As Job continued to live in faith, remaining submitted to Yahweh through it all, his loyalty to Yahweh was revealed before seen and unseen beings.
Job’s testimony of faith needs to be our testimony, too. May we all firmly state, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

In the world, peace is dependant upon the circumstances.  While all is well around a worldly person, they can be at peace.  But all is rarely well around anyone. In the experience of Tabernacling in the wilderness with Yahweh, He is teaching us to be at peace in Him no matter what happens.  

Psalm 119:165  "Great peace have they which love thy Law: and nothing shall offend them."  

When serving Yahweh, we must come to understand that even the irritations which He allows us to experience are for some good.

One of the most beautiful and valuable jewels mentioned in the Bible is the pearl. It is interesting to note that each of the 12 gates of the heavenly city are made up of one large pearl, as it says in Revelation 21:21.  This is especially significant when you consider how a pearl is made.  

On earth, a pearl is made by transforming an irritation into something beautiful.  It all begins with a grain of sand.  The grain of sand gets into an oyster and irritates its soft body. The oyster then secretes layer after layer of a substance that coats the grain of sand. The coating hardens into a pearl. If the oyster had never experienced the irritation of the sand, the beautiful and valuable pearl would never have been produced.

A diamond also has little value until it experiences the cutting.  In the rough, a diamond is hardly recognizable. It contains a great deal of potential for becoming valuable. But,
without the needed cutting and shaping of a skilled jeweler, it looks like little more than a jagged piece of glass.  But what a dramatic change takes place when the diamond has been cut. Now it refracts light and scatters rainbows about.  It has become a thing of great value and beauty, because of the cutting it has endured.

When you really think about it, it makes perfect sense that the gates to the heavenly city are made of pearls. Pearls – the jewel specifically created from turning irritations and trials into something beautiful to God’s glory.  This is the kind of people who will enter those gates. They will have passed through suffering and will have endured.

In the end there will only be two classes of Christians, those who have rejected the choosing that comes with the furnace of affliction and are weighed in the balances and found wanting and those who have submitted to God in everything, even in suffering. This second group will be found to be “wanting nothing” and ready to dwell with our holy God. 

And THIS is how we prepare to Tabernacle with our Holy God for all eternity.