Good day to each of you reading this column—I appreciate that you read my column as well as the other fine columnists. It is so nice to hear from you as I welcome your comments and criticisms.
I am not a polished writer like others, but I write from the heart and what God supplies me. I try to find things that you may like, including humor, strange but true facts and things that make you go Hmm.
So, let’s get started with some strange but true facts from the Lexington chronicle — *Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a Friday the 13th. *Plants grow larger and more quickly when watered with warm water. *Newborn babies cry, but they have no tears. Their tear ducts aren’t formed until they are a month old. *In late 2020, a North Korean gymnast defected to South Korea by vaulting himself over the 3-meter-high border barricades without triggering sensors. *A retired man now volunteers to entertain patients in assisted living homes and hospitals. He visited one hospital in Brooklyn and brought along his portable keyboard. After telling jokes and singing songs at patients’ bedsides, he said farewell and, “I hope you get better.” One elderly gentleman replied, “I hope you get better, too.” *Where can single men over the age of 70 find younger women who are interested in them? Try a bookstore under fiction.
Here’s some more. *If my body were a car, I would trade it for a newer model.
Every time I cough, sputter, or sneeze, my radiator leaks and my exhaust backfires. *How can you increase the heart rate of your 70-year-old husband? Tell him you’re pregnant. *Here’s a thought from Edith Wharton — “there are two ways of spreading light; to be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.”
Please turn to Job 38 for today’s lesson and follow along as God asks Job a series of questions that no human could possibly answer. Job had his troubles by losing his family, his goods, his livestock, his health and his friends. I bet he thought he had lost everything and wondered what would be next?
Satan knew who to pick for he chose a man who was blameless and upright, feared God and shuned evil. Out of everyone in the world, Satan chose Job, for Satan had roamed through the earth.
God knew what Satan had on his mind for Satan could not tempt Job without permission. Satan boldly challenges God by asking God to stretch out his hand and strike everything that he has and he will surely curse you to your face. The Lord agrees with the exception that Satan could not lay a finger on Job. Various tragedies were placed on Job but Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
As you read about Job in chapters 1 and 2, look at what he lost—his family, his livestock, his servants and then he was afflicted with sores over his entire body. Even Job’s wife caused him more pain by saying to Curse God and die! Does this remind you of Eve? Satan had spared her for he had succeeded in making her his instrument for the undoing of her husband.
In all this, Job told his wife emphatically that she was talking like a foolish woman for Job is utilizing his Godly patience. Turn to Psalms 14:1 (NIV) – The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.
Job did not curse God in his heart for Job served God and only God, for Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing.
As we move forward, Job has dialogue with three friends on his trials and tribulations. This debate encounters several members of a larger audience including Elihu, a much younger man than the other three before him. Elihu serves as the one sent before God to prepare the way for his coming in the whirlwind.
How would you like to go before God and be questioned by him? Job 38 is the beginning of God’s series of questions that no one could possibly answer.
Job has an audience with God, a feat in itself, for God said there is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing. Job 1:8 (NIV) After the first test comes another test where the Lord says to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason. Job 2:3 (NIV)
God had heaped praise on Job for God knew the outcome of Job’s story. God uses Job in the New Testament for he says in James 5:11 (NIV) – “You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy”.
When breaking down the above verse, The Wycliffe Bible Commentary says the main point of the illustration of Job is that “patient endurance can sustain itself on the conviction that hardships are not meaningless, but that God has some end or purpose in them which He will accomplish… (Moffatt, op, cit., p.74)
As we close, turn to Job 42 where Job humbles himself before God. Job then prays for his colleagues who previously added to Job’s sufferings by supplying false accusations and critical attitudes. The Lord, in return, full of compassion and mercy, restores his family and material possessions, provides a bounty of blessings—so much more than before, and gave Job a long life (140 years).
The conclusion is Job 42:16-17 (NIV) – “After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years”.
The point that I take away is that hardships come and they go for this part of life, but it is how you handle these hardships for God has a purpose in which He will accomplish. If we humble ourselves, pray and trust in God, then He will deliver us.
The question is—Will we be like Job, a man who fears God and shuns evil or will we be like Job’s wife, Curse God and die? Bless God in all that you say and all that do for you can be either a candle spreading light or a mirror reflecting it.