The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Tag: understanding

Lent Devotional: Job 25

Job 25 (click here)
How then can man be in the right before God? How can he who is born of woman be pure? 5 Behold, even the moon is not bright, and the stars are not pure in his eyes; 6 how much less man, who is a maggot, and the son of man, who is a worm! (Job 25:4-6)

There is some truth in Bildad’s words. No person can be considered 100% in the right before God on the basis of their own merits. However, the point Bildad (and all Job’s friends) have been driving home is that either Job is in the wrong or God is in the wrong. The one thing Bildad has not considered is that he may be in the wrong.

His understanding of God is so tightly put together that he has no room to bring his own theology  under scrutiny. He cannot fathom a situation in which Job is not in the wrong and neither is God… but that is precisely the reality!

We must be willing to allow God to constantly teach us more about himself and more about who he is. We often form a “solid” image of God. We build this image from many things… such as… things we were taught growing up, our favorite Scriptures, things we’ve heard preachers say, etc. But, what happens when we encounter a Scripture that says something we don’t like… perhaps it corrects a belief we hold about God? What do we do then?

We dare not hold onto an image of God we have made… that is the very definition of idolatry! We must hold onto to the image of God as he has revealed himself to us. Often we take even things that are true, like Bildad, and distort them to our own understanding or purposes. We must be careful not to put ourselves in a position where we are attempting to teach God what he is like… no… he is the teacher and we are always the learner.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

Lent Devotional: Job 20

Job 20 (click here)
Then Zophar the Naamathite answered and said: 2 “Therefore my thoughts answer me, because of my haste within me. 3 I hear censure that insults me, and out of my understanding a spirit answers me. (Job 20:1-3)

Zophar doesn’t have much new to say. He pretty much will tell Job that God judges the wicked quickly and, therefore, Job should see his situation as a clear indication that he is being judged by God for some unconfessed sin in his life. Yet, before Zophar repeats everything we’ve heard so far… he says something interesting…

He claims that Job has insulted him.

Now, I’m not saying that Job hasn’t taken a pot-shot or two at his friends, but Zophar seems to especially have taken things personally. He cannot believe that Job won’t listen as he impugns Job’s honor… but the moment Job questions Zophar… well now he has just crossed a line! This is quite the double-standard!

Zophar has made Job’s situation all about himself! This is about Zophar being right, this is about him being honored, this is about how he feels when he is insulted. No longer is Zophar interested in helping Job (if he ever was), but merely in maintaining his own reputation and dignity.

We must be careful as we seek to minister to others that our “ministering” is really about their needs and not our own. I can twist nearly any situation to be about me… what can I say… I’m naturally selfish… we all are. When we attempt to help someone who is hurting, it can be common for them to lash out at us… we must be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.

May our chief concern in ministry not be our own honor and reputation, but pointing others toward holiness and reconciliation in Christ.

*The complete SVCC Lenten reading guide is available here.

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