Meditations from Job 13

Part of the challenge of reading Job is that Job contains dialogue with three of his friends who don’t know about chapters 1 and 2. These three friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar (how would you like to have one of those names?) come and offer counsel to Job. The challenge is that these guys say some true things but they are wrongly applying them to Job, therefore, they are wrong. Now, that alone is a sermon in itself, dealing with falsely applying things to people when we have misread the situation. But I digress.

What is not so challenging is hearing the honest questions, challenges and appeals that Job makes in his dialogue with his friends and the Father.

In chapter 13, Job has some harsh things to say about his friends counsel such as, “As for you, you whitewash with lies; worthless physicians are you all”, and “Oh that you would keep silent, and it would be your wisdom!”, and “Will you speak falsely for God and speak deceitfully for him?” Ouch!

Do folks say that about your counsel? Do folks run when they see you coming because you wear them out with your words rather than equip them? Are you rightly representing the Lord’s case for yourself and others? Just a side thought.

With Job’s dialogue he makes for more than we can deal with in this post, so let me point you to Job 13:15.

“Though he slay me, I will hope in him; yet I will argue my ways to his face.”

Here are some observations for your meditation:

1. Job continues his correct conclusion that in spite of Satan’s role, the Lord is the one who is in charge of his hardship, therefore, Job can continue to hope in the good justice and mercy of the Lord. (See chapters 1 and 2 and read them carefully and remember that the author is inspired, speaking from the Lord as carried along by the Spirit and the text is inerrant).

Hardship is not to take us away from the Lord but intended to drive us to the Lord and find him to be secure and an ever-present help in a time of need. Hardship helps to grow our trust in the Lord. Hardship, even if by Satan’s had, is passed through the sovereign and good grace of God for your good and his glory. Take courage!

2. My hope is not contingent on how easy or hard things are. My hope is built on the foundation of the nature and character of Father, Son and Spirit. My hope is in the Lord alone and not on anything else. So, even if the world should implode, my hope cannot be shaken because our great God cannot be shaken. Take courage!

3. Job continues to approach the Father in face-to-face prayer. Job’s hope in the Lord led to his continual coming to the Lord. We are invited to come boldly to the throne of grace to find help in our need. Take hope in the purchased gift of the Gospel of coming to the Lord with no fear of being cast out, rather being embraced and treated as a son or daughter.

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Gospel Faith in the Old Testament: Abraham part 2

Gospel Faith in the Old Testament

Hebrews 11:17-19; Genesis 12, 14, 15, 18

Abraham

Sitting as a banner over Gospel Faith in the OT is Romans 3:21-26 in which God in his grace and mercy passed over the sins these saints committed looking forward to the day he would send his sin to die in their place for their sin and execute justice and judgment for their sin on his Son so that he could pass over their sin and treat them as his sons and daughters. This is the banner over the faith of these saints in the OT.

Last time we visited Abraham it was in the context of our baby dedication and we focused on some aspects of Abraham looking to the work of the Gospel in salvation.

Today, we’ll wrap up Abraham by looking to how Abraham’s saving faith affected his actions.

Romans 4:3, cited from Genesis 15:6 “Abraham believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

Being saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone is a glorious work of Father, Son and Spirit. But our salvation does not end at our conversion. Salvation sets our feet on the rock and the “narrow path” of following Jesus that begins to shape our decision-making and our actions.

How did the grace of faith affect Abraham’s actions? How does grace of faith affect your actions?

1. Abraham risked his security and followed the Lord’s call without a clear end in sight

Genesis 12:1-9

Abraham set out to go to the place where the Lord called him without fear of the end because his heart was changed

A. Abraham did not receive what was promised. He died still looking for the promise.

Success in our day is usually measured by end results. The only problem with that is that end results don’t measure success in God’s economy. Success in God’s economy is obedience.

1. 1 Samuel 15:22-23

B. Father did not hang the success of the global scope of the Gospel on Abraham’s success.

Father hung the success of the global scope of the Gospel on his own capable shoulders and in grace included Abraham to receive blessing (family inclusion) in Father’s kindness to him. We are the same.

1. Just obey the Scriptures (whatever the cost)

2. Discern the call of Father on your life and risk all to obey that calling (vocation)

a. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old

he will not depart from it.”

3. Practice repentance

2. Abraham entrusted his advancement to the Lord in not receiving resources but offering resources Genesis 14:17-24

Abraham did not hang the mission on what he could gather up but he hung the mission on the supernatural work of God

“I have lifted my hand to God”

A. Abraham gave tithes before tithes were law.

1. You and I don’t advance in the mission by gathering. We advance in the mission by

giving.

a. Proverbs 11:24 “One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds

what he should give, and only suffers want.”

1. We are to be conduits of blessing not cul-de-sacs of hoarding

2. We are to be givers not takers

3. Abraham, by God’s grace, trusted in the long-term providence of God to be good to him

Genesis 15:1-20

A. Abraham was building a legacy (something handed down) that was deeper than his own existence

1. Don’t just make decisions that rescue you today. Take action that reflects the

legacy that will come long after you based on who you are and what you are

doing.

B. Abraham was one link in a long chain of God’s grace going global but he was a link that

mattered

1. Build for long after you are dead.

2. Know that you are just one link in a long chain, but your link matters, so live like

you daily work in the Lord matters.

3. Be faithful to the mission, even if you don’t see the end of it in your days.

4. Abraham had face to face communion with the Lord and asked for bold Gospel grace to sinners that they might repent

Genesis 18:1-21