Sunday, January 18, 2009

Treasure The Words of His Mouth

"I have treasured the
words of His mouth
more than my daily bread."
Job 23:12
"Then the Lord said...'...[Job] is blameless and upright,
a man who fears God and shuns evil.'"
Job 1:8 (NIV)

In reading through the NIV Chronological One-Year Bible, I have spent the last several days in Job. The book of Job is so valuable because it discusses the subject of theodicy -- the justice of God in light of human suffering. No small subject. Christians and non-Christians alike have considered this. Admittedly, Job is not my favorite book in the Bible. I pray and ask the Lord to give me His truth and treasures from this book, and He does.

For several days in my chronological reading of the Bible, I listened to Job's "friends" rattle on and on, often presumptuously, ABOUT God. Literally, they made my brain hurt. Here Job was in the midst of his greatest desert experience having lost everything, in pain physically, emotionally and spiritually, and his friends were pontificating rather than giving him some practical help or even offering him a cup of cold water.

After the first few days of reading Job's friends' words, I was so tempted to skip to several chapters ahead to Chapter 38 titled "The Lord Speaks". I just wanted to get to what God said because I knew His words would be pure truth. Refreshment. But I didn't skip ahead. I persevered and stayed on course wanting to glean whatever treasures God had for me.

Observing the difference between Job's words and his friends' words, it's important to note that Job spoke TO God, determined to speak honesty before Him, even in his suffering. Job's friends spoke only ABOUT God. In Job 42:7, the Lord tells Job's friends "...you have not spoken of Me what is right, as my servant Job has."

Job inquired of the Lord and knew He alone had the answers Job was seeking.

This weekend, I finally reached chapters 38-42 in Job. Aaaahhhh....God's voice speaking....a conversation between God and Job. Refreshment. Restoration.

"Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place...?"
Job 38:12 (NIV)
"Have you entered the storehouses of snow...?"
Job 38:22 (NIV)
"Everything under heaven belongs to me."
Job 41:11 (NIV)
God is the Almighty God.

In the end, after Job has prayed for his friends (42:10), "...the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before." His relationships were restored, and the Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. (42:10) Amazing. Job spoke to God and sought His truth only. And the Lord blessed him greatly.

Note the Lord had Job pray for his friends. Yes, pray for the friends that didn't seem too friendly or supportive, and actually they were downright nasty at times. Hello...life application for sure. Pray for your friends, even when they are behaving like Job's.

More life application: I asked the Lord, "Please, if I ever sound like one of Job's friends, please cover my mouth and change my heart!"

The book of Job does give us precious treasure for our hearts and lives. Persevere reading through the tough spots. He will bless you with His truth.

"The Job replied to the Lord: 'I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted. My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You."

Job 42:2,5 (NIV)

7 comments:

Jill - Blessed Mom of 8 said...

Oh this post along with your first song - Captivated by YOU!

Wow! Beautiful and such meaningful, deep truths!

Hugs and love -Jill
Who can't wait for you to meet our newest blessing! OH MY WORD! That boy is something special. Tell Gabrielle and Josh thank you for praying!!!! It means so much to our family!

Joyful said...

We had a young man come to our church who acted out the entire book of Job. It was actually quite well done - although it was pretty gruesome at parts with the sound effects. I had my Bible open on my lap, and this man's scripture memorization truly was amazing. He certainly made the book of Job come to life.

Great applications here Sharon. Wise advice for both Job and his friends.

Hope you're enjoying a restful day,
Joy

Runner Mom said...

Sharon--this was wonderful. I'm afraid that I might have skipped over the tough part of Job to get to the good part! How often in life do we do that--and miss nuggets of truth?

Enjoy this day, sweet friend!
Hugs,
Susan

Chatty Kelly said...

After being dangerously behind, I am now 4 days ahead in my writing. I am just loving it. The stories are intersting! We're just getting into Job. It is a tough subject, but I love God's answers to Job. He is the King of King and Lord of Lords...who are we to question God?

Wendy Blight said...

Sharon,

You are so wise. God has certainly given you the gift of breaking apart His Word and making it easily understandable. I so enjoy reading your words and always come away blessed with new insight and knowledge.

Thank you for sharing so honestly from your heart.

Blessings to you,

Wendy

Heather said...

Sharon,

When are you writing that book??? This is one of my very favorite posts yet. I have a love/hate relationship with the book of Job. I love the lesson(s) but I absolutely despise recounting the pain of Job during his darkest hours. You are so right, though, the truth lies within the part that is so hard to read (feel and experience).

The Lord has given you such a gift, a true, meaningful gift and my prayer for you is that you continue to use your amazing gift to bless others with His word, His truth, His lessons. I cannot wait to stand beside you, your friend and sister and feel your joy when you sign that book for people:)

Thank you for always sharing your heart humbly and boldly as God has guided you.

Much love,
Heather

lisasmith said...

love that. just as i have found in my own life, it's suffering that allows our eyes to see Jesus. thanks for the insight and encouragement!
confession: i moaned when i saw job lasted the rest of the month...but also repented immediately and asked God to open my eyes as well...and He has and will continue to...thanks for sharing.