Job’s a good’un !! (Roll on Exodus)

7 02 2011

DAY THIRTY-EIGHT : Job 40 v. 3 – 42 v. 17; Matthew 25 v. 14 – 46; Psalm 18 v. 43 – 50

JOB – allows himself to be put in his place by God’s questioning, and waits to hear what more God has to say. God challenges Job (‘out of the whirlwind’) to look at the great beasts (the behemoth and the Leviathan) as examples of God’s creative power and might. God is in control of all things (even the great beasts – strong hippopotomus and giant crocodiles).
So God has challenged Job’s ignorance, his absence at the birth of creation, and Job is silenced (40 v. 3 – 5)
And God has challenged Job’s weakness before His almighty power, and here Job repents, humbling himself before God, acknowledging God for who He is.
‘now my eyes see you’ – all along, Job has wanted this intimate encounter with God, and here it is now.

Job’s ‘friends’ are condemned by God for not speaking truth (not sure why Eliju isn’t mentioned here – maybe the others were simply worse than him).

Job’s life continues, blessed by God, fruitful and happy once again. Signs of God’s favour everywhere, and loads of rhetorical questions hanging in the air….

The Parable of the Talents – yesterday’s parable taught the disciples to keep alert and readied for Jesus’ return. Also, as we wait, we are to be wise in our use of the talents, abilities and resources God has given us. Fear might prevent us from putting what we have to good use, but God wants us to take risks for growing the kingdom. Oh, that we might hear the words:
“Well done, good and faithful servant!
 You have been faithful with a few things;
 I will put you in charge of many things.
 Come and share your master’s happiness.”

The Parable of the Sheep and the Goats – reminds us that while we wait for Jesus’ return, we are to feed the hungry, provide drinks for the thirsty, invite in the stranger, care for the sick, visit prisoners, and in doing so, we shall be said to have done it towards Jesus Himself. Again, some will hear,
“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.”

So, to recap, we are to keep alert, to put to very good use every gift God has given, and to show practical care to others, and in doing so  find we have blessed Jesus Himself, and stored up treasure in heaven !

PSALM – “The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Saviour!”
God is the one who sticks up for us, and the reason we sing !

My re-created thoughts :

Help me to put your gifts to good use
Not to hide them, but to employ them fully
To live for You, in giving to others
To serve You, in serving others
May I be a good and faithful servant
and taste the kingdom inheritance you’ve prepared for us.
Keep me close to You, Lord,
My Rock, my Saviour….


Give me oil in my lamp….

7 02 2011

DAY THIRTY-SEVEN : Job 38 v. 1 – 40 v. 2; Matthew 24 v. 32 – 25 v. 13; Psalm 18 v. 37 – 42;

JOB – Finally, God speaks !
As I travelled in to Radio Lancashire this morning, as guest on the Sunday morning faith programme, they were playing the song, “There are more questions than answers”. It seems like God fires hundreds of questions at Job, all designed to show how mighty and awesome He is.
“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” etc., etc., etc..

                  (THE NORTHERN LIGHTS – AWESOME!)

The first eleven verses today restate God’s creative power.
Verses twelve to thirty-eight indicate God’s control of the elements (morning, the sea, light, snow, thunder, stars, rain clouds).
In verse thirty-nine through all of chapter thirty-nine, God is the great provider for all creatures (lion, raven, goats, donkeys) – reminiscent of Jesus’ ‘look at the birds of the air – God provides for them! How much more will He provide for you…’.

All these questions point to the mighty, all-powerful, all-knowing nature of God. How can Job challenge God? How can Job suggest God needs correcting?
We’ll see how Job responds, tomorrow, in the last installment of his book.

MATTHEW – all the signs of the end times spoken of yesterday are not to enable us to guess or predict the exact time, but to urge us to be ready, to prepare ourselves to meet Jesus. Jesus’ claim that ‘this generation’ will not pass away before all this has happened clearly hasn’t meant that His own generation were the ones who would see the end times, although they did see many of the signs! The parable Jesus teaches next indicates to me that each generation, reading this gospel, could be the last….the need is to be ready and prepared.
Verses 39 – 41 remind me of a Larry Norman song – “I wish we’d all been ready” – which had an impact on my life in my teens :
“Two men walking up a hill
 One disappears and one’s left standing still
 I wish we’d all been ready
 But there’s no time to change your mind
 The Son has come, and you’ve been left behind.”
Jesus’ charge is that His disciples are alert and keep watch. He will come, like a thief in the night, unexpectedly, without warning.
In chapter 35, Jesus give us three things to focus on as we await His second coming. Firstly, prepare ourselves :

(Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning ’til the break of day)

Oil is a symbol here of spiritual preparedness, spiritual energy. Though all ten slept, only half of them were prepared for the coming day. Of the request to share the oil, that the prepared ones give some oil to the unprepared, Wesley writes, “No one has more than enough holiness for himself”.
Each one of us will stand before the Lord, and cannot depend upon the ‘oil’ of others. Seek His fulness, His in-filling today.

PSALM –  the psalmist tells of his experience of God arming him with strength to defeat his enemies. ‘You made my adversaries bow at my feet’ (just remembering Joseph’s dreams all over again, and the fulfilment as his brothers bow before him, in Egypt).

My re-created thoughts :

Words of a song I wrote some time ago –

I wish I could pray you into heaven
Lead you to the door
Help you understand that in this life
There’s so much more
But, now you know, it’s true
That it’s all down to you
Open your heart to the Father above
Open your heart to the God who loves.